March 31, 2015

March 31This is it. Last chance. Panic time. No, too late for that. If you haven’t studied the guidelines, it’s almost too late for that, too. But look anyway.

And of course there’s always tomorrow, the first day of National Poetry Month, and the prompts shall flow. In fact, Christopher Jarmick and NaPoWriMo have both posted early prompts to get you warmed up. We have loads of posts on prompts, too. Get busy, poets!

on poetry

March 30, 2015

Paul Verlaine“Take eloquence and wring its neck!”
Paul Verlaine
(March 30, 1844 – January 8, 1896)
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portrait by Otto Wegener

what would you do…

March 28, 2015

Willapa Bay AIR

What would you do with your time at a writer’s retreat? How would you spend a day, a week, a month or more? Start a fresh series of poems? Rework that big file of unfinished writing? Edit your collection into a book?

A retreat or residency gives you time away from the hubbub and pressures of your daily life. Residencies range in length, structure and amenities. Some are seasonal. There are many that are entirely funded and others that charge fees and offer scholarships. All have some sort of application process, which may be available for this year or next.

There are numerous writers’ residencies in the Cascadia region. Here are a few. Follow the links for more information:

Note: There may be a fine line between a writer’s retreat and a vacation rental. In fact, if you search the term writer’s retreat, most of the results will be lovely cabins and cottages available by the night or the week. Nothing wrong with that, but the terms residency or in-residence may get different results. Also note that the residencies listed here include writers when they refer to artist-in-residence programs. One further note: There are many multi-day writing workshops that may be called retreats; they are not included on this list, although some of the same facilities also host such workshops, which are definitely worth exploring.
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how to read a poem

March 27, 2015

Leicester Cathedral

Now and then a poem finds its way into the heart of an historic moment. Yesterday, at Leicester Cathedral, amidst pomp and ceremony, Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “Richard” was honored with such a moment. As part of the reburial of the bones of Richard III, Benedict Cumberbatch read Duffy’s poem. Watch and listen. Then read more about the ceremony from the BBC.

on poetry

March 26, 2015

Poet A.E. Housman photographed by E.O. Hoppé“Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out. ‘Poetry gives most pleasure,’ said Coleridge, ‘when only generally and not perfectly understood’; and perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.”
A.E. Housman
(March 26, 1859 – April 30, 1936)
. . . . .
Poet A.E. Housman photographed by E.O. Hoppé

about those CDs…

March 25, 2015

Mary Oliver CDPerhaps your CD collection is still in vigorous rotation. Then again, maybe you’ve gone back to vinyl or you’ve set aside all discs in favor of digital. If you find your CDs — music, poetry, etc. — are just taking up valuable shelf space, the Washington State Library “will gratefully, happily and enthusiastically take those CDs off your hands.” CDs are a very welcome and well-used addition to the libraries in state hospitals and prisons, where digital players are not an option. Donations may be sent to:
Washington State Library
ATTN: Laura Sherbo
6880 Capitol Blvd SE
Tumwater, WA 98504

got books?

March 24, 2015

big poetry giveaway 2015

How do you create an audience for your book of poetry? Poet and publisher Kelli Russell Agodon suggests that you give away copies.

The 2015 Big Poetry Giveaway (BPG) begins on Friday, March 27 and runs through National Poetry Month. It works like this: A poet creates a blog (or uses her/his own blog) to announce participation in the BPG. The poet offers a drawing for a minimum of two books to be given away — one the poet’s own book and the other a favorite poetry book by someone else. To be entered in the drawing, people leave comments on the poet’s blog. At the end of April, the poet draws a name from the commenters and gives away the books. Voilà! New readers!

The guidelines for 2015 are not yet posted, but they’re likely to be similar to 2014. You can read Kelli’s announcement and find a link to the 2014 guidelines at Book of Kells: “The Big Poetry Giveaway 2015: Happening in April !” and of course find Big Poetry Giveaway updates on Facebook.

Poetry Out Loud

March 23, 2015

Alex HanesworthOur congratulations to Alex Hanesworth, a junior from Anacortes High School, who is the Washington State Finalist in the 2015 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. Alex and other state winners will now advance to the semifinals, which will be webcast from Washington, DC, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, from 9:00am to 8:00pm EDT. The nine finalists will compete for the national title the following day. Read more about Alex Hanesworth in a (pre-state-finals) article in Go Anacortes.

Roz Chast

First, a nudge: If you live in Whatcom County, Washington, you have ten days (including today) to submit your poem for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. Poems must be received by Tuesday, March 31, 2015. If you plan to mail your poem, allow plenty of time as mail is slower these days; if you plan to drop it off at Mindport, note that Mindport is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Contest guidelines here.

Second, a suggestion: National Poetry Month begins April 1 and the Academy of American Poets wants you to be ready, so they’ve put together a list of 30 Ways to Celebrate. And of course National Poetry Month is also National Poetry Writing Month and one of the best ways to celebrate both is to take the NaPoWriMo pledge to write a poem a day. Learn more and get on board at NaPoWriMo.
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National Poetry Month poster designed by Roz Chast and inspired by Mark Strand

Cascadia Poetry Festival 2015

As National Poetry Month is winding down, the Cascadia Poetry Festival will just be getting started. From April 30 through May 3, 2015, Nanaimo, BC, on Vancouver Island, will welcome writers, artists, scientists and activists to collaborate, discover and foster deeper connection through poetry. The Festival includes performances, readings, a small press fair and several workshops.

See the schedule and more information on the Cascadia Poetry Festival website and follow the Festival news on Facebook. (Not sure about Cascadia? Here’s a map.) (Not sure about Nanaimo? Here’s some info for visitors.) See more on CPF3 from its founder, Paul Nelson.