K-12 students in Whatcom County, Washington, are encouraged to submit poems or songs to the Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest. Launched as a National Poetry Month action in partnership with Village Books, the contest is accepting submissions through September 30, 2017.

The five winning poets will receive gift cards, be videotaped by BTV-10, and be invited to the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center’s annual Peace Builder Awards and given the opportunity to read their poem aloud. Winning poems will be showcased throughout Whatcom County during the year in various locations, including libraries, schools, and small businesses. The work of winning teen poets will also be submitted to the Forest of Words annual library publication.

Previous winning poems are being showcased at Whatcom County libraries for National Poetry Month. They will also be exhibited during the annual Children’s Art Walk downtown, Friday, May 5, 2017, and will remain on display until May 20.

To download the submission form, submit poems, and see the names and some video recordings of previous winners, visit the Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest page on the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center site.

Whatcom countdown

March 25, 2017

Attention Whatcom County poets! The deadline for submissions to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is Friday, March 31, 2017, 6:00pm. Submissions emailed, delivered or postmarked after March 31 will be disqualified.
See the complete guidelines on the 2017 Contest page… and send in your winning-est poem!

Whatcom get ready…

February 26, 2017

countdownIt’s almost time for Whatcom County poets to submit their one, best, original, previously-unpublished poem to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. Submissions will be accepted March 1 – 31 only, and all submissions must follow the guidelines regarding line and character count. See the complete guidelines on the 2017 Contest page and read about this year’s judges, Jacob Hartsoch and Laura Laffrado.

The judges for the 2017 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest are Jacob Hartsoch and Laura Laffrado. As always, after submissions are closed (March 31) the judges will both read every single poem that is submitted (without knowing the name of the poet) and will then work together to select the Walk and Merit winners.

Jacob HartsochJacob Hartsoch grew up in a small Montana town and was inspired by Richard Hugo’s poetry about local places he knew and loved. His work has been selected three times in the annual Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest and he is the recipient of the Gonzaga University Costello Award in poetry. He lives in Bellingham with his wife and two young boys and is currently excited about wind, water, and reducing his family’s carbon footprint. Photo by Sheila Carson.

Laura LaffradoLaura Laffrado’s current work is focused on returning forgotten Pacific Northwest writer Ella Rhoads Higginson to literary prominence. Her most recent book is Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature (2015). Laffrado is also author of Uncommon Women: Gender and Representation in Nineteenth-Century US Women’s Writing (2009, 2015) and other books and essays. She is Professor of English at Western Washington University.

This year’s guidelines are posted on the 2017 Contest page.

Got kids’ books?

February 3, 2017

kids' books

In case you missed it, there was a lovely article in the Bellingham Herald about Joe Nolting, a two-time Sue Boynton Poetry Contest winner, retired teacher and inspired distributor of books to kids who might not otherwise have them.

Kids Need Books! is a project of the Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County. On the Interfaith Coalition Facebook page, they ask for your help: Donate a gently used/good quality children’s book, or purchase a new one, for Kids Need Books (KNB) program, and invest in the life of a child! KNB distributes at two local elementary schools to low income children throughout the year. Drop off book at the Interfaith Coalition, 910 14th Street, Bellingham, Washington.

According to the Herald article, Nolting hopes to distribute ten thousand books this year. Good work, Joe!

Guidelines posted!

January 26, 2017

2017-guidelines

Whatcom County (Washington) poets, the guidelines for the 2017 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest are now posted on the 2017 Contest page.

Bellingham Cruise TerminalThe winners of the 11th annual Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest have been selected by judges Luther Allen and Luci Shaw and will be recognized at a free, festive, public awards ceremony on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 7:00, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue, Bellingham. Seven of the 25 winning poets are students.

The 2016 Walk Award winners are: Greg Beatty, Susan Chase-Foster, Marlene Chasson, Thiago Filogonio Costa, Winter Gariss, Sydney Glover, Tallie Jones, Timothy Pilgrim, Rodolph Rowe, and Sylvia Tag.

The 2016 Merit Award winners are: Judy Bishop, Jessica Bloom, Carla Conforto, Corinne Foster, Samantha Gablehouse, Roger William Gilman, Jacob Hartsoch, Rick Hermann, Jessica Lee, Joe Nolting, Lucas Nydam, Dayna Patterson, Logan Sitkin, Scott Sutherland, and Leslie Wharton.

The awards ceremony (and parking) are free. Poet and bard Kevin Murphy will emcee, and the judges will present award certificates. A chapbook of poems from this year’s contest will be available for purchase and all poems entered in this year’s contest will be on display.

Copies of the winning poems, on placards designed by Christian Smith, Mat Hudson, Megan Carroll, and Kim Wulfestieg will be displayed for a year inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses circulating throughout the county. The Walk Award winning poems will be displayed for a year on engraved plaques on the Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library.

Please come celebrate the winning words of Whatcom County at this always-fun event.

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