signups begin at midnight!

August 31, 2020

Though some people wait until August to actually write and mail their poetry postcards (and many people don’t), signups begin as soon as the current August Poetry Postcard Fest ends. Visit the registration page at midnight and log on to Submittable to register for 2021. There’s an active and inspiring Facebook group for participants, and of course there’s the pleasure of finding a little slice of poetry in your mailbox. Sign up and play!

watch some poetry

August 30, 2020

There’s poetry worth watching on Poetry + Video.

For example, here’s Kaspar Hauser Lied, an animation by Susanne Wiegner visualizing a poem by Austrian poet Georg Trakl (1887 – 1914).

And here is Misery, a video by Marie Craven featuring erasure/collage poetry by Sarah Sloat that sources text from Stephen King’s book of the same name.

And here is Imagining Time, a video by Jelena Sinik, inspired by “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot.

There are many more short films on the Poetry + Video site. Enjoy.

on poetry

August 29, 2020

“A literary influence is never just a literary influence. It’s also an influence in the way you see everything — in the way you feel your life.”
Thom Gunn
(August 29, 1929 – April 25, 2004)

. . . . .
quote from 1970 notebook, cited in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn, Joshua Weiner, ed.

Tonight, Friday, August 28, 2020, 5:00pm Pacific, the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, in partnership with the League of Canadian Poets, presents a free online poetry showcase: Hot Nights. Cool Poets. The program is just an hour long, so don’t be late. Registration is required for Zoom link.

Poet/presenters include Margaret Atwood, Cicely Belle Blain, Sadiqa de Meijer, Mathew Henderson, Julie Joosten, Canisia Lubrin, Randy Lundy, A. F. Moritz, Tyler Pennock, Rasiqra Revulva, Kevin Spenst, John Steffler, and Lily Wang.

this Saturday, online

August 27, 2020

Independent Bookstore Day will look a little different this year. Instead of the usual lineup of readings and signings and authors working the cash register, IBD will happen largely online. Beginning with a kickoff event on Friday, August 28, 2020, the classes, readings, discussions, and kids’ events continue through the day on Saturday, August 29. Visit indiebookstoreday for a list of events and Zoom links. While you’re at it, support your local indie bookstore by ordering a book or stopping by during open hours.


August 26, 2020

The Washington Center for the Book has selected 39 finalists in eight categories for the 2020 Washington State Book Awards (WSBA) for outstanding books published by Washington authors in 2019. The finalists in poetry are:

  • Bright Stain by Francesca Bell, formerly of Spokane now lives in Novato, CA (Red Hen Press)
  • Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem for the Pacific Northwest by David Guterson, of Bainbridge Island, illustrated by Justin Gibbens, of Thorp (Mountaineers Books)
  • All Its Charms by Keetje Kuipers, of Bainbridge Island (BOA Editions)
  • Hail and Farewell by Abby E. Murray, of Puyallup (Perugia Press)
  • Nightingale by Paisley Rekdal, formerly of Seattle now lives in Salt Lake City, UT (Copper Canyon Press)

Winners will be announced on Friday, September 25, 2020. See the complete list of finalists in all categories here.

Congratulations, all!

fall classes, virtually

August 25, 2020

Registration for fall classes at Hugo House is now open, and if you register by August 31, 2020, you’ll get Early Bird Pricing. All Hugo House classes and events will take place virtually for the remainder of 2020, so you can participate no matter where you are.

The Fall catalog is crammed with inspired instructors offering stimulating classes, from one- and two-session intensives to courses of six to sixteen weeks and even yearlong programs. Subjects cover the gamut: fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, mixed genre, reading, and pretty much everything in between.

As usual, Hugo House also has a busy calendar of readings and writing activities.

on poetry

August 24, 2020

“The more I read my poems, the more I find out about them. I still read them with the same passion I felt when I wrote them as a young man.”
Linton Kwesi Johnson
(b. August 24, 1952)

. . . . .

more books

August 23, 2020

Here are a few more recommendations for your burgeoning list:

Want more recommendations? See earlier posts here.

poems for posterity

August 22, 2020

Writers may wonder whether anybody will be reading their words a hundred years from now, but thanks to artist Katie Paterson, some writers can be certain that their manuscript will reach a 22nd-century audience.

Paterson’s ambitious project, Future Library, started to take shape in 2014 when she worked with local foresters to plant one thousand Norwegian spruce trees in Nordmarka, north of Oslo, Norway. Conceived as a one-hundred year project, the Future Library forest she has planted will supply paper for a special collection of books to be published in 2114. The authors, selected one per year, will have their manuscripts held in trust and unread in a specially designed room in Oslo’s New Deichmanske Library.

Explore the Future Library website and read more in The Guardian about the authors selected to date.

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