World Peace Poets

You are invited to gather with World Peace Poets for a peace vigil on Friday, January 1, 2016, beginning at 4:00pm at the peace pole at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center (14th and Harris in Fairhaven/Bellingham). Participants will walk together down Harris to the peace pole at the pond near 8th (near the bus/train depot).

On this first day of the year, the hearts of many people turn to the vision of humankind living together in peace and harmony. Please bring a brief reading to share that speaks to this theme, such as a poem, a meaningful quote, a description of deepening understanding, or a concern to lift up in hope. Readings will be interspersed with moments of silent reflection. Bring a candle to hold and place at the dockside or float on the water. The gathering will conclude about 5:30pm. Bundle up and join neighbors and fellow poets to start the year sharing in the spirit of harmony and community. People who choose not to walk can meet those who do at 8th and Harris about 4:15pm.


December 30, 2015

2016 calendar
The year stretches out, just over the horizon. So much potential. What are your resolutions for 2016? Here are a few ideas to start your list:

  • Read more poetry.
  • Along the same lines, take a page from Ann Morgan’s TED talk and expand your vision by reading a book from every country in the world. (More here.)
  • Set aside a specific time to read a poem each day: when you wake up, over breakfast, during your bus commute, before bed.
  • Listen to poetry: find CDs in the library or browse The Poetry Archive, Poetry Out Loud, Penn Sound, and find many more links to poetry audio recordings on the Library of Congress web guide.
  • Write more poetry.
  • Try something entirely different with your poetry: rhyme it (or don’t), write a sonnet or a ghazal or a persona poem or whatever you’re least likely to write normally.
  • Print out one of your poems that’s “finished,” cut it up into individual words and reassemble it into a new poem, getting rid of unnecessary words and replacing those that could be juicier.
  • Ask for feedback.
  • Do something new with your poetry: slam it, submit it, memorize it.
  • Take a poetry workshop or class.
  • When you’re spending money on poetry, support poets, indie bookstores and independent publishers.
  • When you’re moved by a poem, write to the poet to say what you most loved about the poem.
  • Take a resolutions workshop for writers on Sunday, January 3, 2016, at Village Books in Bellingham.
  • Start or join a poetry group: reading, writing, critique, whatever.

Resolved: to have a poetry-rich 2016.
. . . . .

Ten Years of Artists' Books

We recently mentioned a number of exhibits of book-related art currently on view in New York. Ten Years of Artists’ Books curated by Donna Seager will remain on exhibit at the Brooklyn Library through January 24, 2016. But if the warm weather isn’t enough to tempt you eastward, it’s still possible to view the exhibit catalog on Issuu. Stunning.

do you own one?

December 28, 2015

Theodore Roethke - Open House

The following comes from the Friends of Theodore Roethke:

When the great America poet Theodore Roethke published his first book, Open House, each of the 1,000 copies was hand numbered.

In celebration of the book’s upcoming 75th Anniversary, The Theodore Roethke Museum wants to hear from the owners of these important books.

Our non-profit group is conducting a census and storytelling project around Open House. Our goal is to ignite conversation about Roethke’s poetry. The fact that each copy of Open House is hand numbered gives each a unique personality. We’d like to hear about the books from their owners and what Roethke poem most resonates with them.

We plan to feature at least two Open House stories per month on our Facebook page and web site during 2016.

The winner of the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Roethke (1908-63) ranks among the most accomplished and influential poets and poetry teachers of his generation. His most famous poems include My Papa’s Waltz and the Greenhouse poems series from his landmark book, The Lost Son.

If you are a poetry lover or book collector and have a copy of Open House, the Museum would like to hear from you. If you are a bookseller it’s a great way to get your copies in front of a host of Roethke readers.

Please send a photo of the book (along with you, if possible!) your copy number and your favorite Roethke poem. If you’re shy and don’t want to be featured, that’s fine, But we’d love to hear from you if you have a copy and if so, which one.

Please send the information to

Participants whose work is featured on-line will receive a limited edition 5×7 edition Roethke art print.

on poetry

December 27, 2015

Juan Felipe Herrera“The beauty of creating a line, a phrase — the art of it. It’s an artwork. I tell my workshop students, I want you to think of yourselves as artists. Then when you’re writing, you’re painting, you’re crafting, you’re making a design, you’re sculpting, you’re creating choreography, sound, a sound script. You’re composing a choir on the page. Yes, indeed.”
Juan Felipe Herrera
(b. December 27, 1948)
. . . . .
quote from Jacket Copy

New Orleans montage
In addition to jazz, food and Mardi Gras, New Orleans is packed with poetry. A recent posting on, “From poetry to love letters, here are 13 New Orleans reading series,” suggests the range of readings available in the Big Easy.

The literary scene also includes the New Orleans Review, a poetry walk at the Audubon Zoo, the New Orleans Haiku Society, the daily Toulouse Street blog, Quaint Magazine, Bayou Magazine, Anchor & Plume and Kindred (Baton Rouge), Louisiana Literature, New Delta Review, Octavia Books and a whole lot more.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!
. . . . .
New Orleans montage


December 25, 2015

tree words © j.i. kleinberg

weekend reading

December 24, 2015

The New York Times

This weekend, after the chimney has returned to its normal behavior, set aside some time for The New York Times Sunday Book Review. This last Sunday of the year, December 27, 2015, will be devoted to all things poetry: “new and selected collections, and works about poets,” according to Book Review editor, Pamela Paul. On Poetry columnist, David Orr, lists his Best Poetry Books of 2015 and “a wide range of people” offer their favorite poems of 2015. Happy reading, happy poeming and happy holidays!
. . . . .
thanks to Sheila Sondik for the heads up!

taste of Emily

December 23, 2015

Emily DickinsonIf you are under the impression that Emily Dickinson labored over her poems and little else, you may be surprised to learn that, according to Greg Patent, Dickinson “prided herself on her skill as a cook.”

Co-host of “The Food Guys” on Montana Public Radio, Patent shares the poet’s recipe for “Black Cake,” a 19th-century sort of fruit cake, which, he says, she would have produced in quantity and baked in a milk pail. Read (or listen to the podcast of) Greg Patent’s article, “Poetry In Baking: Emily Dickinson’s Black Cake (Recipe)” and then try it yourself!
. . . . .
Daguerreotype of the poet Emily Dickinson, taken circa 1848, from the Todd-Bingham Picture Collection and Family Papers, Yale University Manuscripts & Archives Digital Images Database, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

on poetry

December 22, 2015

Edwin Arlington Robinson“The world is not a ‘prison-house,’ but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks.”
Edwin Arlington Robinson
(December 22, 1869 – April 6, 1935)
. . . . .
According to The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature, this was Robinson’s response when a reviewer of his first volume of poems, The Torrent and the Night Before, said, “The world is not beautiful to him, but a prison house.”