October 31, 2015
Two more terrific poets will offer workshops to benefit the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Workshops are held on the lower level of the Fairhaven Library in Bellingham, Washington. Registration is required: $30 for one workshop or $50 for both workshops offered the same day, paid by check or cash at the workshop.
Register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the workshop(s) you wish to take and including your name and a phone number. Please bring writing materials.
10:00am – Noon
The Poem’s Line, or Lessons in Break Dancing
“Yet there is at our disposal no tool of the poetic craft more important, none that yields more subtle and precise effects, than the linebreak if it is properly used.” Denise Levertov
Linebreaks help you construct a poem, especially as you draft the poem’s final form. In this workshop, participants will respond to writing prompts to create stanzas, and then practice the art of line breaks. The class will consider how other poets used this integral craft by studying poems to discern poets’ diverse decisions about linebreaks. Linebreaks can define the poem, create cadence, establish emphasis, aid the reader in decoding meaning, uncover rhyme and half-rhyme, fudge clunky moments, provide humor, enhance sound, alter pace, and clarify phrasing. Some poets use linebreaks, spacing, and tabbing to display the process of the poet writing at the moment of creating a poem — its intellectual or emotional structure.
Ann Spiers is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Vashon Island. She stewards the Poetry Post in Vashon’s Village Green, co-produced the 2009 Vashon Poetry Fest, and curated Broadsides: Poems on Paper at a Vashon art gallery.
Bellingham’s poets have been good to Ann. Egress Studio Press published her chapbook, What Rain Does. She has read at the Whatcom Poetry Series and Village Books. She fondly remembers reading T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” at Fast Eddie’s Tavern when the audience raucously joined in the poem’s refrain. This year, Peasandcues Press designed and printed the broadside, “Rain Violent,” a poem from her Weather Station manuscript.
1:00 – 3:00pm
This workshop will suggest the practice of “organic form” described by Denise Levertov in her essay by that name. Attentiveness, or “attentivity” (not a word), may be the prime mover of poetry, or at least its muse’s primary tool, so basic it operates at the instinct level, and like spontaneous dance, leads to refinement. The workshop’s efforts will be toward an organic practice of composition through six different exercises. As they are exercises, rough drafts are the hope, but the practice includes recognizing three distinct tiers, or phases, in crafting observational responses. “During our time together we will grope toward the form of what we need to say.”
Michael Daley was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He later took vows and prepared to become a Catholic priest. Upon leaving religious life, he was wild in the streets, protesting wars and seeking a life of experience. He holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and an M.F.A. from the University of Washington. He is the founding editor of Empty Bowl Press, former Poet-in-Residence for the Washington State Arts Commission, the Skagit River Poetry Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a retired English Instructor for Mount Vernon High School. In addition to seven chapbooks, he has published three full-length collections of his poetry and a book of essays. He has been awarded by the Washington State Arts Commission, Seattle Arts Commission, Artist Trust, Fulbright, and the National Endowment of the Humanities.
October 30, 2015
October 29, 2015
It has been a while since we mentioned Meg Hitchcock, and this seems an auspicious moment to renew that acquaintance. Of her work, which she calls “text drawings,” Hitchcock says, “I deconstruct a sacred text by cutting its individual letters, and reassemble them to form a passage from another holy book.”
These remarkable works are currently on exhibit in New York:
Verbatim, a solo show at Studio10
October 30 – December 20, 2015
Opening: Friday, October 30; 7-9 p.m.
56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Text Me, a group show at Hazan Projects
October 29 – December 12, 2015
Opening: Thursday, October 29; 6-8 p.m.
35 N. Moore Street, Tribeca, NY, NY 10013
and in Massachusetts:
Bibliothecaphilia, a group show at MASS MoCA
on view through March 2016
1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
On a geographically related note…if you’re headed to the East Coast, you might also consider attending the 42nd Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading for The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.
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image (via email): Meg Hitchcock, Self Portrait: The Lord’s Prayer, Letters cut from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, 23 x 18 in. (detail), 2015
October 28, 2015
Renée Sarojini Saklikar’s award winning book of poetry, children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections (Nightwood Editions, 2013), is a beautiful and chilling exploration of the wrenching emotion and long institutional silence surrounding the June 23, 1985, bombing of Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland in which 329 lives were lost.
Inspired by Saklikar’s book and his own research, Irish composer Jürgen Simpson has created air india [redacted], which will be performed in Vancouver by the Turning Point Ensemble with soprano Zorana Sadiq, countertenor Daniel Cabena and baritone Alexander Dobson.
There will be five performances, November 6, 7, 8 (matinee), 10 and 11, 2015, at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in Vancouver, BC. For additional information, see the event page on Simon Fraser University’s website. For further details on Renée Sarojini Saklikar and her chronicle of place, identity and language, see thecanadaproject.
October 27, 2015
This should be a treat: Canadian poet Lorna Crozier will read from her latest book, The Wild in You: Voices from the Forest and the Sea, tomorrow, Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at 7:00pm, in the Readings Gallery at Village Books, Bellingham, Washington. A collaboration between Crozier and photographer Ian McAllister, the book combines exquisite words and images of wilderness.
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photo of Lorna Crozier by Chris Hancock Donaldson
October 26, 2015
In connection with the inspiring Whatcom Museum exhibit, Unhinged, book artist Elsi Vassdal Ellis will offer a workshop, Soft Cover Hand-Bound Bookmaking, on Saturday, November 7, 2015, 10:00am – 4:00pm, in the Lightcatcher Studio (Bellingham, WA). Participants will learn an easy, aesthetically pleasing technique to create a journal or sketchbook, constructing a simple wraparound soft cover, reinforcing the spine with decorative paper, and sewing the sections directly to the cover with a simple pamphlet stitch.
Elsi Vassdal Ellis has been making books since 1983. Her work is included in many public collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Brooklyn Museum. She teaches digital pre-press, offset and letterpress printing, graphic design history, materials and finishing, and book arts at Western Washington University.
The workshop, $70 General/$65 Museum members (includes some supplies), is suitable for ages 15+. Class size is limited and registration is required. Registration deadline is Monday, November 2. Register by phone at 360-778-7000 or in person at the Bellingham Parks and Recreation office, 3424 Meridian Street. Supply list available at registration. Bring your lunch.
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image: Elsi Vassdal Ellis – Altered State One (Cressy)
October 25, 2015
What is turquoise?
Turquoise is a shiny car.
Turquoise is a tiny bit far.
Turquoise is a bright pen.
That can write with a hen.
Turquoise is pretty shoes,
That you can never loose.
Turquoise is Neptune,
But only on the moon.
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*Copyright 2015 by Hazel Lauber. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.