on poetry

January 20, 2021

“try to put the poetry in the language that we speak, to use that language, take those simple words and make out of them something that is moving, that is powerful, that is there.”
Pat Parker
(January 20, 1944 – June 17, 1989)

a poet for tomorrow

January 19, 2021

The first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States and the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, Amanda Gorman will stand before the nation and the world tomorrow, January 20, 2021, to read her poem “The Hill We Climb.”

Read more about her in The New York Times and The Guardian. Gorman plans to run for President in 2036. As reported in The Guardian: “I’m going to tell Biden that I’ll be back.”

The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest has just added another workshop to the season’s offerings. This one, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, is designed for kids of all ages and is entirely free.

11:00am – 12:15pm
John S Green
Free Children’s Poetry Workshop

In this FREE CHILDREN’S POETRY WORKSHOP, John Green will present poetry as a fun, engaging act of creative writing. His workshop will be interactive, inviting all participants to write in response to a variety of prompts. Questions will be encouraged. The discussion will include style — for example, prose vs. verse — as well as suggestions for making writing a life-long love. NOTE: While the workshop is designed for young poets, all ages are welcome! Parents/guardians/educators, please feel free to accompany your child/ren as well, and… if you feel inspired, write along!

See John S Green’s bio and registration information on the Workshops page and plan to join in the fun on March 3 — just in time to get your poem written for the 2021 Sue Boynton Poetry Contest!

The Bear*

January 17, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Suzanne Harris

If grief is an animal, make it a bear
hibernating cold and hard
in the back-cave of your heart.
In the restlessness of spring,
groggy, hungry, it will rise without warning
gnawing its pain straight through.
There will be no escape
for the soft pulsing of your heart
torn and bled by that bear’s sharp incisors.

Grief, the sinner’s corsage —
unresolved guilt, moments which cut like a knife, then
bleed the loss across frozen expanses of forward-time
dancing with shadows from the past.
Memories sharp like razors slice your disbelief
to emptiness, sullen and alone.
The wind, such cool relief, blows
atoms of your loss across the frozen plain.

Some day you will rise above that bed of sorrow,
the sky so blue and bright
all you can see is white, miracle of sun light.
That bear, sated in the warmth
will sit amongst ripe berries on high hills,
at peace, at one, at last.

*Copyright 2020 by Suzanne Harris. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

meanwhile in Spokane…

January 16, 2021

Browne’s Addition is Spokane’s oldest neighborhood. Chris Cook is Spokane’s Poet Laureate. Where the two meet is one of Cook’s current projects: #onlyinbrownes.

As Cook walks through the neighborhood, he snaps photos of sights that strike him as quirky or unusual and posts them to #onlyinbrownes on Facebook. Now (through February 12, 2021) he’s inviting current or former residents of Spokane and the Spokane area to submit poems paying tribute to Spokane’s neighborhoods. See the guidelines for In the Neighborhood Poetry Project and read more about the project in The Inlander.

on poetry

January 15, 2021

“I really do sincerely feel that bewilderment is at the core of every great poem, and in order to be bewildered, you have to be able to wonder. You absolutely have to be permeable to wonder.”
Kaveh Akbar
(b. January 15, 1989)

. . . . .
photo by Hieu Minh Nguyen
quote

The programming inspired by this year’s Whatcom READS title, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, includes a poetry reading by Robert Lashley, one of this year’s judges for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. The book is terrific, the reading, this evening, Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 7:00pm, is free, and sign-in information is here.

Poetry of Revolt

January 13, 2021

The 23rd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Conference presented by the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force will include a variety of events, workshops, and presentations, including Poetry of Revolt.

This free online gathering of diverse poets from Cascadia and beyond will celebrate poetry as a form of resistance, revolt, and healing. Performers include Rena Priest, Romeo Romero, Danny Canham, PoetryNMotion, and others. Poetry of Revolt will livestream on Facebook tomorrow, Thursday, January 14, 2021, 5:30pm.

Listen to Margaret Bikman’s interview with Rena Priest about the Poetry of Revolt today, January 13, at Noon, 4:00pm, and 9:00pm, on KMRE 102.3FM or find the podcast on the KMRE Arts & Entertainment Spotlight.

more Cirque…tonight!

January 12, 2021

Join in as Cirque Journal #21 celebrates Winter Festival with Fringe this evening, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at 6:00pm Alaska / 7:00pm Pacific. Readers include Drue Robinson, Don Colburn, Kelly Lenox, Daniel Dagris, Roger Topp, Sherri Levine, Susan Chase-Foster, Karen Tschannen, Sandra Yannone, and Leslie Fried.

Zoom link, with code 1111.

Please tune in to SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread for the third round (of five) on Saturday, January 16, 2021, 7:00pm Pacific, as poets Susan Alexander, Luther Allen, Bruce Beasley, Jennifer Bullis, and Dayna Patterson read and comment on their poems from this linked series of writings on spirituality.

Series info, poet bios, videos of previous rounds, and sign-in information are available on the SpeakEasy 27 page and on Facebook. Free on Zoom with password.

The final two rounds of the series are scheduled for Saturday, February 6, and Saturday, February 27, 2021.

%d bloggers like this: