on poetry

February 29, 2016

Howard Nemerov
“Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.”
Howard Nemerov
(February 29, 1920 – July 5, 1991)

last minute!

February 28, 2016

Raising Lilly Ledbetter

Today, Sunday, February 28, 2016, at 3:00pm, Carolyne Wright, Holly Hughes, Lyn Coffin, and Mary Ellen Talley will read from the book Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Worksplace (Lost Horse Press). This free reading will take place at Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island. See additional details in the Bainbridge Island Review.

crowdfunded poetry

February 27, 2016


Now and then, it’s instructive (and fun) to visit crowdfunding sites — Kickstarter, gofundme, Indiegogo — and search the term poetry. As you might expect, the bulk of the requests are for books and chapbooks, some supported vigorously, some not at all. But then there are other projects: readings, podcasts, CDs, films, festivals, educational programs, websites, tech support, you name it. While the requests vary widely in their level of sophistication and outcomes, there’s little doubt that poetry is happening, if not thriving.

Have a look. Pledge a few bucks. The next request could be yours.

last minute!

February 26, 2016

Poetry Press Week 2016

With just hours remaining before the deadline, it has come to our attention that Poetry Press Week Portland is accepting submissions until 11:59 p.m., Monday, February 29, 2016. Judges Ashley Toliver and John Brehm will select two submissions to join eight PPW invitees.

Committed to “transforming the way unpublished poetry is presented to the literary industry, the media, and the public-at-large,” Poetry Press week encourages poets to “design a multisensory experience of their work” using the talents of “actors, dancers, musicians, video artists, and djs,” among others.

Poetry Press Week will be held at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center on the evenings of June 17 and 18, 2016.

To learn more, study the detailed Poetry Press Week submission guidelines.

one more for haiku

February 25, 2016

Halebsky - Tree LineWith just a few days left in National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo), there is still room for inspiration. To that end, poet Judy Halebsky, author of Tree Line and Sky=Empty, will present “From Haiku to Collage, a Body-Based Poetics” at Hugo House in Seattle on Sunday, February 28, 2016. See the full description on the Hugo House Events page.

P.S. Though Hugo House is slated to move to temporary digs adjacent to the Frye Museum while a new Hugo House is constructed, that move won’t happen for a few months yet and readings and events continue to be held at the 11th Avenue location on Capitol Hill.

there once was a….

February 24, 2016

4-leaf clover by Ginger Oppenheimer

In recognition of St. Patrick’s Day, The Bellingham Herald will again publish family-friendly limericks written by Whatcom County, Washington, residents. The deadline to submit limericks is Monday, March 7, 2016.

The limericks will appear online and in print on St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17.

Email your limericks to dean.kahn@bellinghamherald.com or mail or bring them to The Bellingham Herald, 1155 N. State Street, second floor, Bellingham, WA 98225.
. . . . .
photo by Ginger Oppenheimer

Alice and Emily

February 23, 2016

Parker and Dickinson

Be among the first to hear a premier work by 90-years-young American composer Alice Parker at “The Eternal Soul,” the spring performance of the Whatcom Chorale. Parker’s song cycle “Heavenly Hurt: Songs of Love and Loss” explores the profound and the ephemeral in poetry by Emily Dickinson. Additional selections by Brahms and Schubert promise lush, romantic harmonies to portray the conflicting moods of exuberance and hesitancy inspired by love.

The performance will be held on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at 3:00pm, at the First Congregational Church in Bellingham, Washington.

Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets and at Village Books, Piper Music, Everybody’s Store, The Greenhouse, and the Food Co-Op stores. Tickets will be sold at the door if available.

haiku update

February 22, 2016

Jenny Holzer - Meijer Gardens

With National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) well under way, it seems a good time for an update…

In the “poetry walk” and “poetry map” category, we’d have to add the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The 158-acre sculpture and botanic garden includes the newly-opened Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Designed by Hoichi Kurisu and the firm Kurisu International (who also designed the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon), the DeVos Garden includes “For the Garden,” a commissioned work by the artist Jenny Holzer. Thirteen hand-carved boulders display text that Holzer selected from across the distinguished traditions of Japanese literature from the 9th century to the 20th. To see more, visit the garden (!) or go to Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden, click on Highlights, then For the Garden, and scroll down for a description and link to a downloadable PDF with photos and poetry credits.

Our next haiku update is a reminder that The Ferndale Arts Commission invites Whatcom County Poets to submit cherry blossom-themed haiku in celebration of this year’s Ferndale Cherry Blossom Festival (April 16 & 17, 2016). Each poet may submit two unpublished haiku poems. There are Youth and Adult categories and the winning haiku will be selected by Michael Dylan Welch. The submission deadline is Monday, March 14, 2016. For guidelines, see Call To All Whatcom County Poets and find the submission form on The Ferndale Cherry Blossom Festival page. For inspiration, see “Some Suggestions for Writing Haiku” on the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational page.

And speaking of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, the 2016 Haiku Invitational will begin accepting haiku submissions (up to two unpublished poems) from around the world beginning March 1, 2016. The theme is celebration. Watch the Haiku Invitational page for information on how to submit.

Finally, we circle back to NaHaiWriMo. To encourage you to meet the goal of writing a haiku each day of February (29 in 2016!), NaHaiWriMo’s Michael Dylan Welch offers a daily prompt (Z-words!) on the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page. Actually, the daily prompts continue throughout the year, with a guest prompter each month. You can see the collected prompts in the Notes section of the NaHaiWriMo page.
. . . . .
image from “For the Garden” by Jenny Holzer. Words by Mitsuhashi Takajo, translation by Makoto Ueda, © 2003 by Columbia University Press, from Far Beyond the Field: Haiku by Japanese Women, edited by Makoto Ueda.

poetry touring

February 21, 2016

Nanaimo Poetry Map

There are many ways to experience a place. The city of Nanaimo, BC, Canada, on Vancouver Island, has a new one: the Nanaimo Poetry Map. Spearheaded by Nanaimo’s First Poet Laureate, Naomi Beth Wakan, the project invited Nanaimo poets to submit “works that are in some way related to a particular point on the map or site in Nanaimo. The poems are not intended to be descriptions of places rather they are impressions of them.”

The resulting map was launched in January and the Nanaimo Poetry Map is now available online. Clicking on a location takes you to a brief description and a downloadable PDF of the poem. Take a tour of Nanaimo!

Nancy Pagh - Once Removed

If you’re anywhere near Bellingham, Washington, tonight, Saturday, February 20, 2016, come down to Village Books at 7:00pm to hear the wonderful poet Nancy Pagh read from her brand new collection, Once Removed (MoonPath Press 2016).

(If, on the other hand, you happen to be on Lummi Island this evening, join Luther Allen, Susanne Paola Antonetta, Bruce Beasley, Thom Davis, Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor, Rena Priest and Ellie A. Rogers at the Island Library, 7:00pm, as they each read a selection of poems, including their poem from Noisy Water.)