tonight in Bellingham!

May 17, 2018

Bellingham Cruise TerminalJust a quick reminder that the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony is this evening, Thursday, May 17, 2018, starting at 7:00pm at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue, in Fairhaven. It’s entirely free and open to the public. This year’s winning poets will read their poems, ALL of the year’s submissions will be on display, and there will be a chapbook of poems for sale. Parking is free.

Thursday in Seattle

May 16, 2018

Poet and essayist Ocean Vuong is the author of the best-selling poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press), which is A New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, WINNER of the T.S. Eliot Prize, WINNER of the Whiting Award, WINNER of the Forward Prize, WINNER of the Thom Gunn Award, finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. It was also named a Best Book of the Year at The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Huffington Post, NPR, Publishers Weekly, Sunday Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, The Telegraph, Irish Times, Library Journal, Buzzfeed, Bustle, Entropy Magazine, and BookThug.

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 17, 2018, Ocean Vuong will give his first public reading from the book in Seattle, starting at 7:00pm at Canvas Event Space. This is a ticketed event, though no one will be turned away.

poetry gaming

May 15, 2018

We don’t often have an opportunity to post from the intersection of Poetry and Gaming, but if Small Island Games has anything to do with it, Haiku Adventure will be coming your way soon.

Haiku Adventure is a magical realist adventure game which allows players to inhabit intricately composed landscapes that celebrate Japanese woodblock traditions, and explore the transformative tricks of perception contained within the formal constraints of haiku poetry. Exploring an immersive world and discovering lines of poetry will allow players to compose three line haiku which re-imagine and transform the world around them.

To learn more, visit the website and read a review on PC Gamer.

Becoming Cascadian

May 14, 2018

Interested in the intersection of poetics and bioregionalism? There are a limited number of openings for participants in Becoming Cascadian, a community-building retreat designed for poets, artists, and bioregionalists to gather, share strategies, and discuss “roles as humans in this time of ecological crisis and end-stage empire.” Keynote poet Andrew Schelling has published 20 books, including seven of translation from India’s early poetry.

Becoming Cascadian will take place Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 3, 2018, in Seattle. Poetry writing experience is not necessary. Advance registration is required no later than Tuesday, May 29.

Visit the Becoming Cascadian page for full details.

meet the artists

May 12, 2018

Each of the 25 winning poems in the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is illustrated with flair and care by one of four artists. The resulting placards are displayed in Whatcom Transportation Authority buses for a full year.

We introduce the four artists here, in their own words:

Angela Boyle
As a cartoonist and natural science illustrator, I like to blend my passions together into both nonfiction and science fiction comics. My focus is the natural world: the plants and animals we can see and interact with, or at least potentially interact with. It is not surprising that I focus on nature. I have always been surrounded by animals. Two weeks before I was born, my parents’ borzoi, Domino, birthed a litter. They were so busy raising me, they never really got around to selling the puppies as intended. Then with my brother coming along, we all moved out to the country. They bought a house (it came with a cow!) and quickly filled the land with horses, a pony, chickens, turkeys, and other animals. Even without the added domestic animals, I was playing with frogs and raising the tadpoles from our pond. And I was drawing and writing and reading. And I am still drawing, writing, and reading. I draw comics, which you can get on Storeenvy, and paint nature, which you can get on mugs and pillows from Society 6. And I am reading/researching Maria Sibylla Merian and the late 1600s in preparation for a graphic novel biography. You can follow my research on Patreon. I have a sci-fi comic on tumblr and an autobio comic on tumblr. My general social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram) is angelabcomics, and my personal website is angelaboyle.flyingdodostudio.com, which has links to everything, including many more comics. I am also a freelance editor, illustrator, and designer: publication.flyingdodostudio.com. Photo Copyright Abe Olson.

Megan Carroll
I once told my husband that making art was not an option, it was a need. I have to make art, I have to use my hands. I believe in craftsmanship. I research every single one of my ideas, draw several sketches, collect images, words and doodles. I throw out several ideas and save what I think are the very best ones. As an artist I collaborate with those around me, seeking feedback and critique. My illustrations have a minimalist style that leans heavily on mark making. I love strong lines that create a visual impact using simple repetitive shapes. I would describe myself as a mixed media artist as my current works are digital, surface and pattern design, illustration, fabric, and clay. I received my BFA from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC, and I have made my home in Bellingham for the last 6 years. You can buy my prints, including the ones inspired by the poems in this contest, on Society6, or my handmade goods at Scrappy Carp Living on Etsy.

Christian Anne Smith
I like to tell stories with art. I love garish and fantastical characters. I enjoy human beings and my art explores stories of human emotion as well as my passion for costumes, colors, textures, and intriguing environments. Growing up on the coast of Maine, I was surrounded by stories and images of the region’s folklore. Seilkies, Mermaids, Ghosts, and Pirates were all believably real entities to me. My childhood fascination with monsters and supernatural beings continues and influences the way I choose to portray people. I also have a need to express with my art. I become inspired, and have worked hard to train myself to go into a sort of a trance that allows what’s inside to come out. It’s only later that I can look with any objectivity on something that I’ve created and perhaps get a glimpse of what I was feeling or thinking. It is akin to the way one might analyze a dream. I may start a painting or puppet with a certain image in mind, but I allow the original image to change or even get completely painted over whenever I start to see new things. I am often quite confused about how I am feeling until after I paint, draw, or build things and the truth comes to the surface. This is the way I best communicate with myself. In this way I suppose nearly all my paintings are also portraits of my life. Thank you for your interest in my work. I hope that the world I have created sparks your own imagination and provokes many hours of daydream in the years to come.

Kimberly Wulfestieg
is a paper cutting, rainbow loving, poetry flowing mother and teacher. Originally from Northern California, she made her way to Bellingham seven years ago and never passes a mountain, lake, flower, or tree, without a deep breath and an appreciation for its beauty. A self-taught artist, she has always been enamored with the color and texture of paper and collage. She employs a wide array of colored papers, scissors, scalpels, knives, and glue, and uses them in conjunction with details and patience. She runs the Natural Learning Center in Bellingham and loves to share her joy of art and words with the children she works with. Also known as K. Wulfe, more of her work can be seen on Facebook at K. Wulfe and followed on Instagram @kimwulfy.

Friday, May 25, 2018, you can enjoy the full bouquet of Roses at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes. Bob Rose, Rachel Rose, and Alex and Jefferson Rose will share their poetry and music starting at 7:00pm.

Nearly 50 years ago, paterfamilias Bob Rose landed on north Whidbey and has lived within 60 miles since. He nurtured Rachel and Jefferson on the side of Mt. Erie and in Seattle. A poet, publisher and founding member of the Co-op Press, he led the effort to protect Heart Lake and the Anacortes Community Forest Lands. Since then, he has been a key figure in preserving forests and farmlands throughout the state.

Rachel Rose has won poetry, fiction, and non-fiction awards, including a 2014 and 2016 Pushcart Prize, and a 2016 nomination for a Governor General’s Award. Rachel is the Poet Laureate of Vancouver, BC, and the author of The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops (St. Martin’s Press), which was just shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis award for best non-fiction crime book, 2018. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Globe & Mail, The American Poetry Review, Monte Cristo Magazine, The Vancouver Sun, and The Press Democrat.

Sweethearts Alex and Jefferson Rose lead the Seattle based musical collective, The Pazific (pronounced just like the Pacific Ocean). Their debut release, The Fusión EP, is a wave of Seattle sound, blending the spirit of the West Coast with inspiration from around the world. With songs in English and Spanish, The Pazific’s Latin pop, soul, and surf sounds hit home, while their nomadic influences take you on unexpected journeys. Their previous collaboration, Jefferson Rose Band’s record, Feel Like Dancing, enjoyed 28 weeks on the CMJ World Music Top 40 charts. Jefferson has also worked with the Pongo Writing Project, a non-profit that focuses on helping people leading difficult lives express themselves through poetry.

tomorrow in Winthrop!

May 10, 2018

Tomorrow at 5:30pm, you’re invited to join Tod Marshall, Paul Nelson, Judy Kleinberg, and friends for a poetry reading at Trail’s End Bookstore in Winthrop, Washington. Hope to see you there!

on poetry

May 9, 2018


“I suppose I write to get myself writing.”
Dan Chiasson
(b. May 9, 1971)

. . . . .
photo
quote

The Library of Congress has just launched a new poetry podcast series: From the Catbird Seat. Every Thursday for eight weeks, the series will explore poetry’s past, present and future.

Hosts Rob Casper, head of the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center, and Anne Holmes, Digital Content Manager for the Poetry and Literature Center, will share archived recordings from nearly 80 years of literary events featuring poets reading and discussing their work at the Library of Congress. Each podcast will include highlights from a single event or series and will also feature a special guest. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith is the guest for the first program and Ron Charles, editor of The Washington Post’s Book World, is the guest for the second broadcast.

Listen and/or subscribe (it’s free) on the Library’s podcast site or on iTunes.

(catbird seat)

Here’s a great story from Expedition Press:

Last spring, then-14-year-old Sabina Smith walked into the Expedition Press print shop, in Kingston, Washington, with June Jordan’s “Poem about My Rights” in hand. After reading it aloud, she turned to publisher/artist Myrna Keliher and said, “I never read a poem like THAT before. I didn’t know a poem could BE like that. Everyone needs to read this. I think it can change people’s minds. Can we print it?”

Keliher said yes. After more than a year of after-school and weekend sessions, Sabina has created a 4-foot long letterpress broadside of “Poem about My Rights” with the goal of selling it to benefit Black Lives Matter and Planned Parenthood.

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, poets Jamaica Baldwin, Jalayna Carter, and Natasha Marin will read work by Jordan that holds particular impact for them, and the event will culminate in a joint reading of “Poem about My Rights.” Join Expedition Press, Sabina Smith, and the poets for a memorable reading at Open Books in Seattle.

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