February 28, 2017
Thirteen high school students — the winners from seven regional finals held across Washington — will recite poetry in competition for the state title, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Poetry Out Loud national finals. The state winner also receives $200 and the state winner’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The runner-up in the state competition receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Additionally, $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends are awarded to the winners at the National Finals.
This event is FREE and open to the public. It will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017, from 1:00-5:00pm at Broadway Center for the Performing Arts Theatre on the Square, 915 Broadway in Tacoma.
February 27, 2017
How much do we want to know about the poet? How will knowing more (or less) inform or influence our assumptions about the poems? Fans of Elizabeth Bishop now have the opportunity to delve into a trove of revelations in Megan Marshall’s new biography of the poet, Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). To learn more about the book, and about Bishop, read “Elizabeth Bishop’s Art of Losing” by Claudia Roth Pierpont in The New Yorker. Then read the book and decide for yourself.
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February 26, 2017
It’s almost time for Whatcom County poets to submit their one, best, original, previously-unpublished poem to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. Submissions will be accepted March 1 – 31 only, and all submissions must follow the guidelines regarding line and character count. See the complete guidelines on the 2017 Contest page and read about this year’s judges, Jacob Hartsoch and Laura Laffrado.
February 25, 2017
At 10:00am, she will present The Surprise of Poetry: Concentration & Abandonment.
This workshop is intended to bring participants into that space where everything in language is up for grabs, into a greater state of uncertainty and unknowing. Garcia Lorca writes in his essay “Theory and Function of the Duende,” “Very often intellect is poetry’s enemy because it is too much given to imitation, because it lifts the poet to a throne of sharp edges and makes him oblivious of the fact that he may suddenly be devoured by ants, or a great arsenic lobster may fall on his head.” We will work on reaching a state of deep concentration and abandonment, that space from which the real surprises begin and with them the energy of poetry.
At 1:00pm, she will present Re-envisioning Fiction: Drafts Refocused, Reimagined
What happens after that first inspired draft of a story? This workshop will give authors ideas for refocusing, restructuring and further developing their drafts. We will run through a series of exercises that ask students to think about their drafts in ways that might not yet have considered. For example, what happens when you think about your story as a dream narrative or consider major world events that might be happening at the same time as your story? We will work on a series of writing prompts that allow students to flesh out scenes that might feel flat or dialogue that feels dull. If you have a draft, bring it along. But a draft is not necessary.
Both workshops will be held at St. James Presbyterian Church (upstairs), 910 14th Street, in Fairhaven. Sliding fee: one workshop $10 – 30 (you decide); both workshops: $15 – $45.
Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, email Carla Shafer at email@example.com, including your name and contact information along with the workshop(s) you wish to attend, or call 360-961-2320. Bring your registration fee on Saturday in cash or check along with writing materials.
In addition, Polly Buckingham will be reading from her latest book, The Expense of a View, on Friday, March 3, at 7:00pm at Village Books.
February 24, 2017
Yesterday, we mentioned the soon-to-open American Writers Museum in Chicago. As long as we’re on the subject, here’s another literary museum in the works: the Planet Word Museum, slated to open in Washington, D.C., in winter 2019. Planet Word’s goal is to “inspire and renew a love of words and language through unique, immersive learning experiences.”
To be housed in the historic Franklin School, at the corner of 13th and K streets in the heart of Washington, D.C., the museum will feature “activities that make words and language exciting with delightful programming and playful, interactive exhibits. Opportunities for self-expression and intense listening ensure that no one will leave Planet Word without finding the fun in how we joke, sing, speak, read, and write every day.”
Watch for updates on the Planet Word website.
February 23, 2017
The American Writers Museum will open in Chicago on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. The museum’s mission “is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.”
The museum will have exhibits for adults and children, ongoing programs, classes, a word waterfall and more. The museum’s first online exhibit, Power Of the Word, is an interactive site in which leaders, readers and writers exchange ideas about valuable books.