tree poetry

July 31, 2017

In the projects-we-love file: Ariel Gordon’s TreeTalk in Winnipeg. The poet, who is currently artist-in-residence at the Tallest Poppy restaurant (a project organized by Synonym Art Consultation), conducted a tree-appreciation workshop and then invited the public to “write a short poem, message or secret” on a tag and attach it to the large elm right outside. Read the story in CBCNews Manitoba.

From the Facebook event page:
About Ariel Gordon
Ariel Gordon is a Winnipeg writer. Both her books of poetry, Stowaways (2014) and Hump (2010) won the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry at the Manitoba Book Awards. She is currently working on two books, GUSH, a collection of literary work on menstruation for Calgary’s Frontenac House, edited with Tanis MacDonald and Rosanna Deerchild, and Treed, a book of creative non-fiction about Winnipeg’s urban forest for Hamilton’s Wolsak & Wynn. Other recent projects include curating the National Poetry Month in the Winnipeg Free Press project two years running.

. . . . .
photo: Cliff Simpson/CBC

Advertisements

Possession*

July 30, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Marlene Chasson

Tall, gaunt, sharp shouldered
She stood there on the porch.
Her face mirrored her years
And her hands made it plain
That those years had not been easy.
They gripped the porch railing
Once freshly painted
It was old and chipped
Like the house itself.
But it was her house now
And she would tend it like a child
There was plenty of time
With him gone.

. . . . .
At age 85, I am one of the oldest poets in the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. As an amateur poet I have been writing poetry since I was in grade school. Over the years, a number of my poems have been published in a poetry anthologies, school and college newsletters, and a some contests. My husband and I moved to Bellingham four years ago from Raleigh, North Carolina. Before I retired I was a teacher and social worker and from 1989 until 2001 I served as the executive director of a state advocacy organization for older adults in long term care.

The poem “Possession” was written about my father’s stepmother. She raised my father and three of his brothers and was also the caretaker for his father when he became sick in his later years.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Marlene Chasson. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

on poetry

July 28, 2017

“There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.”
John Ashbery
(b. July 28, 1927)

In honor of John Ashbery’s 90th birthday, we offer this link to a 2008 edition of Rain Taxi Review of Books, which features “A DREAM OF THIS ROOM, A Created Spaces Portfolio of Works on John Ashbery’s Textual and Domestic Environments,” and a link to Karin Roffman’s brand new comprehensive biography of the early life of John Ashbery, The Songs We Know Best (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
. . . . .
David Shankbone photo

Looking ahead

July 26, 2017

If an autumn 2017 writing retreat or conference strikes your fancy, here are a number of events coming up in Cascadia and beyond.

signs of poetry

July 24, 2017

Australian poet and artist Richard Tipping makes artworks that incorporate his own poetic texts — cryptic, subversive, humorous, and often public. His “Signed Signs,” including Private Poetry, are road sign lookalikes. Fun.


2017 Walk Award
By Richard Widerkehr

Yesterday, the water tossed me on the reef,
jarring my back, scraping my right wrist.

Don’t fall out of the ocean, says Linda.
I line up a break in the coral

with the fifth thatched shed.
Lying on my back, held by waves,

sea held by blue sky, sky held by the earth,
and the universe — it’s held by what?

*

I’m standing in the green shallows.
Whomp. Something hits the water

hard like prop wash. Wings thrash.
A brown pelican’s next to me.

The thing has a bill, big as a thigh bone,
that opens and closes.

. . . . .
“In the last five years, I’ve submitted and published widely. I like to sing and play music at a bar called the Green Frog. I used to be a teacher and a case manager with the mentally ill. I’m retired now. My Boynton poem was written at a resort called Akumal in Mexico and worked on later back in B’ham. My third book of poems, In The Presence Of Absence, will come out from MoonPath Press this fall.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Richard Widerkehr. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Congratulations!

July 22, 2017

Congratulations to Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System, which have been selected to serve as the host site for the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye.

May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master’s degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers for children — better known as the “Dick and Jane” series. The annual lecture series was created in her honor.

The lecture will be held in the spring of 2018 and will be announced here as soon as a date is confirmed.

Read the announcement here.

%d bloggers like this: