So…along one of the many roads that lead to these posts, there was information about a new poetry walk (a recurring topic) in Newton, Massachusetts. (We posted about another poetry project in Newton five years ago and were glad to see they’re still at it.) The new project has the excellent name Make Poetry Concrete. (Read more here and here.)

Thinking there might be a better photograph than the one from the City of Cambridge, we searched the term Make Poetry Concrete and were happily misdirected to a Concrete Poem Generator. (Poetry generators are another recurring topic.) Thus you have the silly poem-ish pumpkin-shaped image above. So Happy Halloween!


October 30, 2019

Get your Halloween started at Open Books with a spirited lunchtime open mic featuring haunting words from Poe to Plath to Notley, plus your favorites, or find something to share from the shelves of Open Books. Local poets Samar Abulhassan and Sierra Nelson get things started. Costumes optional.

Thursday, October 31, 2019, Noon-1:30pm.

. . . . .
image: Tom Hundley

Jim Milstead

October 29, 2019

It is with heavy hearts that we must report the passing of our friend Jim Milstead. Your comments are welcome.

Jim Milstead
“The Bard of Bellingham”

1927 – 2019

In his own words, Jim Milstead was “Born in Chicago. Moved to Fresno, CA. Entered the Marine Corps, occupying northern China. Graduated from Fresno State College. Worked at the Linear Accelerator in Livermore, CA. Entered graduate school, spending 35 years as a biological control researcher at UC Berkeley. Moved to Bellingham in 1992. Now I write.”

A prolific poet of gymnastic language, tickling humor, acute insight, and profound emotion, Jim was author of the poetry books Collage (Independent Writers Studio Press, 2015) and Scenario (Akimbo Publications, 2015), was a three-time Boynton winner, a vigorous participant in local open mics, and for years an inspiring sight, walking miles each day through Bellingham, notebook in hand. We will miss him.

This post also appears on the Not forgotten page.

If you’re a fan of Galway Kinnell (February 1, 1927 – October 28, 2014), or his magnum opus, The Book of Nightmares (Houghton Mifflin 1971), in particular, or just curious to hear the sound of the poet’s words, there will be a live reading of The Book of Nightmares in its entirety on Thursday, November 7, 2019, starting at 7:00pm at the Lucky You Lounge in Spokane. Readers will include poets Jonathan Johnson, Laura Read, Taylor D. Waring, Sam Foley, and one more TBA.

Hope in Late Summer*

October 27, 2019

2019 Walk Award
By Stephany Vogel

Hope curled up in my hand
and slept the night away,
yet how cold and trembling
we found the thin light of day.

How steady I labored
to kindle the ashy white coals
until they bled fire,
white hot and full of holes.

I was made warm,
wrapped in a blanket of my own.
A comfort for my soul
until I could stand upright —
red, yellow, green
as summer apples in a bowl.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Stephany Vogel. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

. . . . .
Stephany Vogel is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and a life long visual artist and community arts educator. The poem ‘Hope in Late Summer’ refers to a time of dire illness and the first sense of real recovery, in the season of late summer. This is her first published poem.

planning waaaaay ahead

October 25, 2019

Mark your calendar. It’s official: the 11th Biennial Skagit River Poetry Festival will be held October 1-4, 2020, in La Conner, Washington. Watch the website for details and follow on Twitter @PoetrySkagit.

Best-of season

October 24, 2019

It’s October, which means that the literary media will soon start to weigh in on their choices for best books of the year. But the folks at Literary Hub are a step ahead. They’ve already posted their list of The 10 Best Poetry Collections of the Decade! This may be the list you’ve been waiting for.

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