changes afoot…

November 30, 2015

Parkplace Books

Perhaps you’ve heard the rumors. Alas, they’re true. Parkplace Books, Kirkland, Washington’s community bookstore since 1986 and the home of the “Take a Poem From Your Heart” second-Wednesday poetry series for nine years, will be closing their doors at the end of 2015.

As the Kirkland Parkplace Mall is being redeveloped, many local businesses will be closed or displaced. The future of Parkplace Books is uncertain. Owners Mary and Rebecca have either worked in or owned the store for over 20 years. Mary hopes to open a new bookstore, location as yet unknown; Rebecca will retire.

Christopher Jarmick, who coordinates the Parkplace poetry series, says, “Mary and Rebecca are among the most generous, dedicated bookstore owners you’ll ever know. It’s a big bookstore. They’ve made room for over 300 people in the past, and also made it feel full and welcoming when a dozen people show up.”

To honor Mary and Rebecca and to mark the closing of this treasured community resource, Take a Poem From Your Heart invites you to attend the final poetry gathering on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, from 6:30 to 9:00pm.

Richard Widerkehr* will offer a somewhat abbreviated feature reading, plus there will be an additional 15 spotlight readers, for about four minutes each, and then a wide-open mic (under three minutes each) for as many as want to read and time will allow.

Christopher Jarmick says, “Let’s pack the place with poets and have a poetic toast to Mary and Rebecca. Please spread the word. While you’re there, I’d also encourage you to buy some presents, for others or yourself. Hope to see you on December 9th.”

*Richard Widerkehr won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan and earned his M.A. from Columbia University. He has two collections of poems, The Way Home (Plain View Press) and Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press), two chapbooks, and a novel, Sedimental Journey (Tarragon Books) about a geologist in love with a fictional character. In the last year, his poems have been published in Rattle, Soundings, Floating Bridge Review, Jewish Literary Journal, Grey Sparrow, Nomad’s Choir Poetry Review, Pennine Ink, Cirque, Penumbra, Clay Bird Review, and Crack The Spine.

the sound of Noisy Water

November 29, 2015

Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington

Other Mind Press is pleased to invite you to attend the launch of Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington, an anthology of work by 101 outstanding poets who have lived or made poetry in Whatcom County in the last five years.

The first reading, SpeakEasy 17, will be held in the Encore Room at Mount Baker Theatre (Bellingham) at 7:00pm this Tuesday, December 1, 2015. More than two dozen poets will read and copies of Noisy Water will be available for purchase.

The program for the second reading, Thursday, December 10, 2015, at 7:00pm, at Village Books, features an entirely different lineup of poets.

Additional readings are scheduled in the new year at county libraries and again at Village Books for National Poetry Month. See the complete list of readings and poets on the Noisy Water web page.

All events are free. Copies of Noisy Water will be available for purchase at each reading and, beginning in December, at Village Books (in person and online). (Perfect for everyone on your holiday shopping list!)

on truth

November 28, 2015

William Blake by Thomas Phillips“A Truth thats told with bad intent / Beats all the Lies you can invent.”
William Blake
(November 28, 1757 – August 12, 1827)
. . . . .
portrait by Thomas Phillips, National Portrait Gallery
quote from “Auguries of Innocence

Small Business Saturday

November 27, 2015

shop smallJust a reminder that tomorrow, Saturday, November 28, 2015, is Small Business Saturday and Indies First — an opportunity for locally-owned businesses and indies to heft some weight in the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.

In addition to the wares on their shelves, some stores invite guest sellers to spend a couple of hours chatting with customers. You’ll find guest booksellers at Edmonds Bookshop (Edmonds), The Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle), Open Books (Seattle), University Book Store (Seattle), Village Books (Bellingham) and maybe the bookstore around the corner. Support your local community. Shop indies first.


November 26, 2015

poem and art © j.i. kleinberg

poetry reboot

November 25, 2015

keypadThere’s nothing particularly new about predictive text poetry. People have been talking about it for a while. But when your head is empty, or too full of chatter, a little predictive text session might turn up a phrase to launch a poem (or at least make you laugh).

The idea is simple: your smart phone uses common syntax to guess what you’re thinking. As you key in a text message, your phone continually prompts you with suggestions for the next word in your text. Since the phone’s syntax is only two words long — the last word and the next — things can get pretty nonsensical when you select a prompted word and your word string lengthens to three or more words.

Try it. Keep pen and paper handy in case you come up with a poem-worthy combination.

P.S. You don’t have to hit Send.
. . . . .

Winter’s here

November 24, 2015

Hugo House

The Hugo House Winter catalog is out and there’s a terrific lineup of classes and instructors. Subjects include many writing genres (and multigenre) and classes last from one day to 16 weeks. This is a great time to browse for classes that start in the New Year, so view the catalog online or download it on the Hugo House website.

memory test

November 23, 2015

lost quotationsLocated at the Royal Festival Hall in London, The Poetry Library collects British poetry from 1912 on, including books, magazines and other media. In addition to lending services, classes, exhibits, reading and writing groups and other activities, The Poetry Library maintains a list of frequently-requested poems and a Lost Quotations page, where the answers to queries regarding poems are crowd-sourced. Have a look at Lost Quotations…maybe you can help.

Get Lit! Tonight!

November 22, 2015

Café Bouzingo

Tired of the same-old, same-old venues? Check out Bellingham’s hot new spot: Café Bouzingo. Opened in September in the transformed space of the much-loved Amadeus Project and styled after 19th-century Bohemian Paris, Café Bouzingo is a culture hub and hookah lounge serving up coffee, tea and shisha along with poetry, music, dance and art.

Get Lit! is Café Bouzingo’s weekly (Sundays) poetry open mic and feature show. Tonight (Sunday, November 22, 2015), the featured poet is Shannon P. Laws. She will be followed by live music and an open mic featuring your poems, short stories and spoken word (sign-ups start at 6:30pm, Shannon at 7:00pm). See you at Café Bouzingo: 1209 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, Washington, USA.
. . . . .
photo: Aaron Brick Artography

Best-of season

November 21, 2015

Best poety collections

A sure sign of the approaching year-end is the launch of “Best-of” season. Whether you’re gift shopping or simply trying to figure out what to read next, lists of best poetry books can be helpful. More lists will be published in the coming weeks. Here’s Elizabeth Lund’s “Best poetry collections of 2015” from The Washington Post.