now on

April 21, 2021

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, now in its 25th year, is the largest event of its kind in the United States and a dazzling attraction for book lovers of every stripe.

The all-online 2021 Festival opened on Saturday, April 17, and will continue through Friday, April 23. Events are ticketed, some free and some not. But in addition to a robust calendar of talks, readings, and conversations, the Festival is offering free videos from the first-ever virtual poetry “stage” produced in partnership with Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center. The readings are short and additional poets are being added, so have a watch/listen.

submission help

April 20, 2021

If you’ve ever struggled with poetry (or other writing) submissions — where, what, or when to submit, for example — a solution is in the works.

LitNotice! approaches the dilemma from a different perspective than other submission platforms. Instead of keeping track of what you’ve submitted, it keeps track of the publishers, publications, grants, residencies, etc., that fit your goals and then sends you a weekly update with the results tailored to your needs.

LitNotice! is being developed by Luke Hankins (founder and editor of Orison Books and senior editor at Asheville Poetry Review, among many other credits) and a full-stack development team in Asheville, North Carolina. “They’re the ones who have built the LitNotice website-in-progress,” Hankins says, “and are building the platform from the ground up.”

Why take this on? Luke Hankins explains: “As a writer myself, I know how easy it is to let submission planning fall by the wayside — and I’ve heard the same from so many writer friends! As I was considering a way to help people spend less time researching and organizing, and more time writing and submitting, it occurred to me that an extensively customizable alert system that would remind writers of opportunities when they open as well as when they’re about to close would be the perfect solution.”

With a target release date of January 2022, the ambitious project is seeking support on Kickstarter, an all-or-nothing funding effort that will remain open only until Saturday, May 15, 2021. Most of the support levels include a subscription to LitNotice once it launches. Have a look and send a few bucks their way if you can.

LitNotice could be just the alert you need.

The SpeakEasy poetry series is honored to feature Rena Priest, the new Washington State Poet Laureate, at SpeakEasy 28: Homecoming. Presented on Zoom on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific, the reading will also include Rena’s poet/mentors James Bertolino, Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Pagh, and Jeanne Yeasting. For a Zoom link, please send an email to othermindpress AT

2020 Merit Award
By Richard Widerkehr

written the week of the Douglas High School shootings; a bump stock lets a shooter fire dozens of rounds in seconds

Under this streetlight, a possum
lopes by brick houses, its gray-white muzzle
and needle nose low to the street.

Take action, said our rabbi.

Standing by my car,
I wonder who needs a bump stock
for self-defense.

Not right or wrong, needing no carry permit,
the possum skitters into an alley.

The empty street, the streetlight.

An alertness sends out tendrils,
almost part of the dark.

*Copyright 2020 by Richard Widerkehr. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poetry Phone

April 17, 2021

Well, you still may not be able to drive into Canada for a poetry reading, but we’re happy to see that The Poetry Phone is now showcasing the work of local Vancouver, BC, writers. Give them a call, or visit the Downtown Vancouver website to learn more about the ten featured poets and listen online.

on poetry

April 16, 2021

“…prose is a public language and poetry is a private language….”
Mary Ruefle
(b. April 16, 1952)

. . . . .

sale on classes!

April 15, 2021

If you were thinking about taking a class at Hugo House this spring but hadn’t quite gotten around to signing up, now’s your big chance. Hugo House is having a flash sale, today, April 15, through Sunday, April 18, 2021, (11:59pm Pacific). Sign up now and all classes will be 15% off with the code SPRING21.

There are wonderful courses on offer, including, for example, a single-session course with Kim Stafford (April 16) and another with our new state poet laureate, Rena Priest (April 17).

View the catalog and sign up now with the code SPRING21.

This evening, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at 6:00pm Pacific, you are invited to celebrate Rena Priest’s appointment by Governor Jay Inslee as Washington State’s 6th Poet Laureate. This very special event is organized and hosted by the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation, Humanities Washington, ArtsWA (the WA State Arts Commission), and the Washington Center for the Book. Past Laureates Claudia Castro Luna, Tod Marshall, Elizabeth Austen, Kathleen Flenniken, and Sam Green (in absentia) will be honored guests as we gather to pass the laurel in an evening of poetry, speech, and song. Produced by Children of the Setting Sun Productions.

Register here.

PEN America announced the 2021 Literary Awards winners at the awards ceremony held April 8, 2021. Poetry has a prominent place this year, with top honors, The PEN/Jean Stein Book Award (“To a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, which has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.”), going to Ross Gay for Be Holding: A Poem (University of Pittsburgh Press).

The PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection (“To a poet whose distinguished collection of poetry represents a notable and accomplished literary presence.”) went to Victoria Chang for Obit (Copper Canyon Press), and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation (“For a book-length translation of poetry from any language into English.”) went to Steve Bradbury for his translation from the Chinese of the book by Amang, Raised by Wolves: Poems and Conversations (Phoneme Media).

For more about the poets, authors, translators, books, awards (including a video of the awards ceremony), and the work of PEN, visit the PEN Literary Awards page.

from the Folger

April 12, 2021

The Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. Located in Washington, DC, and, in fact, closed for renovation, the Folger offers a wide variety of events, performances, and activities, notably the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series.

There are two more online readings this season:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 6:30pm Eastern/3:30pm Pacific
Michael Collier & Monica Sok
This is a ticketed event.

Monday, May 10, 2021, 7:30pm Eastern / 4:30pm Pacific
Billy Collins
This is a free event, with registration required.

. . . . .
special thanks to Sheila Sondik

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