programs we love

February 15, 2018

As often happens, in searching for something else, we stumbled across this story, “Mount Vernon students turn poetry into film,” in the Skagit Valley Herald. Voices of the Children, a Mount Vernon, Washington, non-profit, offered a free filmmaking class to Mt. Vernon high school students in which they “translated poems written by those at the Skagit County Juvenile Detention Center into short films.”

This is just one of many collaborative projects VotC has launched, using journalism, poetry, photography, fine and performing arts, and film to build connection by promoting artistic expression and creative freedom. Many of their programs bridge the divide between local and international.

Learn more about Voices of the Children and watch for the student films screening at the Lincoln Theatre in Mt. Vernon in May 2018.

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Valentine

February 14, 2018

Grant Snider draws comics about writing, literature, inspiration, art, books and other elements of the human condition.

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Cycles of Love by Grant Snider

more poetry in motion

February 13, 2018

Yesterday, we mentioned the new installation of poems on buses and bus shelters in Olympia, Washington. In a followup to one of the nation’s most venerable transit-poem projects, Poetry in Motion on New York’s subways, here is a 16-minute WNYC link to an interview with Alice Quinn, the executive director of the Poetry Society of America and editor of The Best of Poetry in Motion: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years on Subways and Buses. In the interview, Quinn talks with Mary Harris about the origins and challenges of the program, hears from callers, and reads selected poems from the collection.

“Poetry Rides the Bus”

February 12, 2018

Bus riders in Olympia, Washington, will now have a chance to enjoy poetry on their journey, thanks to Poetry Rides the Bus.” The project, coordinated by Olympia’s First Poet Laureate, Amy Solomon-Minarchi, received more than 120 submissions, from which 22 were selected for posting in buses and bus shelters around the city.

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photo by Jeff Chew

remembering Ella

February 11, 2018

We’ve written before about Ella Rhoads Higginson, the first Poet Laureate of Washington State. Now, Laura Laffrado, WWU professor and author of Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature, has initiated a campaign to celebrate this important figure in Washington State poetry with the creation of a bronze bust to be placed in the Reading Room in Wilson Library. Robert McDermott, whose sculpture of Dirty Dan Harris on Fairhaven Green will be familiar to many, has been chosen as the artist.

To learn more or to contribute to the campaign, visit the Western Washington University VikingFunder Ella Higginson project page.

on writing

February 11, 2018


“Good writing never soothes or comforts. It is no prescription, neither is it diversionary, although it can and should enchant while it explodes in the reader’s face.”
Joy Williams
(b. February 11, 1944)

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Photo: © Rollie McKenna
Quote: Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals

last minute!

February 10, 2018

It’s not too late! Today, Saturday, February 10, 2018, poet Bethany Reid (author of the remarkable Sparrow, among other writings) will offer a free 90-minute workshop, Writing with Emily Dickinson.

In the workshop, Reid “will set her own poetry in the larger context of Dickinson’s, attempting to introduce Dickinson to those unfamiliar with her and to ‘estrange’ the poet from those who think they already understand her. The workshop includes time for participants to write from a prompt and share their work.”

The workshop will be held at the South Whatcom branch of the Whatcom County Library System, 10 Barn View Court, Sudden Valley, Gate 2, in Bellingham, 2:00-3:30pm. Bring writing materials.

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