Captain Whidbey Inn

If you have a completed or in-progress book- or chapbook-length poetry manuscript and you’re ready for some serious scrutiny, consider enrolling in the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. Held at the Captain Whidbey Inn, in Coupeville, on Whidbey Island, Washington, September 25 – 28, 2015, the conference includes pre-conference assignments, workshops with intensive focus on manuscript preparation (selecting, ordering, revising, and swapping out poems) and meetings with press editors.

Get more information on the Whidbey island Colrain Classic (there are three Colrain workshops each autumn in various locations), see what previous attendees have said, meet the conference faculty and review the conference criteria to see if it’s a good fit for you.

fun with poets

June 29, 2015

Take Your Poet to Work Day

Back in January, we posted about Poetry at Work Day. But those folks at Tweetspeak don’t want you to wait around until next year to celebrate again, so in May they introduced Poem on Your Pillow Day, and they’ve already started releasing materials for Take Your Poet to Work Day, July 15 (always the third Wednesday), including (so far) William Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, and Anna Akhmatova.

Of course, if these poets don’t ring your chimes, you can still download last year’s featured poets: Sylvia Plath, Christina Rossetti, W. B. Yeats, John Keats, Adrienne Rich, and Langston Hughes, or the 2013 poets: Emily Dickinson, Haiku masters, Pablo Neruda, Edgar Allan Poe, Rumi, T.S. Eliot, and Sara Teasdale.

The idea is that you download (or create your own) image of a poet (hey, you’re a poet!), print the image, color it, paste it to a stick or a pencil and bring it to work with you. Of course there are poems to go along with each poet’s image.

Those fun folks at Tweetspeak also have a free coloring book (the 2014 version will be updated by July 8 to include the 2015 poets) and an infographic that explains it all. Enjoy!

How Big?*

June 28, 2015

How Big by Lily Danke
2015 Merit Award
By Lily Danke

How Big?

A football field is big.
But not as big as the Earth.
The Earth is wide.
But not as wide as Jupiter.
Jupiter’s spot is round.
But not as round as Saturn’s rings.
Saturn’s rings are hula-hoops.
And the Milky Way is a bigger hula-hoop.
The Milky Way is big.
But not as big as space.
The sun is bigger.
But if you think of bigger stuff like the Milky Way.
The Sun is little.
. . . . .
*Copyright 2015 by Lily Danke. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

more than music

June 26, 2015

Bumbershoot 2015

If you were thinking that Seattle’s annual Labor Day weekend festival, Bumbershoot, is strictly about music, here’s a surprise: Bumbershoot also stages Words & Ideas. This year’s lineup includes talks, discussions, panels, poetry slams and some of the big lights in the Northwest literary scene.

on poetry

June 25, 2015

Don McKay“Are you thinking /
or being thought?”
Don McKay
(b. June 25, 1942)
. . . . .
quote from “Astonished” in Strike/Slip, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize 2007

NYBG - Octavio Paz Poetry WalkIn connection with its “blockbuster exhibition,” “FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life,” The New York Botanical Garden is currently displaying poems of 20th-century Mexican poet and Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz (1914–1998), many referencing native plants and flowers. Co-presented with the Poetry Society of America, the Octavio Paz Poetry Walk is a continuation of the Garden’s Poetry for Every Season series. On Saturday, September 19, 2015, at 2:00pm, Poetry Walk curator Rachel Eliza Griffiths, whose work has been influenced by both Paz and Kahlo, will present a reading of selected poems in the Ross Hall. Paz’s poems will remain on view through November 1, 2015.
. . . . .
thanks to Sheila Sondik for the heads up

Hugo House summerIf you’re looking to jump start your poetry this summer, what could be better than a one-day workshop? Hugo House in Seattle has an inspiring lineup, starting this Saturday, June 27, 2015, with Martha Silano teaching “Fixed Form Foray: Adventures with Formal Poetry.” See more one-day workshops, two-day workshops or browse the entire catalog.

Fairhaven Library

As we seem to be racing toward all-things-digital, it’s nice to see an Opinion page article on “Why We Still Need Public Libraries.” Read Froma Harrop’s article on
. . . . .
image: Fairhaven library

Four Squares*

June 21, 2015

Four Squares by Owen Davis-Bower
2015 Merit Award
By Owen Davis-Bower

Four Squares

Racing through the cool dark forest
Four grey wolves take chase.

Four squares are all I need
Advancing one by one.

It was just then, Percy stood
His father’s tides collapsing behind him.

A woman with ambition, stood four years ago
She looks to run again, considering the polls.

A small plane must be taken
The small, cloudy island, lay destination.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2015 by Owen Davis-Bower. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

laurelWhile Elizabeth Austen continues to serve as Washington State Poet Laureate into 2016, the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) and Humanities Washington are seeking applications for the 2016-2018 Poet Laureate. The job calls for tremendous commitment, vision, creativity, energy and time. See descriptions of the role and details on the application process on the Humanities Washington website. Applications are due July 31, 2015.