laureate lore

June 30, 2018

If you visit the Washington Poet Laureate website, you’ll find a profile of the current PL, Claudia Castro Luna, and a list of the state’s previous poets laureate: Samuel Green (2007 – 2009), Kathleen Flenniken (2012 – 2014), Elizabeth Austen (2014 – 2016), and Tod Marshall (2016-2018).

Western Washington University professor Laura Laffrado is, pretty much single-handedly, working to correct a very significant omission from that list: Washington’s first poet laureate, Ella Rhoads Higginson.

An article by Ron Judd in the Sunday, June 24, 2018, PacificNW magazine section of The Seattle Times details Laffrado’s monumental task and the passion she shares with her WWU students. If you missed it in print, you can still read it online.

tonight in Seattle

June 29, 2018

Open Books: A Poem Emporium invites you to a Storytelling Event Featuring Cave Canem and Kundiman Poets Anastacia-Reneé, Jane Wong, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Paul Ceballos Hlava, Pimone Triplett, and Quenton Baker. The words begin at 7:00pm.

More on Cave Canem. More on Kundiman.

under wraps

June 28, 2018

It’s not very often that you Google the name of a film and come up with exactly two links (at the time of this writing). So, while we continue on our quest for all things poetry-plus-film, we can’t really tell you very much about “Wild Nights With Emily Dickinson” except that it is a feature film starring Molly Shannon and Dana Melanie.

Poetry Society of America is screening it at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn on Saturday, July 7, 2018, and describes the film as “this irreverent and hilarious SXSW dramatic comedy about Emily Dickinson, and her life-long romance with another woman in a film IndieWire said ‘could forever change the narrative of the world’s most famous woman poet.’”


June 27, 2018

This should be good: Quake: An Everett Lit Walk. Five venues in Everett’s Hewitt Avenue Historic District (starting and ending at Black Lab Gallery), fifteen writers, and loads of fine words.

Hosted by C. C. Hannett, David Callaway, and Emma Bianchi, you’ll hear the voices of Fitz Fitzpatrick, David B. Clark, Jennifer Faylor, Sarah Galvin, Matthew Spencer, Robert Lashley, Carolyn Agree, Annette Kluth, Ru Otto, Laurie Langston, Never Angel, Elizabeth Vignali, Anastacia Tolbert, and David Johnson.

The shaking starts at 1:00pm on Sunday, July 8, 2018. Hang on.

Walk Award plaques!

June 26, 2018

Sooner than expected (it’s usually late July), the ten Walk Award poetry plaques for the 2018 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest have been installed in front of the Central branch of the Bellingham Public Library. They will be on display for a year. Take a poetry walk and enjoy some winning poetry from Whatcom County, Washington.

not poetry…but wait…

June 25, 2018

It’s no longer the weekend. Get back to work.

Hold on. Before you go, you have a few minutes, right? And you’ve been wondering what you should do with that photo you took… the one where you were staring at the cottage-cheese ceiling and saw Walt Whitman’s face? Apparently, if it happened within a hundred miles of Seattle, it belongs on Liminal Seattle.

This collection of bizarre sightings, phenomena, and strangenesses will, at least, gobble up your wait-time on hold, or on Monday morning. And they could use some more poetry on the map…

Liminal, the definition.

on poetry

June 24, 2018

“Never use the word ‘audience.’ The very idea of a public, unless the poet is writing for money, seems wrong to me. Poets don’t have an ‘audience’: They’re talking to a single person all the time.”
Robert Graves
(July 24, 1895 – December 7, 1985)

. . . . .


June 23, 2018

It has been a while since we posted prompts, but this selection of 82 Writing Experiments by Bernadette Mayer, found on Language is a Virus, seemed just too good to pass up. While you’re there, check out the Text Manipulation and Text Generators links in the sidebars.

More on Bernadette Mayer here.

On April 28, 2018, Naomi Shihab Nye delivered the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture at Western Washington University in Bellingham. She was inspiring and gracious. The June 2018 issue of Children & Libraries is a special issue devoted to the Arbuthnot Lecture and it includes the full text of Shihab Nye’s talk. Enjoy!

(post)mark your calendar

June 20, 2018

Every year, the August Poetry Postcard Fest seems to take a few people by surprise. Suddenly it’s August and they’ve missed the opportunity to sign up and participate.

If you’re unfamiliar with AugPoPo, the idea is simple: sign up ($10+ fee), get on a list of 32 (one for each of the 31 days of August, plus you), buy stamps (including a few global — AugPoPo is international), collect or make postcards, then, beginning at the end of July or the 1st of August, draft a poem each day onto a postcard and mail it to the next person on your list. You’ll get poems and postcards in return and by the end of August you could have enough poems for a chapbook!

So mark your calendar: Signups begin on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, and end on Wednesday, July 18. You can read the full instructions on the August Poetry Postcard Fest page or, at 12:01am West Coast time on July 4 you can register at Brown Paper Tickets.