At a recent workshop at Egress Studio, Anita K. Boyle introduced the idea of the self-directed writing workshop. The idea is that rather than working under the guidance of an instructor, participants work independently, responding to prompts and to the site.

Riffing on this idea, World Peace Poets invites your participation in the five-week-long World Peace Poets Community Write-In on Peace and Justice, September 21 through October 26, 2019. Drop in for a few minutes or an hour or more; join in as often as you’d like. It’s self-directed!

Free and open to the public, the Community Write-In provides sites around Bellingham where participants can sit and create poems, essays, short stories, or artwork. Bring your own writing materials. Some inspiring words will be available and a volunteer will be on hand at each site. Additionally, each site will create a “fusion poem” to which participants can add a line of their own.

Click here for a chart of participating venues and times (PDF). Note that new venues and times may be added, so watch for updates on World Peace Poets on Facebook. If you think you will participate on one or more days, please register by sending an email to in order to help the organizers prepare.

The write-in will culminate in the free World Peace Poets Read-In at St. James Presbyterian Church in Bellingham on Saturday, October 26, 2019, with a 3-minute-per-person open mic for writing and music related to peace and justice. Doors open at 5:00pm, a soup and salad supper will be served at 5:30pm, and side dishes will be provided by you, potluck.

Turn Around Time

September 18, 2019

David Guterson’s new book is Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem for the Pacific Northwest (Mountaineers Books). The Bainbridge Island resident will be on tour throughout the region over the coming months and has readings scheduled, among other places, at the following:

Read “The Weight of Windfall” from Turn Around Time.

on approach…

September 17, 2019

Back in December, we noted that a new Apple TV program, Dickinson, was casting for its 10-episode series. In case you’ve been waiting, feathers a-fluff, you can now watch a trailer for the show. You, and Emily, might be surprised at what’s in store.

on poetry

September 16, 2019

“History is a succession of things that ought never to have happened, and the writing act is a kind of revenge against this.”
Breyten Breytenbach
(b. September 16, 1939)

. . . . .
photo by Keke Keukelaar


September 15, 2019

2019 Walk Award
By Maddie Patterson, Grade 5

I stroked one finger along its delicate feathered body
It felt like nothing in my hand
allowing me to see its metaphors and similes
scrolled across it like a book of observations
Its neck was laced with bright red sequins
— Oregon grape in distress
Its eyes were little beads,
like tiny huckleberries
Its feet were the leaves,
of a Western red cedar
Its beak was bent,
like the branch of a Douglas fir
Its feathers, metallic flames
Its feathers,
soft scales
of rhody petals

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Maddie Patterson. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

beyond the whale

September 14, 2019

In addition to his prodigious prose page count, Herman Melville was a prolific poet. This fall, in celebration of the author’s 200th birthday, Library of America caps its four-volume Herman Melville series (begun 37 years ago with series volume #1) with volume #320, a thousand-page tome gathering Melville’s complete poetry. Read more about the book at Library of America.

new video series

September 13, 2019

Launching this week, Ours Poetica is a year-long video series created by the Poetry Foundation and Complexly and curated by poet Paige Lewis. Each episode presents a reader (poets and otherwise) “reading a poem that is meaningful to them, and discussing their connection to it, or inspiration for it.” Visit Ours Poetica on YouTube and enjoy a new poem each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

sci-po podcast

September 12, 2019

Sam Illingworth is Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He is also the author of A Sonnet To Science: Scientists and Their Poetry, an account of six ground-breaking scientists who also wrote poetry, and the effect that this had on their lives and research.

Dr Illingworth, furthermore, has a swell voice and puts it to use on a podcast series: The Poetry of Science. In each short episode (there are now 13), “he provides insight into new scientific research via the medium of poetry.” He also supplies a link to the scientific research and a second related poem. Have a listen!

Olympia two-fer

September 11, 2019

The Olympia Poetry Network (OPN) invites your participation in a weekend of laureate poetry, LaureateFest.

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, 1:00-3:00pm, there will be a panel discussion with Washington State Poets Laureate Samuel Green, Kathleen Flenniken, Elizabeth Austen, Tod Marshall, and Claudia Castro Luna. That evening, beginning at 7:00pm, there will be a LaureateFest reading. Both events are free and will be held at Norman Worthington Conference Center, Saint Martin’s University.

On Sunday, September 22, Elizabeth Austen will conduct a workshop, “The Title as Frame and Invitation,” 11:00am-1:00pm, at Heart Of The Deernicorn studio in downtown Olympia. Workshop is limited to 20 participants and registration is required.

Airstream time again

September 10, 2019

Once again, Mother Foucault’s Bookshop (Portland, Oregon) is planning the Airstream Poetry Festival, which will happen October 25-27, 2019, at the Sou’wester Lodge and Trailer Park in Seaview, Washington. They’re still looking for readers, workshop leaders, and sponsors, and even offering a few fellowships, so visit the APF page to learn more.

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