Phrasings 2015: call for writers

January 27, 2015

photo © Steve Mahler

Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater and Bellingham Repertory Dance (BRD) announce the 2015 Phrasings Collaboration for Writers & Dancers

The 9th annual Phrasings collaboration and performance will offer a fresh constellation of modern dance, film and original poems. Poems will be linked with video creations, drawing inspiration from the dancers and Seattle choreographer Mary Sheldon Scott (known as Molly).

Five performances are scheduled, May 22, 23 and 24, 2015, in Bellingham, Washington, at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center.

BRD is a collective of accomplished dancers dedicated to bringing high-quality, vibrant contemporary dance to the Northwest. They are always looking for new ways to engage visual arts, spoken word and modern dance as an intersection of new ideas and experience. In a special, community-supported effort, BRD contracted with Mary Sheldon Scott to create a completely new 20-minute piece.

This year, five to seven poets will be selected to read their poem as part of the show or to work with videographers on a short film featuring their poem. Writings need to be derived from the work of Ms. Scott and the movement of BRD dancers, so writers are invited to six open rehearsals at the Firehouse (1314 Harris Avenue in Fairhaven) to watch and write. Come prepared to freewrite while watching preparations for the show in the hope that the dancers’ movements might inspire “phrasings,” images or a storyline that will become a poem.

The open rehearsals are Friday, January 30, 2015, 2:00 to 4:00pm and 6:00-9:00pm; Saturday, January 31, 11:30am to 4:30pm (full company from 2-4:30pm only); and every Friday in February, 12:30 to 2:30 pm. Writers may drop in without an appointment for as long as desired.

All winning submissions will be presented in a Phrasings 2015 chapbook. Poets whose poems are selected will receive a video of their poem. One submission from every poet will be printed and displayed during the shows.

Guidelines provided by Chuckanut Sandstone Writers:

We are looking for a wide range of poetry and all forms of writing to be selected for:

  • Originality, and not previously published or performed.
  • Vivid imagery – with content that’s personal, pastoral, featuring the natural world, tactile.
  • Lyrical qualities – gives attention to rhythm and language.

Themes – Please consider suspension and/or interdependency as themes for your concrete images, narratives or imaginings. You may or may not use the actual words, but let suspension and/or interdependency become your context. (And if the theme doesn’t work for you, your poem without the theme might work for us. Let nothing hold you back from submitting.)

Your entry must be e-mailed by Sunday, February 22, 2015.

  1. To submit: e-mail your entry(ies) to Use the subject line: Submission Phrasings 2015.
  2. Submit one to three separate poems as a pdf or Word attachment. Do not put your name on the attachment. Limit yourself to pieces that are one to two pages in length.
  3. In the body of the e-mail, please list the titles (or first lines) of the submissions and your name, phone number, street address and e-mail address.

The videographers will select the two submissions that they want to work with, and will contact the poets for further development. A reading committee will select the three to five poems to be read and featured at the show.

Receipt of your submission and outcomes with follow-up details will be sent via e-mail. Send your comments or questions to Carla Shafer, via e-mail to:

Further inspiration: Mary Sheldon Scott is a visual artist as well as a choreographer, so be sure to visit her website. Her artwork will be on display at the Firehouse Café during May.
. . . . .
Bellingham Repertory Dance photo © Steve Mahler


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