Angels Everywhere*

April 30, 2023

2022 Merit Award
By Luci Shaw

Some days I notice angels everywhere,
light glancing through windows, flaring
through paneled glass as if it were air.
A human ear shaped like a wing,
curiously curving to admit the flare
of sound, hints to me of beings listening
to my listening, even when I sing.

Then there’s a vagrant cloud, glistening.
Often in the blue heaven a trail
of light from a plane to me appears
as a celestial body playing up there
beyond my grasping. Or, the tail-
light of a highway truck sends a spark
like some twinkly being in the dark
trailing her winking robe in sight
of stationary watchers. Once, daylight,

and a sudden, surprising view,

when over the marsh a winged flight
invites a vision — Gabriel, or a Great Blue?

More often, through my night’s skylight

asterisks multiply like silver sand and, near to far,
I link my self again, each night, with Oh!
One bright, angelic, particular star.

*Copyright © 2022 by Luci Shaw. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

NOTE: a chapbook of the 2022 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poems, including this one, is available at Village Books in Bellingham. All sales profits benefit the annual contest.

…it’s the first-ever National Baseball Poetry Festival. Yup, two days of baseball (as the Worcester Red Sox, WooSox, take on the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders) and baseball poetry in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Tonight, Saturday, April 29, 2023, former Bellingham resident and current Worcester Poet Laureate, Oliver de la Paz, will host an open mic at Electric Haze.

If this is the first, maybe there will be another…

mark your calendar!

April 28, 2023

Washington State has been exceedingly fortunate in its Poets Laureate. One after the other, they seem willing to go further and do more to raise awareness and appreciation for poetry. On Thursday, May 4, 2023, 7:00pm, Washington will welcome the new Poet Laureate, Arianne True, as Rena Priest steps down from a role she has fulfilled so admirably.

You can witness the Passing of the Laurel in person at the Washington State History Museum, Mount Tahoma Auditorium, in Tacoma, or online (please click on your preferred way of attending and register in advance for this free event).

on poetry

April 27, 2023

“You do have to have a period of being totally indiscriminate before you can form taste.”
Patricia Lockwood
(b. April 27, 1982)

. . . . .
photo by Jason Kendall

On Spring Gratitude

April 26, 2023

This is a guest post by Caitlin Scarano.

This morning I am thinking about spring. It is sunny again after seven days of rain. There are robins in my yard and my partner planted kale and spinach starts in the garden boxes. The grass is too tall but too wet to cut, a convenient excuse that probably won’t last much longer.

I recognize the impulse to clean, organize, and restructure my space and life that always reemerges around this time a year. I also recognize the impulse to start booking travel plans and adventures for the summer. At this point in my life, I’m torn between taking time to stay and dwell in my current life in Bellingham or taking the opportunity to go and explore our strange, wide country. I think this is a new and specific kind of privilege, to have finally put down roots somewhere long enough that I want to stay. This is the longest I’ve lived in one region since I was a teenager. I’ve been in Bellingham since September of 2021 but moved to western Washington in the summer of 2017. That was about a year after I got sober, another topic that has been on my mind lately.

These topics — the return of spring, opportunities to travel, and my seventh year sober — intersect around a clear idea or theme I’d like to hold on to: gratitude. I keep an index card taped above my writing desk that reads: Gratitude always. I often forget it is there, as we tend to do with things that are closest to us, and often forget to feel gratitude. But it is the prevailing emotion of my life at age thirty-five. All the twists and turns, traumas and opportunities, that led me to being the person I am now, living in this little house with these two dogs, having this yard and this partner and this specific community of friends, activities, and writers, these trails to run, etc.

It is hard to name the specific feeling of anticipation for that which you already have and are also growing; the feeling of looking forward to the home and community you’re making and the adventure that comes with knowing and loving a place intimately. It calls to mind this quote from adrienne maree brown from her novel Grievers, an apt thought to end on: “Abundance comes through meaningful work, the opportunity to be somebody who means something to other somebodies.”

Ed. note: You can hear Caitlin Scarano, live and in person, tonight, Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at 6:00pm, at Village Books in Fairhaven, where she will be joined by Jane Wong and Jessica Gigot.

. . . . .

Originally from Southside Virginia, Caitlin Scarano is a writer based in Bellingham, Washington. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and an MA from Bowling Green State University. Her second full length collection of poems, The Necessity of Wildfire, was selected by Ada Limón as the winner of the Wren Poetry Prize and won a 2023 Pacific Northwest Book Award. Her work has appeared in Granta, Carve, and Colorado Review. Caitlin served as a judge for the 2023 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest.

. . . . .
crabapple blossoms photo by J.I. Kleinberg
author photo

Hello again, Ada Limón

April 25, 2023

The Library of Congress yesterday announced that Ada Limón will serve a two-year second term as the nation’s 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Limón was appointed to the position in 2022; her second term will begin in September 2023 and conclude in April 2025.

Read the full announcement, with information about the poet, her achievements as Poet Laureate, and her forthcoming activities. (These include writing a poem that will be engraved on the NASA Europa Clipper spacecraft that will travel 1.8 billion miles to explore Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.)

last minute in Seattle

April 24, 2023

Looking for some Monday evening inspiration? Here are a couple of opportunities in Seattle for tonight, Monday, April 24, 2023.

At 7:00pm, Elliott Bay Books will host Raven Chronicles for the launch of This Light Called Darkness, A Raven Chronicles Anthology, Selected Work 1997-2005. The press’s second anthology contains the work of 85 writers and 34 artists.

Also (alas) at 7:00pm, Infinity Box Theatre Project will present InVerse Functions, a theatrical evening of science poetry, in the Auditorium at UHeights.


April 23, 2023

2022 Merit Award
By Capucine W. Rougny

Trees dance when the wind blows
Tall green and strong
Rough but delicate at the core
Moss spreads all over
Water runs through their veins
All different colors, all different shades
Trees create a canopy, towering over all
Roots stretch, branches grow
Sharp and splintering
Trees nurture all creatures
Shelter, safety, peace
Trees create life for animals in need
A hiding place
Glowing in the sun light
Humming, singing, buzzing, creaking, breathing
Trees are alive

*Copyright © 2022 by Capucine W. Rougny. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s bio: Capucine is a 5th grader at Silver Beach Elementary School. She just moved up from Seattle and is getting to know her new home. Capucine enjoys doing almost any kind of art, reading, and watching the Harry Potter series over and over again, and playing volleyball! Her aunt suggested she enter this poetry contest about trees so her mom said, “go out into the woods with your notebook and don’t come back until you feel inspired.” So that’s what she did!

Earth Day

April 22, 2023

Today, April 22, is Earth Day. Back in 2016, Bustle offered a tasty selection of 7 Poems To Read In Honor Of Earth Day. The only problem is that the poems are not lineated. So you can visit the page and see the photos and, if you’d like to see the poems with their line breaks, follow the links below.

Do something nice for the Earth today. Read a poem.

. . . . .

books and more books!

April 21, 2023

Not surprisingly, the poetry book recommendations are flowing hot and fast for National Poetry Month. Here’s the latest round:

Happy reading!

We have to add this late-breaking list from Ms.Reads for the Rest of Us: The Best Poetry of the Last Year

%d bloggers like this: