poetry music

November 25, 2022

The first Poet Laureate of Washington State, as voted by the Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1931, Ella Rhoads Higginson was a prolific poet, novelist, and short story writer. She settled in Bellingham, Washington, in her 20s and remained there for the rest of her life, writing and actively promoting education, women’s rights, and the arts.

On Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, 2022, Vox Pacifica and Choir of the Salish Sea will perform music set to Ella Higginson’s sonnet, “The Opal Sea” (among other works). Choral conductor and composer Duncan Tuomi composed the music for “The Opal Sea” as his “musical love letter to this gorgeous region.”

The performances will be at the First Congregational Church in Bellingham. You can find ticket information here and more on Ella Higginson here.

plaques

November 13, 2022

The Walk Award winning poems from the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest have now been installed on the Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Avenue, downtown. They will remain in place for about a year. Take a stroll on the Poetry Walk and stop in to see the beautifully remodeled library (now open Sundays).

back to in-person

October 16, 2022

Here’s some good news: Village Books, in Bellingham, has announced, “Beginning November, 2022, we will begin bringing VB Writes Writing Groups back to In-Person Meetings at Village Books in the Writers Corner.”

VB Writes offers free, drop-in, twice-monthly writing groups on fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, and prompts, as well as two 4th-Monday Open Mic Nights — one in Spanish and one in English.

Watch for these and other events on the Village Books calendar.

SpeakEasy returns!

September 9, 2022

The Bellingham-based poetry series returns to in-person programming for the first time since 2019 with SpeakEasy 29: Waymaking.

This audience-friendly afternoon of poetry will feature Bill Yake, Empty Bowl Press, and a curated program of fine poets. The free, public event will be held at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at 4:00pm. Masks and proof of vaccination are required.

Poet, naturalist, photographer, traveler, and occasional essayist Bill Yake has been published widely in books, magazines, and anthologies. His book Waymaking by Moonlight (Empty Bowl Press) and the title poem were inspiration for this SpeakEasy.

In addition to Bill Yake, Empty Bowl Press will be represented by newly announced co-owner Holly J. Hughes along with Marie Eaton, Kathryn P. Humes, and Lois Holub.

Reading their own poems in response to Bill Yake’s poem “Waymaking by Moonlight” will be Barbara Bloom, Nancy Canyon, Linda Conroy, Rick Hermann, David M. Laws, Charles Luckmann, Jerry Dale McDonnell, Victor Ortiz, Dayna Patterson, Raúl Sánchez, Leslie Wharton, and Richard Widerkehr.

SpeakEasy is an occasional poetry series that emphasizes themed, audience-friendly presentations of quality poetry by Cascadia-region writers. It is produced in Bellingham, Washington, by Luther Allen, author of The View from Lummi Island, and Judy Kleinberg. Please join us!

The ever-popular Kevin Murphy will perform on the Garden Stage at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center in Fairhaven (Bellingham) tomorrow, Saturday, July 30, 2022, at 5:30pm. Kevin Murphy is the author of A Beautiful Chaos Demands Energy and has released two poetry CDs, Between Onions and Oxygen and The Bird of Pure Midnight. He is the “poet-in-residence” of the Chuckanut Radio Hour, and was the winner of a Bellingham Mayor’s Art Award in 2017. Kevin has been performing his comical, surrealistic, dramatic work, often accompanying himself on guitar or percussion, for over 40 years. Join him in this convivial outdoor setting, and afterwards, stroll on down to the Village Green where there will be live music by Free Harmony from 7:45-8:45pm followed by an outdoor screening of “Dirty Dancing” at dusk.

on view: 2021 plaques

May 23, 2022

The planter beds in front of the Bellingham Public Library (210 Central Avenue) are decked in their spring finery, thanks to the Birchwood Garden Club. This is a great time to take a short poetry stroll and view the ten Walk Award plaques for the 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. And while you’re there, stop in and see the recently remodeled library! (The 2022 plaques will probably be put in place sometime this summer.)

. . . . .
top: poem by Ty Colson
bottom: poem by Peyton Eberhardt

Whatcom WRITES – times two

February 13, 2022

Like many communities, Whatcom County, Washington, has an everybody-reads-the-same-book program each year. This year’s Whatcom READS title is Greenwood by Michael Christie.

In addition to discussion groups and author events, Whatcom WRITES invites writers to respond to a theme from the book and publishes a volume of selected work. The theme for 2022 is interconnectedness and Whatcom WRITES will present two readings from the collection, one in person and one online.

The in-person reading will be Sunday, February 20, 2022, at 2:00pm, at Village Books in Fairhaven. Covid protocols are in place and pre-registration is required.

The online reading will be Sunday, February 27, 2022, at 2:00pm. Advance registration is required.

Watch the Whatcom READS site for information about additional author events with Michael Christie in March.

Congratulations BTV Bellingham!

September 25, 2021

Congratulations to BTV Bellingham, which earned three national awards on September 23, 2021, for videos featuring Bellingham Public Library and one award for a Public Service Announcement from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.

The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk video, featuring Librarian Suzanne Carlson-Prandini and young poet Haley Van Ness, to highlight National Poetry Month in April, won an Award of Distinction in the Library category.

The Library Curbside Service Behind the Scenes video produced in February, also featuring the Van Ness family and the sustained collaboration of Bellingham Public Library staff to keep materials circulating during the COVID-19 pandemic, won two Awards of Honor in the Library and Editing categories.

“The talented staff at BTV and the quality of their content are a true service to Bellingham, keeping our locals informed and raising the profile of our City alongside communities throughout the country,” said Annette Bagley, Head of Community Relations for Bellingham Public Library.

BTV Bellingham is operated by the City of Bellingham to provide information about publicly funded government and educational institutions through high quality video services delivered via the internet and cable television. It can be viewed live 24/7 on the City of Bellingham website, as well as on Comcast Cable TV channels 10 and 321 in greater Bellingham.

Special thanks to BTV and to the Bellingham Public Library for a long tradition of supporting community poetry in Whatcom County!

See also BTV videos of 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winners Margaux Barber, Barbara Bloom, Marie Eaton, David M. Laws, Jory Mickelson, Janette Rosebrook, and Genevieve Whelan, with one more, by Lynn Geri, to come!

Sunday in Fairhaven

September 1, 2021

Join poet Kevin Murphy and singer-songwriter Louis Ledford on Sunday, September 5, 2021, starting at 5:30pm, for poems and music in the lovely sycamore garden area outside the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Avenue, in Fairhaven (Bellingham). Donations accepted. The Firehouse Cafe closes at 5:30pm, but if you arrive a little early, you can grab a snack or beverage to enjoy during the performance.

Cirque in Bellingham

August 19, 2021

Cirque Press and Cirque Journal come to Bellingham tomorrow, Friday, August 20, 2021, 7:00pm Pacific, for a real, in-person reading (and a no-host bar) at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room.

Mount Baker Theatre requires masks and either a Proof of Vaccination or evidence of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event.

The reading will also be available on Zoom (code 1111).

Cirque Press authors Jerry McDonnell and Dave Rowan will read from Out There in the Out There and Loggers Don’t Make Love, respectively, followed by readings from Cirque, Volume 11, No. 2, featuring Luther Allen, Kristina Boratino, Linda Conroy, Jenifer Fernandez, Sandra Kleven, David M. Laws, John Morgan, Corbin Muck, David Rowan, Alan Weltzien, and others.

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