your 2023 bookshelf

January 20, 2023

The poetry publishers are setting a brisk pace for 2023 and the reviews and recommendations are rolling in. Here’s the first round for 2023:

join the board

January 18, 2023

In 2017, Seattle was designated a UNESCO City of Literature. Seattle City of Literature is a nonprofit organization that was founded in the run-up to that designation and helps manage the designation, including local programming and relationship-building with other Cities of Literature and Creative Cities around the world.

Seattle City of Literature builds relationships and community partnerships to help creative potential meet opportunity. We connect and strengthen the local and global storytelling ecosystem and center stories rooted in traditionally marginalized communities. In our work, we integrate UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to foster an exchange of knowledge, resources, and lived experience.

Seattle City of Literature is currently adding five at-large seats to its board of directors. This is a volunteer, one-year position that will help guide Seattle’s UNESCO City of Literature designation. If you live in Seattle, support the goals of Seattle City of Literature, and would like to be considered for one of these positions, read and complete the Seattle City of Literature Community Seats Application (a Google form) by Sunday, January 31, 2023.

sweet!

January 17, 2023

Forget the roses and the chocolates (well, maybe not the chocolates): show your Valentine some love with poetry. To benefit the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, poet Jeffrey Morgan and paper artist Nancy Scagliotti will offer a Valentine & Poetry Workshop on Saturday, February 11, 2023, 1:00-3:00pm. $10 includes supplies. Families welcome. Register by sending an email to directorsrpp@gmail.com. The workshop will be held in person, in Mount Vernon, at a location TBD.

Want more love poetry? This one is after Valentine’s Day, but not too late for love. On Sunday, February 19, 2023, 11:00am-2:00pm, Oregon poet Christine Delea will offer Love is Strange, an online poetry workshop that will avoid “the moon-June-swoon lovey-dovey poems and look at poems that are grounded, more complex, and willing to tackle love in all its aspects.” This is a Pay-What-You-Can Event ($5 minimum), with ALL fees going to the Portland Chapter of For Goodness Cakes. Click here to register for Love is Strange.

workshop season!

January 16, 2023

Ready to kick-start a new year of poetry writing? Join Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich for a one-day Zoom class: Generating New Work: A Resolution to Write, Saturday, January 28, 2023, 10:00am – 2:00pm. “You will leave the workshop with 5-8 new starts, but more importantly, you will leave with a toolbox of new ways to approach your own work.”

Give me your hand*

January 15, 2023


2022 Walk Award
By Amanda Norenberg

I am a bridge
Between you, child, and those who you feel
but will never meet in the flesh.

I am not made of taut cables and steel, or wood
and bolts and cross-beams, or even tight ropes
woven together. I am not hard or immobile.

I am made of a glance, a giggle, a sigh, a wrinkle,
a skin spot, a black eyelash, a squinty grin.

I am made of rigatoni noodles steaming out of
the pot coated in butter, given to you in a small
bowl with a wink before dinner.

I am lasagna oozing mozzarella and red grease,
I am endive coated in sour vinegar and olive oil,
I am stories repeated around the table.

How can you be a bridge AND be all these
other things? you ask.

Babe, the bridge IS all these things,
and the bridge is your hand in my hand in
all their hands, all at once.

*Copyright © 2022 by Amanda Norenberg. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Poet’s bio:
Amanda Norenberg grew up in Minnesota on the North Shore of Lake Superior for 23 years, and has now lived in Washington the exact same amount of time. With a background in language (English, French, Chinese) and art, she’s had articles, poems, and photos published, art shows exhibited, and is now focusing these passions into a self-owned copywriting and photography business called Facet Copy. Amanda’s close relationship with her 11-year-old daughter is an inspiration for this poem. “Remembering the generation of grandparents I grew up with, I was mourning the fact that Opal will never meet them. But I realized that through me and the traditions we keep as a family, they can still feel alive in her heart.”

Pelican Bay Books is a wonderful bookstore in downtown Anacortes, Washington. Along with a huge inventory of used and rare books, wine, and coffee, the store hosts monthly poetry readings that bring out a warm and supportive audience of poets and poetry lovers. On Saturday, January 28, 2023, Pelican Bay will welcome poets Georgia Johnson, Roberto Ascalon, and Natalie Lahr. It should be good. Hope to see you there!

FisherPoets return!

January 12, 2023

The FisherPoets Gathering will return to Astoria, Oregon, live and in person, February 24-26, 2023. A celebration of the commercial fishing industry in poetry, prose and song, the FisherPoets Gathering features Friday and Saturday evening performances at a variety of venues around Astoria as well as workshops, story- and song-circles, open mics, and plenty of other fishy stuff, including a silent auction and cards, chapbooks, etc., at the FisherPoets Gathering Gearshack.

poetry and conversation

January 11, 2023

Join Laura Da’ (Eastern Shawnee), Rena Priest (Lummi, current Washington State Poet Laureate), Cedar Sigo (Suquamish), and Arianne True (Choctaw, Chickasaw), in person or online as they read selections from their work and speak about poetry and the world through an Indigenous lens. Hosted by Linley Logan, the FREE event is taking place on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at 7:00pm, in Olympia at s’gʷi gʷi ʔ altxʷ: House of Welcome, and will also be livestreamed. Register on eventbrite to participate in-person (nearly sold out!) or online.

some poems

January 10, 2023


The sun is out at this particular moment, but yesterday it wasn’t and tomorrow it may not be. The nights are still long and it’s easy to sink into seasonal gloom. As an antidote, The Guardian offers ‘That orange, it made me so happy’: 50 poems to boost your mood. Take two as needed.

. . . . .
Thanks to Luther Allen for the link

poetry in the park

January 9, 2023

In case you missed it, here’s a good-news/bad-news/good-news poetry story.

Poetry for the People is a long-running class at City College of San Francisco that includes “the cultivation and public presentation of new poems.” The class culminates with a “field project” in which the students have to figure out a unique and public way to present poetry.

Inspired by the Little Free Libraries around town, Amanda Barrows, who is enrolled in the class, repurposed an old nightstand, filled the drawer with a pile of paper and a pile of poems, and invited passers-by to help themselves to a poem, then write their own and drop it in into the box on the shelf below.

Like those Little Free Libraries, the nightstand immediately attracted the curious and the inspired. The box filled with poems. To expand her audience, Barrows moved the box to several locations around the city. Here’s the story as of December 19. (You can read a lot of sample poems at Amanda’s Instagram created for the project.)

Alas, on December 30, when Amanda went to collect the nightstand and move it to a new location, it was gone. But there’s hope. She posts, “The grief’s been real, but our hearts are full from the life we breathed into a garage nightstand together. The joining. The witnessing. We are taking a short hiatus and finding a new nightstand for version two. We’ll be back out there after the rain.”

. . . . .
thanks to Roger Gilman for the heads up

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