AltLib new home for poetry

February 20, 2018

Bellingham’s Alternative Library has moved around a few times, but it seems to have found a solid home base in an historic church near downtown and the Western campus at 519 E Maple Street. In addition to a robust lending library, it is a community space, hosting near-daily events, including concerts, film screenings, workshops, and readings.

And speaking of readings, check out the Radical Poets’ Showcase: Featuring ATL Slam on Friday, February 23, 2018, at 8:00pm. (Suggested $7 donation.)

Featured poets:

Nobody Likes Us But We’re Here Anyways
Nate Mask and Ryan J are Atlanta-based spoken word artists. They are tolerated in their local scene because their poems are somewhat entertaining, but nobody actually likes either of them. Their work touches on topics ranging from the struggle of deconstructing masculinity, learning to exist in a world that looks down on blackness, relationships, mental health, to driving in Atlanta traffic. Despite their differences in approach and personality, their dynamic as a team somehow works, as Ryan actually enjoys talking to people, and Nate always comes through in the clutch, and opens tough jars for Ryan.

Robert Lashley
A 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and nominee for a Stranger Genius Award, Robert Lashley has had poems published in Feminete, Seattle Review Of Books, NAILED, GRAMMA, and The Cascadia Review. His first full-length book, The Homeboy Songs, was published by Small Doggies press in 2014. His new book, Up South, was published in March 2017.

Dee Dee Chapman
Dee Dee Chapman received her BA in Creative Writing at Western Washington University in 2016. She has been published in The Noisy Water Review, Sweet Tree Review, and Wallpaper Magazine. In September 2014 she self-published her first chapbook, Colluvium, whose title poem received a 2017 Walk Award from the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. She’s the Editor of Nine Lives Later: a Dead Cat Anthology, released in November 2017.

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last minute!

February 10, 2018

It’s not too late! Today, Saturday, February 10, 2018, poet Bethany Reid (author of the remarkable Sparrow, among other writings) will offer a free 90-minute workshop, Writing with Emily Dickinson.

In the workshop, Reid “will set her own poetry in the larger context of Dickinson’s, attempting to introduce Dickinson to those unfamiliar with her and to ‘estrange’ the poet from those who think they already understand her. The workshop includes time for participants to write from a prompt and share their work.”

The workshop will be held at the South Whatcom branch of the Whatcom County Library System, 10 Barn View Court, Sudden Valley, Gate 2, in Bellingham, 2:00-3:30pm. Bring writing materials.

Sunday in Bellingham

January 31, 2018

Join the authors of the top Whatcom WRITES contest entries as they read their work on this year’s theme: RESISTANCE. The free reading will start at 2:00pm on Sunday, February 4, 2018, at Village Books in Fairhaven.

Whatcom WRITES is an annual feature of the WhatcomREADS program, which this year features the book Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa. Find out more, including other upcoming events related to WhatcomREADS.

winter Clover

January 26, 2018

Mary Gillilan and Norman Green launched Clover, A Literary Rag in the summer of 2010 with the writing of contributors from the Independent Writers’ Studio — 17 in all. Thirteen editions later Clover has published a total of 234 writers — about half from Washington State, around 40 from Whatcom County, and 11 from international locations.

To see and hear what Clover has become, attend the reading for Volume 14 at Village Books in Fairhaven on Sunday, February 11, 2018, at 4:00pm. Featured contributors are Luther Allen, Janet Bergstrom, James Bertolino, Susan Chase-Foster, David Drummond, John Green, Frances Howard-Snyder, Paul Hunter, Andrew Shattuck McBride, Janet Oakley, Raul Sanchez, Harvey Schwartz, Karen VandeBossche, and Betty Scott. The reading is free and copies of Clover will be available for purchase.

(Submissions for Volume 15 are open until April 30, 2018.)

planning ahead

January 20, 2018

We mentioned back in July that Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System had been selected to host the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye. Since National Poetry Month is likely to be busy, we’re giving you advance notice of the confirmed date for this event, which is FREE and open to the public: Saturday, April 28, 2018, 7:00pm, at the Performing Arts Center, Western Washington University, Bellingham. Her lecture is entitled, “Refreshments Will Be Served: Our Lives of Reading & Writing,” and while the event is free, advance registration is required at WCLS. Read more about the poet and the lecture on the PoetryChat website.

The Poem Booth, located on the Forest Street side of the downtown Community Food Co-op, has become a regular feature of Bellingham’s evolving poetry landscape. Since March 2017, when a small team refurbished a beaten-up old phone box, the Poem Booth has been home to poems submitted and selected each quarter along with a series of readings to welcome each new poem.

To support the modest costs of maintaining the booth (and keeping it graffiti free), the Poem Booth has launched a Kickstarter campaign — Poem Booth 2018! You can show your support for community poetry and celebrate the Poem Booth’s success so far by pitching in. (Also, if you have ideas for the future of the Poem Booth, see the “Help Wanted” note at the bottom of the Kickstarter page.)

You can also celebrate with the Poem Booth by attending the Poem Booth chapbook launch on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at 6pm. The sixteen 2017 quarterly winners and honorable mention poets will read from the 2017 Poem Booth chapbook, which will be available for purchase ($5/or donation). Gather on the mezzanine level of the downtown Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest Street.

(The next submission deadline for the Poem Booth is Saturday, February 17, 2018.)

here they come!

January 3, 2018

Get ready. The Nasty Women Poets are headed your way. Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press) is a timely collection of poems that speaks not just to the current political climate and the man who is responsible for its title, but to the stereotypes and expectations women have faced dating back to Eve, and to the long history of women resisting those limitations.

In BELLINGHAM, four of these nasty women — Bellingham poets Jennifer Bullis, Susan J. Erickson, and Jessica Lee, and Seattle poet Carolyne Wright — will present a lively array of poems from Nasty Women Poets at Village Books in Fairhaven on Sunday, January 14, 2018, at 4:00pm.

In SEATTLE, contributors Kelli Russell Agodon, Jennifer Bullis, Susan J. Erickson, Susan Rich, Martha Silano, Judith Skillman, and Carolyne Wright will share some nastiness at Open Books on Friday, February 2, 2018, at 7:00pm.

In REDMOND, poets Jennifer Bullis, Martha Silano, Judith Skillman, and Carolyne Wright will be featured at SoulFood Poetry Night on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at 7:00pm.

The nasty women poets included here talk back to the men who created those limitations, honor foremothers who offered models of resistance and survival, rewrite myths, celebrate their own sexuality and bodies, and the girlhoods they survived. They sing, swear, swagger, and celebrate, and stake claim to life and art on their own terms.

The anthology, edited by Grace Bauer and Julie Kane, includes work from Kim Addonizio, Jan Beatty, Kelly Cherry, Annie Finch, Alice Friman, Allison Joseph, Marilyn Kallet, Melissa Kwasny, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Jessica Mehta, Lesléa Newman, Nuala O’Connor, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Melinda Palacio, Jennifer Perrine, Marge Piercy, Lucinda Roy, Maureen Seaton, Rochelle Spencer, A.E. Stallings, Stacey Waite, Diane Wakoski, Müesser Yeniay, and a fabulous coven of other women’s voices.

Other readings are scheduled nationwide (there are nasty women everywhere!) including Baltimore, Cambridge, Kalamazoo, San Francisco, and elsewhere. Watch for them — better yet, ask for them — at a bookstore near you.

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