get out the calendar!

March 31, 2022

National Poetry Month begins tomorrow, April 1, and the calendar is packed. While we don’t claim comprehensive coverage, the month of April on the CALENDAR page has a pretty good selection of events. While more in-person readings are beginning to show up, there are still plenty of virtual events if you’re not quite ready, or if you’re not nearby. (Please note that recurring weekly and monthly events are listed separately.)

If your Cascadia-region event (April or otherwise) is not on the calendar (please check first!), leave a Comment with the essential details, including a website (required) where readers can find more information.

The CALENDAR page is updated almost daily, so check back!


March 29, 2022

Attention Whatcom County poets: Submissions to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest close this Thursday, March 31, 2022. The judges, Victor Ortiz and Dayna Patterson, are eager to read your poem and select this year’s Walk and Merit Award winners.

If you were planning to turn in your poem in person at Film Is Truth, your last chance to do so is TODAY, Tuesday, March 29, at 8:00pm, because Film Is Truth is closed tomorrow and Thursday.

You can double check the guidelines here.

And from another planet*

March 28, 2022

2021 Merit Award
by Robert Stern

the aliens took along one
of their youngsters
landing on earth in a remote
mountain area
stars sprayed across the sky
suddenly a train
came winding around a steep curve
whistle blowing again and again
the kid was astonished
look look can we make one
no! this is ancient stuff
but i want to drive one
Zona, what have we gotten
ourselves into here
Ogan, these people are primitives
and know nothing about nothing
oh, the tracks are gleaming
are the green and red lights alive?
I’ve never wished for anything more

*Copyright © 2021 by Robert Stern. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s bio:
“I have been writing poetry for over 50 years. In 1978 I had a book called Spirit Hand published by Konglomerati Press and illustrated by Kit Hirshberg. I write poetry every week under the inspiration that it is a ‘touch of the marvelous.'”

Hike and Write with Rena

March 27, 2022

You are invited to join Washington Poet Laureate Rena Priest on Sunday, April 10, 2022, for a two-part event in Snoqualmie Valley, including a Hike and Write followed by a poetry reading.

The event begins with Rena Priest leading a meditative hike along Snoqualmie Valley’s beautiful “Palouse to Cascades Trail” in Iron Horse State Park, North Bend, WA (adjacent to Rattlesnake Lake). Rena will offer a guided writing workshop during the hike. No prior hiking or writing experience is necessary, but participants will need a Discover Pass for parking; weather appropriate clothes and shoes; journal or writing pad and pen or pencil; water and a snack.

After the hike, join Rena for a poetry reading at The Black Dog Arts Cafe in Snoqualmie and enjoy handcrafted food and beverages. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The hike will begin at Noon and end before 3:00pm, allowing time (about 20 minutes) for the group to reach Black Dog for the 3:00pm reading.

Both events are free and for all ages, no advance registration required; feel free to attend one or both. Find complete details on Facebook.

over the border, Unbound

March 26, 2022

The border is open, and from Peace Arch News comes the announcement of the inaugural Delta Literary Arts Society’s UNBOUND Poetry Festival. The one-day festival will be held Saturday, April 9, 2022, 10:30am-9:00pm, at the North Delta Centre for the Arts.

The schedule will include poetry film screenings, reading-in-conversations, painting inspired by words and music, blackout poetry, magnetic poetry, a one-day Haiku Contest, outdoor poetry installations, vendors, a Lit Interest Area, workshops, consultations, an evening poetry slam, and more.

All events are free, but pre-registration is required for all workshops and one-on-one consultations with Blue Pencil Editors.

The Leaf*

March 24, 2022

2021 Walk Award
by Noa Shelsta, 3rd grade

It is spring
I poke my head out of my branch
And yawn

And now it is summer
I fold my arms out of my cozy bed
I spread my arms to tickle the wind
And then I yawn and fold my arms
Back down again

And then before I know it
It is fall
I stretch my arms
That have turned into wings
And lift into the air
And flutter to the ground

Then it is cold winter
I huddle in the earth with the other leaves
Until next spring

*Copyright © 2021 by Noa Shelsta. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

new poetry books

March 23, 2022

Here are some new titles for your spring reading list:

reading series

March 21, 2022

Wandering Aengus Press & Trail to Table Press have a lively lineup of four readings in three days for their 2022 Reading Series. Free and online (with a unique Zoom link for each reading), the readings will feature recent work by Matthew Daddona, Heather Durham, Lucy Ferriss, Andrew C. Gottlieb, Iris Graville, Steven Harvey, Holly J. Hughes, Christopher Martin, Gerry McFarland, Ian M. Rogers, Michael Schmeltzer, Alina Ștefănescu, Penn Stewart, Evan Morgan Williams, and Tarn Wilson. See the schedule and find Zoom links here.

Low Down in the Blues*

March 20, 2022

2021 Walk Award
by Janette Lyn Rosebrook

A humpback breaches,
exposes the long pale accordion of its belly,
and splashes down.

A companion follows,
barnacle-starred flukes fan and slap
across the surface.

Listen for nocturne and solos,
some so low down in the blues
you cannot hear them.

A silvery calf
arches and spirals around its mother
like a dervish.

With whirling songs
the humpback trio turns and fades
into the depths.

The divers surface,
into the silent coda that follows
the passing of friends.

*Copyright © 2021 by Janette Lyn Rosebrook. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Poet’s bio:
Janette Rosebrook is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, where she spent long childhood days in the woods, eating salmonberries and redcaps, and muddying up her good shoes in search of frogs. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2019 and currently works at Western Washington University. Her work has appeared in Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim, Washington 129, and Solstice: Light and Dark of the Salish Sea.

“I started writing ‘Low Down in the Blues’ during the 2020 Poetry Marathon, an annual event founded by former Bellingham residents, Caitlin and Jacob Jans. I was inspired to finish the poem after good friends shared their incredible underwater photographs of a humpback whale family they encountered during a sailing trip. I was honored to read the poem at a memorial service for one of those friends. It was written in remembrance of my dear friend Bruce.”

early bird

March 19, 2022

The Orcas Island Literary Festival will be back in June and you can save $5 on Festival Passes now through March 30, 2022. This year’s fest will have both in-person and virtual options (one pass gets you both) for a lineup of panels, readings, and events. The Featured Artists will be announced on March 31 and the Festival will run Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, 2022.

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