writing the garden

September 30, 2015

Kahini - The Garden and the Wild

Take a day to escape to the garden and return home with inspiration and new writing. Kahini presents a one-day workshop, The Garden and the Wild, on Saturday, November 21, 2015, in Salem, Oregon. Working with poet Colette Tennant and writer and writing instructor Jordan Hartt, participants will explore, in conversation and writing, the concepts of “garden” and “wild” for metaphor, character and setting. Enrollment is limited to 10 people and, as of this writing, only 4 spaces remain. Sign up for workshop by contacting writing@kahini.org.

Haiku walk

Haiku walk If Millersburg, in northeast Ohio, is not at the top of your destination list, its new haiku poetry walk should help it find a place on your poetry map and make it worth a detour from Columbus or Akron. Located on forested land in the heart of Ohio Amish Country between Millersburg and Berlin, The Inn at Honey Run this month welcomed visitors to the first installation in the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum.

The Haiku Path winds through the forest, its route marked by 30 boulders, the boulders each bearing a pair of metal gingko leaves. The leaves are inscribed with haiku written specifically for the site by members of the Haiku Society of America. The verse appears on one leaf in English and on the other in Latin-scripted Japanese.

The project was coordinated by the Inn’s owner, Jason Nies, and HSA Midwest Regional Coordinator, Julie Warther. Although the Open Air Art Museum is on Inn property, it is open both to guests and the public and will, in the coming years, grow to embrace Nies’s vision of a true outdoor museum, with installations of artwork in various media as well as performance events.
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photos by Christopher Patchel
haiku by Joe McKeon
thanks to Michael Dylan Welch for the heads-up

Banned Books Week

September 28, 2015

Banned Books WeekBecause books matter, and poetry matters, and words shape the ideas at the heart of poetry, and because some people would still prefer that we do not have access to those ideas/words/poems/books, we note and celebrate Banned Books Week each year.

Although challenges are fewer in number, the American Library Association recorded “311 reported attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves in 2014–2015.” Read more from Chris Finan, director of the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE).

Banned Books Week, this year highlighting young adult literature, is September 27 – October 3, 2015.

Visit the PEN American Center website to hear Alex Dimitrov reading “I Am Not” and “Personals Ad” by the much-banned Allen Ginsberg and Deborah Landau reading Walt Whitman’s poems “Leaves of Grass” and “Respondez!” And just in case you’re really in the doldrums, get lost on the island of the banned: Pinterest.

To Rizzy*

September 27, 2015

To Rizzy by Thomas Boyle
2015 Walk Award
By Thomas Boyle (4th grade)

To Rizzy

Rizzy, oh Rizzy,
how I love you.
Your face lights up my day.
That smile of yours, ahhh it’s beautiful.

Your eyes are diamonds sparkling
in the midnight sky.
Your fur is as soft as a new cozy blanket,
your big wet nose is as wet as a big puddle.

You give the best alarm clock “kisses.”
It makes you feel like a big black thing dropping oceans on you.
(I love it though.)

Rizzy, oh Rizzy,
You make my day as bright as a hot sun.

I hope you always remember…

. . . . .
*Copyright 2015 by Thomas Boyle. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

on poetry

September 26, 2015

photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt
“you are the music / While the music lasts.”
T.S. Eliot
(September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965)
. . . . .
photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt

quote from “The Dry Salvages”

bonus: Marlon Brando reads “The Hollow Men”

extra credit for longevity

September 25, 2015

Poetry Scribes of SpokaneA lot of poets (present company included) value the witnessing and feedback they get from participating in a poetry writing group. Hats off to the Poetry Scribes of Spokane, who have been meeting since 1937!

Between September and June, the group meets from 1:00 to 3:00pm on the first Wednesday of the month at the North Spokane Library on Hawthorne Road. The October 7 meeting will feature a reception for the Amy Woodward Fisher World Day of Poetry, an annual contest sponsored by the Scribes.

In addition to participation in the Spokane Lilac Festival each year, the Scribes publish an annual collection of member poetry, The Turquoise Lanterns.

Read more about the Poetry Scribes of Spokane in Cindy Hval’s article in The Spokesman-Review.
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September 24, 2015

Clover, A Literary Rag Vol 9 reading

Another handsome issue of Clover, A Literary Rag will be celebrated on Sunday, September 27, 2015, at 4:00pm, when 13 regional poets and storytellers present original work from Volume 9. Contributors include Jim Bertolino, Laurel Leigh, Larry Crist, Paul Hunter and Michael Dylan Welch, among other fine voices. Hosted by Mary Gillilan and Norman Green. Copies of Clover will be available for purchase; the reading is free.

Getaway: nature, breath, words

September 23, 2015

North Cascades Institute

If poetry and meditation amidst the autumnal beauty of the North Cascades sounds intriguing, consider spending two days at the North Cascades Institute for “Sit, Walk, Write: Nature and the Practice of Presence.” Meditation teacher and author Kurt Hoelting and writing teacher and poet Holly J. Hughes will guide participants through a variety of activities that include plenty of time for hiking and relaxation. The retreat will be held Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25, 2015. See more and register on the NCI website.

another winter getaway

September 22, 2015

HedgebrookAs holiday stress sets in, Hedgebrook, on Whidbey Island, offers the possibility of relief: a one-day writing salon.
The next Salon at Hedgebrook will be Saturday, December 5, 2015. The schedule features morning and afternoon workshops as well as a participant open mic, plus meals and conversation in between. Workshop instructors include Rose Cano, Valerie Easton, Sarah Galvin, Suzanne Kelman, Priscilla Long and Ijeoma Oluo.
Proceeds benefit Hedgebrook and early registration rates continue until November 1. Details on the Hedgebrook Salons page.

the endless prompt

September 21, 2015

Taylor MaliPerformance poet, teacher and author Taylor Mali has posted a 10-second video on his Facebook page, which may be inspiring as much for its form as its content, and which you can consider as a prompt even if you don’t do Facebook.

The video pictures a one-line poem written on a Möbius strip. That means the text of the poem is essentially a continuous loop, the end of the line feeding and reading back into its beginning. It’s a form that demands both intention and restraint.

You may need to experiment with the length of the strip you use, but, as a rough beginning, here’s how to proceed:

  • Cut a half-inch-wide strip from a sheet of paper; either direction will do — 8.5 inches or 11 inches or whatever size paper you prefer.
  • Write a line of text the full length of one side of the paper.
  • Flip the paper (so that your first line of text is upside down on the reverse side) and continue writing your text. It can be one or more sentences, but the last word you write on side 2 will connect with the first word you wrote on side 1, so they should make some sense when connected.
  • Pick up the strip, one end in each hand, and put a single twist in one end (so that the front is flipped to the back).
  • Bring the two ends together and use a piece of tape to attach them.
  • You should be able to read through the text you wrote on both sides of the paper as one continuous line.
  • Now that you see how it works, try it again.

Have fun!
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photo/screen capture