on poetry

June 30, 2021

“As for being original, I think that every poet in a way is original because I think that a work of art really reflects the psyche of the artist. And sometimes it’s a problem, and sometimes it’s — don’t you think? — a sort of joy or something like that. And oftentimes the artist doesn’t really know what it is they’re getting rid of or expressing in a poem. They’re reaching for understanding, I think, lots of times, whether they know it or not. And this is what makes them — don’t you think? — original.”
Eleanor Ross Taylor
(June 30, 1920 – December 30, 2011)

. . . . .

what the doctor ordered

June 28, 2021

glass bottle with red and white capsules spilled out and quote from poet Stephen Dunn on a slip of paper

We’ve mentioned the Poetry Pharmacy, in Bishops Castle, Shropshire, England, a number of times. For those of us in the Cascadia region seeking relief from the engulfing heat, perhaps pharmacist Deborah Alma would prescribe Poemcetamol. Each capsule opens to reveal a poetic extract to lift the spirits, this one (alas) with a quote from “Sweetness” by Stephen Dunn, who died last week on his 82nd birthday.

The Poetry Pharmacy is also on Facebook.

PoetryBridge text logo on gold with photos of Luther Allen and Tamara Kaye Sellman

PoetryBridge Association of West Seattle will round out a season of online readings with Luther Allen and Tamara Kaye Sellman this Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 7:00pm.

PoetryBridge wrangler Leopoldo Seguel says, “It will be our 48th zoom session since the pandemic overtook us last spring featuring over 100 poets and storytellers from Canada to California, from New Hampshire to Missouri, from Pittsburgh to Peru. It has been a wonderful ride and I am ready for a summer pause. I plan on resuming live readings in person at C&P Coffee the second Wednesday of each month starting on September 8th from 7-9 PM (PT). I also plan to continue the zoom readings on a monthly basis in September on a date to still be determined.”

For Zoom access to Wednesday’s Allen-Sellman reading, join the PoetryBridge Facebook group or send Leopoldo an email at info@poetrybridge.net requesting the link.

stay cool

June 26, 2021

white ostrich feather fan on black background

In the Mountains on a Summer Day

Li Po (701-762)

Gently I stir a white feather fan,
With open shirt sitting in a green wood.
I take off my cap and hang it on a jutting stone;
A wind from the pine-trees trickles on my bare head.

. . . . .

on poetry

June 25, 2021

“I keep thinking how my life would have been changed if I’d known earlier about this second throat, this poetry, this alternate way of processing my life.”
Patricia Smith
(b. June 25, 1955)

. . . . .
photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

6:00 p.m. today!

June 24, 2021

Sorry for the last-minute notice, but just learned about this free online reading at 6:00pm today, Thursday, June 24, 2021. Writers with work in the Submergence: Going Below the Surface with Orca and Salmon exhibition will present a live-on-Facebook reading of writing on the orca-salmon co/recovery theme.

Readers include Rena Priest, Christianne Balk, Sarah DeWeerdt, Sandra Noel, Orin Melvin, Jayne Marek, Alicia Hokanson, Gloria Vando, Sheila Dearden, Fredda Jaffe, Ching-In Chen, and Sophia McLain. Sophia McLain will also speak about the process of creating letterpress broadsides for the exhibition.

Submergence is the culmination of a workshop and event series co-created by Endangered Species Coalition and Creature Conserve, with support from Jack Straw Cultural Center.

You can visit the exhibition at Jack Straw Cultural Center until July 2, 2021. Schedule an appointment Monday-Friday between 10:00am-5:30pm by calling the gallery at (206) 634-0919 or emailing jsp@jackstraw.org.

more books

June 23, 2021

A few more titles for your summer reading list:

Turn on the fan and read!

summer poetry

June 22, 2021

POETRY spelled out in Scrabble tiles

If you’re looking for a little extra juice for your poetry practice, here are a few workshop opportunities coming up soon:

  • Two Sylvias Press is offering three 4-week Online Poetry Retreats, July 5 – August 1, August 9 – September 5, and October 4 – October 31, 2021.
  • Summer Fishtrap presents the weeklong, virtual 34th Gathering of Writers: Resilience, July 12-18, 2021.
  • The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Friends of the U.S. Botanic Garden will offer Bloom: Plant-Inspired Poetry with poet Brenda Hillman and USBG horticulturist Adam Pyle on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
  • Kahini will offer a pair of online poetry workshops, The Discreteness of the Line and The Poetry of Work, taught by Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar, respectively, on Thursday, July 15, 2021.
  • If you’re looking for something a little more casual, Christopher J. Luna and Printed Matter Vancouver offer The Work Poetry Workshop, a virtual drop-in poetry writing workshop, on the second and fourth Monday of every month as well as the second Saturday of every month.

Happy summer and happy writing!

a visual (poetry) feast

June 21, 2021

hand holding magnifying lens over colorful strips of paper with handwritten poetry text

Here’s something colorful to start your summer: Poetry Quilt by Diane Samuels.

To make Poetry Quilt, which is 90″ x 87″ x 1/2″, artist Samuels tore 50 of her own drawings into 3-1/2″ by 5/8″ strips, collaged them, and then hand-transcribed in micro-script the text of 198 of her favorite poems. To create this and other works, the artist uses her own handwriting and other people’s words. Here’s the full text of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and here is a hand-transcription of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Much more, including public-art pieces, on Diane Samuels’s website, and here’s an interview with Diane Samuels in Tupelo Quarterly.

. . . . .
Photo: Thomas Little


June 20, 2021

Whatcom Reads announcement banner with photo of author Michael Christie and book cover of his novel, Greenwood

Each year, localities far and wide select a book for community members to read and discuss, accompanied by a variety of related events, including readings by the author. In Whatcom County, Washington, the program is called Whatcom READS and the book for 2022 is Greenwood by Michael Christie. (More about how the books are selected here.)

Among the related activities, writers of all ages and experience are invited to respond to a theme from the book and submit work to Whatcom WRITES. Poetry, fiction, and non-fiction are welcome, the submission deadline is Sunday, October 17, 2021, the theme is interconnectedness, and the guidelines are here.

Events will continue into 2022.

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