October 31, 2014

found poem © j.i. kleinberg
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

Are you ready?

October 30, 2014


Pencils and pixels, on your mark! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins on Saturday, November 1, and challenges you to write 50,000 rough-draft words of a novel over the course of the month. This year, NaNoWriMo expects 400,000 participants (there were 310,095 in 2013), including 100,000 students and educators who will use NaNoWriMo’s virtual classroom management tools, closed social network, and free Common Corealigned curriculum. National Novel Writing Month is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light).

Participants can enjoy Pep Talk letters from author-mentors and other ongoing encouragement; write-ins at local coffee shops, book shops and living rooms; and free resources at local libraries, bookstores and other neighborhood spaces. There are online forums with tips, logistics and other musings. Plus, NaNoWriMo provides an array of tools to help you keep track of your growing pile of words.

Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

It’s easy: just sign up and start writing. NaNoWriMo is on Facebook, too. (But of course you knew that.)

P.S. No one says your novel has to be prose or, for that matter, that it even has to be a novel: 50,000 words is 50,000 words…
. . . . .
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

open sesame!

October 29, 2014

Ferndale, Washington

Today’s the day! After years in a too-cramped facility and many months of deliberation, planning, fundraising and construction, the brand-new Ferndale Public Library, at 2125 Main Street in Ferndale, Washington, opens its doors TODAY! Designed by SHKS Architects and built by Faber Construction, the 15,000 square foot library includes a Community Room that will accommodate up to 80 people, a conference room for groups of 12 to 14, plus two smaller study rooms.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 10:00am. Meanwhile, the library is open regular hours, Monday – Thursday 10am-9pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm.

Congratulations to the Ferndale community and to everyone who had a hand in making this happen. A new library is a very good thing indeed.

watching poetry

October 28, 2014

YouTube logoFor the past several years, Bellingham TV channel 10 has generously offered their time and talent to video record Sue Boynton Poetry Contest winners reading their poems. The recordings are broadcast between other programming on BTV10 and this year’s collection of eleven readings has now been posted to YouTube on the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest channel. Have a look and a listen, and, while you’re there, revisit some wonderful poets from past contests as well.

Poetry Alive

Kevin Murphy and Matthew Brouwer are at it again, this time joined by poets Shannon Laws, Joe Nolting and CJ Prince. Poetry Alive IV (or III, depending on where you look) promises “a night of poesy so mind-bendingly grand, so soul-shakingly shaking it may just inspire you to quit your day job and pursue a hermetic life of poetic penury…not that you should come with any expectations or anything…”

Proceeds benefit the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project, which leads writing workshops with kids in the juvenile justice system. JJCWP affirms that all youth have a unique voice that deserves to be shared with the community and that helping teens to connect with the vitality of their imaginations can be a powerful means for self expression and personal growth.

Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 7:00pm in the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham. $10 suggested donation.

on poetry

October 26, 2014

Andrew Motion“The best poems get written, not by going in the front door of the subject, but round the back or down the chimney or through the window.”
Andrew Motion
(b. October 26, 1952)
. . . . .
Image by Caroline Forbes

Luci Shaw - After reading my friend's poem
After reading my friend’s poem
— for Jeanne
By Luci Shaw
2014 Merit Award

The words do flips off the page
like fledglings sprung from the boredom
of the nest. Nothing is safe, now; everything
expands, freed to be itself, or something else.
A phrase is warming up and down the scale —
a soprano vocalizing in my ear as I shrug myself
into my jacket. My car waltzes me
down the hill, we are both crazy with these fresh
verses that sing us right into town.

At the market I consult my list. It reads like
terza rima. I choose a golden squash, weigh
a small ham in my hand, consider grapes from Chile,
praising the seeds that shine up through
the pale green flesh. I sing the stickers on apples.
Wine bottles turn into lyrics for the eye.
Lordy, on the way home I even begin to poem
Bellingham weather, the cloud anthems, rain tympanis,
the rainbow oil on the puddles, the small syllables
of boats on the bay, their wet sails bellying. Gusto!

Copyright 2014 by Luci Shaw. Broadside designed by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio. Illustration by Angela Boyle, Flying Dodo Publications.

deadlines alive!

October 24, 2014


If you’re thinking about submitting your work (and you should be, of course), here are a few upcoming deadlines (click on the publication name to go to the guidelines):

November 30, 2014A River & Sound Review welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and humor.

December 1, 2014Bellingham Review encourages submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, author interviews, and black-and-white photography.

December 1, 2014Soundings Review welcomes submissions of high quality, accessible poetry, fiction (including genre such as fantasy, science fiction, or mystery), nonfiction, and writing for children & young adults.

December 1, 2014Whatcom WRITES! invites submissions of poems, fiction and non-fiction on the theme of competition. (Guidelines posted on Facebook; may be posted on website later, so check back.)

December 5, 2014 (at 11:45pm!) – Labyrinth Literary Journal invites words and artwork on the theme of Who’s Not Speaking? Examining The Internals and Externals of Identity Marginalization.

December 5 (or 15), 2014Pacifica Literary Review invites poetry (contest has earlier deadline), nonfiction, fiction, photography and visual art, and author interviews.

December 15, 2014Crab Creek Review solicits poetry, short stories, and essays for the 2015 spring issue.

There are also a number of locally-based (but not local!) publications that have open submissions or submission periods ending in 2015, including Cascadia Review, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, Cirque Journal, Clover, A Literary Rag, Image, The Other Journal, Poetry Northwest, Raven Chronicles, The Seattle Review, StringTown Magazine, Switched-on Gutenberg, Willow Springs, Windfall and no doubt others we’ve missed but would love to hear about!

poetry town

October 23, 2014

Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

Thirty-some miles southeast of Madison, Wisconsin, the town of Fort Atkinson (pop. 12,482 in 2013) might not be top-of-mind when one thinks of poetry. But it was the long-time home of Objectivist poet Lorine Neidecker and the community continues to celebrate the poet and her words.

In addition to the Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival each October, an excerpt from her poem Paean to Place colorfully enlivens the wall of a downtown building, painted by artist Jeremy Pinc. To further awareness of the poet’s work, a series of installations at local schools will involve classroom study, field trips and student participation in the execution of the artwork. The first one was unveiled this month above the entry doors to Fort Atkinson High School: a student-created stained glass excerpt from Niedecker’s poem TV.

Read about and see photos of the school project and read more about Lorine Niedecker.

Here’s a later addition to this post, an article about the dedication of the poetry window in the Daily Union.

Roman roads in Britannia

“Walking can animate the body and senses in a way conducive to poetry’s wandering alertness, moving through things, looking around — purpose without system.” Robert Pinsky

Britain is criss-crossed by a web of roads established by the Romans. One of them, now known as Watling Street, runs from Wroxeter (in Shropshire, the site of the fourth-largest Roman capital, Viroconium Cornoviorum) southeast for some 200 miles to Dover. The road between London and Canterbury follows a 50-mile course near the eastern end of Watling Street.

Dan Simpson, Poet-in-Residence at Canterbury Roman Museum, recently completed a five-day walk along that 50-mile section, visiting museums and historic sites along the way and documenting his journey with photographs, notes and poems. You can see the record of his journey, and some of his poems, on Canterbury Roman Museum Residency.

For an unrelated but intriguing Dan Simpson project, visit Crowdsourced Poetry.
. . . . .
Roman Roads in Britannia