Leap Day

February 29, 2020


found poem © j.i. kleinberg

Make the most of it. Write the day.

tonight on Vashon!

February 28, 2020

Tonight, Friday, February 28, 2020, Nikkita Oliver returns to Vashon Center for the Arts to continue the conversation she began in her performance at Vashon’s Presbyterian Church Fellowship last June.

As a poet, musician and teaching artist, Nikkita Oliver strives to cultivate spaces where young people can explore their creative gifts and discover their personal power to build the world they most need to see. She asks the audience to engage with what we see happening in our world now and to imagine what we hope to see in the future.

“Art has the capacity to bridge people’s hearts,” Oliver told the Beachcomber last May. “Cultural work helps us shift cultures [and] policies.”

In addition to performing and teaching, Nikkita Oliver is co-executive director of Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration and a healing engaged, youth-led, community-based program. Along with her recently published collection of poetry, pebbles in my shoes, her writing and poetry have been published in The Moss, South Seattle Emerald, Crosscut, the Establishment, Last Real Indians, The Seattle Weekly, and The Stranger. She has opened for Cornel West and Chuck D of Public Enemy, performed on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert, and has been featured on The Breakfast Club and KUOW’s The Week in Review. She organizes with No New Youth Jail, the Seattle Peoples Party, THRIVE, and the Black Organizing Collective.

Nikkita Oliver will present a dynamic evening of poetry, music and storytelling tonight at 7:30pm in the Kay Hall at Vashon Center for the Arts. Students are free — follow the ticketing link to reserve your seat.

interview

February 27, 2020

In case you missed it, The Common has published “Poetry-Making as Empathy Play: An Interview with Oliver de la Paz,” in which the poet reflects on his most recent book, The Boy in the Labyrinth (University of Akron Press, 2019).

Previously a Bellingham resident, Oliver de la Paz teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University. He will be participating in several events at next week’s AWP Conference in San Antonio.

P.S.: Today, February 27, is his birthday and we wish him the best.

watch some poetry

February 26, 2020

Love The Waters” is a lyrical film celebrating the beauty and fragility of the world’s oceans. It is directed, produced and narrated by Claire Beynon with collaborative text by writers from around the globe. Along with this short film, there’s much to explore on Claire Beynon’s site, Waters I Have Known. Have a look.

be an early bird

February 25, 2020

Chuckanut Writers Conference

The tenth annual Chuckanut Writers Conference will be held at Whatcom Community College (plus a few outlier events) on Friday and Saturday, June 26 and 27, 2020. The 2020 conference faculty is now posted online, master classes (June 25) are listed, and registration is open, with early-bird rates through May 25.

Poetry in Anacortes

February 23, 2020

The monthly poetry series at Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse continues on Friday, February 28, 2020, 7:00pm, with an evening of poetry and music with young Skagit poet Piet Anna Pruitt, featured poets Luther Allen and J.I. Kleinberg, and a musical set by Anacortes’ own Pearl Tottenham.

Luther Allen writes poetry and designs buildings from Sumas Mountain, Washington. He facilitates SpeakEasy, a community poetry reading series in Bellingham, and is co-editor of Noisy Water, an anthology of local poets. His collection of poems, The View from Lummi Island, can be found at Other Mind Press. His work is included in the recent anthologies WA 129 (edited by Tod Marshall), Refugium: Poems for the Pacific (edited by Yvonne Blomer), Poets Unite! LitFUSE @10, Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press), and For Love of Orcas (edited by Jill McCabe Johnson and Andrew Shattuck McBride). His short story “The Stilled Ring” was finalist in the annual fiction contest at terrain.org. He views writing as his spiritual practice.

Twice nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards, J.I. (Judy) Kleinberg is co-editor of 56 Days of August (Five Oaks Press 2017) and Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington (Other Mind Press 2015), and co-produces the Bellingham-based SpeakEasy poetry series. Her poetry has appeared in One, Pontoon, Pedestal Magazine, Psaltery & Lyre, December, and elsewhere, and more than 300 of her found-word collage poems have been published in print and online. She lives in Bellingham and posts frequently at chocolateisaverb.wordpress.com and thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com and occasionally on Instagram @jikleinberg.

on poetry

February 22, 2020


“Writing poetry is the hard manual labor of the imagination.”
Ishmael Reed
(b. February 22, 1938)

. . . . .
photo by Kathy Sloane
quote from Airing Dirty Laundry (1993)

A Tribute to David Wagoner

February 21, 2020

One of the region’s most prolific poets and most devoted teachers of poetry, David Wagoner is professor emeritus at the University of Washington, was writer-in-residence at Hugo House, and has taught master classes in poetry for years.

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Hugo House will raise a glass to the extraordinary career of the beloved poet, editor, and teacher. Join Heather McHugh, Keetje Kuipers, Erika Brumett, Michele Bombardier, Tige DeCoster, Heidi Seaborn, Ken Wagner, Lillo Way, and others in the celebration. 7:00pm.

go away!

February 20, 2020

If a month-long getaway in an exotic locale sounds tempting, mosey on over to the National Parks Arts Foundation website and peruse the descriptions for NPAF residencies. Most are open to all genres, including writing. Some are open to couples, teams, family, and friends. Some have rather stiff application fees. Accommodations and expectations vary. NPAF is also on Facebook.

get thee to Astoria!

February 19, 2020

It’s almost FisherPoets time! Once again, Astoria, Oregon, will be overrun with poets and fishers and fisherpoets and their fans as the FisherPoets Gathering 2020 takes to the bars, breweries, theaters, galleries, museums, halls, and other venues for two evenings of poems, stories, and music inspired by the sea, plus a variety of special events. Friday, February 28 – Sunday, March 1, 2020.

. . . . .
art by Ray Troll

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