face to face?

July 8, 2021

(NOTE: this post has been updated since it was published on July 8, 2021.)

We were curious about the prognosis for in-person poetry readings, so we contacted a bunch of event organizers from around Cascadia. There are certainly some missing and a few didn’t reply (perhaps they’ll Comment with current info), but here’s what we’ve found out so far (locations are Washington unless otherwise noted):

  • BookTree (Kirkland) will probably resume in-store readings in September and may have a couple of special events with visiting poets before then… like in August.
  • Broken Mic (Spokane) weekly in-person open mics resumed on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.
  • Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater (Bellingham) continues on Zoom on the second Wednesdays in July and August. Starting in September: second-Wednesday live readings at an indoor location TBA and fourth-Wednesday Zoom open mic readings; the two may later merge into a hybrid.
  • Couth Buzzard (Seattle) weekly in-person Wednesday Open Mics resumed on July 7. Seating is limited so reserve by calling 206-436-2960.
  • Creative Colloquy (Tacoma) MAY be back in action in July but no firm answer quite yet; will continue to host The Writer’s Workshop Series virtually for the time being.
  • Creekside (Bellingham) will not gather in person or Zoom for the summer months but hopes to resume on Zoom in the fall, perhaps October.
  • Duvall Poetry (Duvall) at some point will meet again in person at the Duvall Library, but no definite date has been set.
  • Easy Speak (Seattle)
  • Edmonds Bookshop (Edmonds) has no immediate plans for in-person readings, but hopes to be ready for a National Poetry Month gathering in April 2022.
  • Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle) expects to start hosting some in-person readings in October (Teresa K Miller will appear in person on October 10), while still hosting some Zooms. Elliott Bay has just announced its first in-person event in a year and a half: a ticketed outdoor benefit reading with Molly Wizenberg.
  • Empty Bowl (Anacortes) is still publishing and plans to send out a schedule of live, in-person readings to begin in September.
  • Everett Poetry Night (Everett) has two weekly in-person readings: Sundays at Legion Park (open mic, weather dependent) and Thursdays at Café Zippy (open mic plus feature, in covered patio)
  • 49 Writers (Anchorage, AK)
  • Gelato & Poetry Night (new in Bellingham) meets in person, in the patio, with a featured reader and open mic, 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2:00pm at All That Jazz Boutique Gallery, downtown. Masks and vaxx required. More on Instagram @allthatjazzgallery.
  • Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic (Vancouver) hopes to return to in-person readings in a new location before the end of the year. Also hoping to find $upport for continued Zoom coverage.
  • Haiku Komo Kulshan (Bellingham) is on hiatus for the summer. Will Zoom in September with a kukai.
  • Haiku Northwest will continue to meet via Zoom through the summer and will meet in person for the annual Seabeck Haiku Getaway, October 28-31, 2021.
  • Hugo House (Seattle) is still working out the details, with the first in-person Scribes summer camp in August, select in-person adult classes beginning in September, and other in-person events and classes phased in slowly this fall.
  • It’s About Time (Seattle) reports that the Seattle Public Library will not host public events through the end of the year, so plans for resumption of in-person readings at the Ballard branch remain in the works.
  • Lilla Lit (Portland, OR)
  • Margin Shift: Friends in Poetry (Seattle) isn’t quite ready to declare an in-person, indoors schedule, but will celebrate with the first live reading in 15 months on Thursday, July 15, at Volunteer Park at 6:30pm. This and future events will also livestream.
  • Milwaukie Poetry Series (Milwaukie, OR) hopes to host the 15th Season in person starting this Fall. Meanwhile, the 14th Season continues online.
  • Northwest Renaissance Poets (Auburn) does not have plans to resume in-person readings but hopes to start looking at options soon.
  • Olympia Poetry Network (Olympia) venue, New Traditions Café, has not yet opened for live events, but OPN is looking at September or soon after as a dream date for normalizing the monthly series.
  • Open Books (Seattle) is optimistic and the all-volunteer event staff is discussing plans, but there’s no definitive answer yet.
  • Planet Earth Poetry (Victoria, BC) is currently venue hunting; hopes to be able to resume face-to-face readings in the fall and also hoping to do a hybrid Zoom/in-person format.
  • PoetryBridge (West Seattle) on August 15, 2021, Leopoldo announced that in-person sessions would be postponed “until the situation regarding Covid improves significantly. My new plan is to have the next event be a ‘pop up’, meaning that I will provide fairly short notice based on improved conditions.” To receive updates by email, send a note to info@poetrybridge.net.
  • poetrynight (Bellingham) is talking about restarting but uncertain about the timing and location as their venue, the Alternative Library, is moving.
  • Puget Sound Poetry Connection (Tacoma) will meet live on Friday, September 10, at 7:00pm at Immanuel Presbyterian Church for the first live meeting after nine months of Zoom.
  • RASP (Redmond) awaits word from the venue on renovations and whether/when in-person sessions may be possible.
  • Red Wheelbarrow Writers (Bellingham) intends to begin in-person first-Saturday gatherings in August, including an open mic for ten readers as part of each meeting, newcomers welcome.
  • Salon of Shame (Seattle) is not sure when in-person will resume, but is putting together an outreach strategy to ensure they’ve got plenty of readers once they do.
  • SoulFood Poetry Night (Redmond) plans to resume its in-person events with the September 16, 2021, reading and meanwhile, continues on Zoom with the July 15, 2021, reading marking SoulFood Poetry Nights’s 15th anniversary, with features Jeannine Hall Gailey and Annette Spaulding, who were the very first readers on July 18, 2006.
  • Striped Water Poets (Auburn)
  • Valley Writers (Bellingham) will continue meeting on Zoom, 1:00-3:00pm on the last Friday of the month until further notice.
  • Village Books (Bellingham) in-person open mics with Seán Dwyer will resume in July (both Spanish-language, 6:00pm, and English-language, 7:00pm) with simultaneous Zoom for off-site readers.
  • Whatcom Writers & Publishers (Bellingham) is on hiatus for the summer following a celebratory in-person picnic. Watch the site to see if the second-Wednesday meetings will resume in person or online.
  • Windfall (Eugene, OR) will resume in September; the hope is that Windfall will continue in a hybrid fashion, with authors at the library proper, but streaming the readings so folks can tune in from anywhere in the known universe.

Meanwhile, in related news: Pacific Northwest Writers Conference will remain 100% online for 2021 as will Write on the Sound writers’ conference, while Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association will hold their regular tradeshow, in person.

Please be sure to check web links for the latest information.

HUGE thanks to the determined organizers who have kept on in spite of the odds and who responded so quickly to my pleas for information.

. . . . .
Photo by Joe Mabel

2 Responses to “face to face?”


  1. Please add us to the list:
    Puget Sound Poetry Connection (Tacoma) will be meeting live on September 10 at 7:00 at Immanuel Presbyterian Church. This will be our first live meeting after nine months of Zoom.


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