At a recent workshop at Egress Studio, Anita K. Boyle introduced the idea of the self-directed writing workshop. The idea is that rather than working under the guidance of an instructor, participants work independently, responding to prompts and to the site.

Riffing on this idea, World Peace Poets invites your participation in the five-week-long World Peace Poets Community Write-In on Peace and Justice, September 21 through October 26, 2019. Drop in for a few minutes or an hour or more; join in as often as you’d like. It’s self-directed!

Free and open to the public, the Community Write-In provides sites around Bellingham where participants can sit and create poems, essays, short stories, or artwork. Bring your own writing materials. Some inspiring words will be available and a volunteer will be on hand at each site. Additionally, each site will create a “fusion poem” to which participants can add a line of their own.

Click here for a chart of participating venues and times (PDF). Note that new venues and times may be added, so watch for updates on World Peace Poets on Facebook. If you think you will participate on one or more days, please register by sending an email to in order to help the organizers prepare.

The write-in will culminate in the free World Peace Poets Read-In at St. James Presbyterian Church in Bellingham on Saturday, October 26, 2019, with a 3-minute-per-person open mic for writing and music related to peace and justice. Doors open at 5:00pm, a soup and salad supper will be served at 5:30pm, and side dishes will be provided by you, potluck.


same booth, new poem

September 5, 2019

Come out for Downtown Art Walk on Friday, September 6, 2019, and celebrate with the Poem Booth team as they welcome and install this season’s winning poem by Luther Allen. The Fall Poetry Reading and award ceremony starts at 6:00pm at the Downtown Coop. See you there!

poetry, three ways

August 14, 2019

It will be poetry three ways as Alaska poet John Morgan, his son Jeffrey Morgan, and Jeffrey’s wife, Carla Conforto, read poetry from their latest books, The Moving Out: Early Collected Poems (Salmon Publishing), The Last Note Becomes Its Listener (Conduit Books), and Popular Piety (Dancing Girl), respectively.

Please join them for a lively 7:00pm reading on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, at Village Books in Bellingham.

bounce tonight!

August 12, 2019

poetrynightBoynton Bouncers is here! Tonight! At the Alternative Library in Bellingham. The list of readers so far includes Amber Ashbjornsen, Nancy Canyon, Lynna Fuller, Shannon Laws, Carol McMillan, Rachel Mehl, Deborah Royal, Jim Schmotzer, and J.L. Wright.

You can still sign up by sending an email with your name, phone, and poem title(s) to or you can just show up and read or be part of the audience. Hosted by poetrynight, it’s free.

Books A’Sail

August 10, 2019

If your idea of bliss is some combination of reading and sailing, you should definitely consider Books A’ Sail 2019.

Board the Schooner Zodiac on Monday, September 16, 2019, along with Village Books owners Paul Hanson and Kelly Evert and special guest, author, librarian, critic, and reader Nancy Pearl. Cruise the San Juan Islands for three days, returning to port on Wednesday, September 18. In between, enjoy the scenery, the company, the fine meals, and discussion of three books: George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl, Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian, and Passage to Juneau by Jonathan Raban.

Space is limited, so visit the Schooner Zodiac website and call to book a reservation at (206) 719-7622.

summer in Bellingham

August 3, 2019

Among summer’s many worthwhile pursuits, Bruna Press + Archive presents Hiroshima Library, a project by poet, editor, and archivist Brandon Shimoda.

Hiroshima Library is an itinerant, sometimes spontaneous, often undisclosed collection of books on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and their ongoing afterlives, as well as the environments and situations in which the collection either publicly or privately exists. The collection consists of hibakusha testimonies, history and journalism, art and photography, poetry, novels, graphic novels and comic books, art and literary criticism, in part by the Rest House in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima; the ice cream vendor in the Hypocenter Park in Nagasaki; the reading areas in the MRT stations in Kaohsiung, Taiean; abandoned gas stations and strip malls throughout the United States and Japan; as well as mundane, workaday spaces adjacent to catastrophic life, which occupy a frequency between communal mourning and melancholy, private refreshment, and idle and free associative learning, and into which an individual (passerby, tourist, wandered, child), motivated by an aimless yet open curiosity, might enter and, for a moment, disappear.

The collection was first conceived in 1988 when Shimoda received, as a gift from his parents, a copy of of Keiji Nakazawa’s manga, I Saw It: The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima: A Survivor’s True Story (English translation, 1982). That same year he visited, for the first time, the city of Hiroshima. He was ten years old.

Opening cultural, literary, historical questions thrust into consciousness by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which extinguished over 225,000 lives nearly 74 years ago, the Hiroshima Library, and its accompanying events program, co-developed with local organizations, invites new relationships with the unfathomable, unconscionable events of 1945.

On view through Sunday, September 29, 2019, Hiroshima Library will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 pm, or by appointment. See the complete schedule of programming on the Bruna Press website.

attention fishers

July 5, 2019

FisherPoets-on-Bellingham-Bay will return on Saturday, September 21, 2019, as part of SeaFeast. This year’s program, in addition to poetry, stories, and spoken-word performance, will include maritime films.

The organizers are currently accepting submissions for both the film portion (deadline July 31) and the poetry portion (deadline August 15). If you are at home on the water and/or find inspiration there that fuels your art, consider adding your voice and vision to this lively, multi-venue event. See the details here.

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