a poem for winter…

December 19, 2012

2011 Merit Award
Eric Carr - Snow - 2011 Merit Award

By Eric Carr, 1st grade


Snow and shovels all around
There is a pickle in my hound
And snow all around
And horses on the bound
Firing snowballs on the ground

*Copyright 2011 by Eric Carr. Placard design by Egress Studio.

Four Blue Heron

March 15, 2012

Cindi Williamson - Four Blue Heron - 2011 Walk Award

2011 Walk Award
By Cindi Williamson

Four Blue Heron*

At once four blue heron lifted,
flying toward the lake
with necks curled up
like paper clips,
their feet fluttering like
loose threads behind them,
like long useless fringe.
I thought to wake you
But they were gone
as soon as they appeared.
And all that remained
were the swelling trees,
with hollow places
among the branches
filling up with green
water where the heron walk.

*Copyright 2011 by Cindi Williamson. Hear and see Cindi Williamson reading Four Blue Heron on YouTube. Placard design by Egress Studio.

see poets / hear poetry

December 30, 2011

YouTube logoOnce again, the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is hugely grateful to Bellingham TV Channel 10 (BTV10) for their support and assistance in taping 17 of the winning poets from the 2011 contest. The resulting clips of the poets reading their poems are shown between other programming on BTV10 and can also be viewed (along with the 2010 poets) on the Sue Boynton Poetry channel on YouTube.

The 2011 featured poets are Caleb Barber, Richard Blake, Laura Boynton, Eric Carr, Dakota Carson, Linda Conroy, Denise duMaurier, Norman L. Green, Sandra F. Lucke, Carolyn McCarthy, Rachel Mehl, Kevin Murphy, Lara Niedermeyer, Timothy Pilgrim, George Such, Cindi Williamson and Kobe Woodruff. Links to the text of the winning poems can also be found on the Winners page.

life after NaNoWriMo…

November 30, 2011

chapbooksIt’s November 30, and if you’ve been keeping up with NaNoWriMo or the November PAD Chapbook Challenge, you might find that you need a little extra incentive to get out of bed tomorrow morning. Maybe this will help…

Here are three opportunities to submit a chapbook of your poems for possible publication, awards, fame and all the wealth that comes with being a poet:

The Poetry Society of America invites U.S. residents who have not previously published a full-length poetry collection to submit 20-30 pages of poetry to their chapbook fellowship competition. Deadline December 22, 2011. Guidelines here.

Pavement Saw Press, out of Ohio, is open for chapbook submissions of up to 32 pages of poetry. Deadline December 31, 2011. Guidelines here.

Bellingham-based Flying Trout Press invites authors without a published book or chapbook to send submissions of 20-24 pages of poetry. Deadline January 15, 2012. Guidelines here.

Chapbook competitions generally require payment of a small fee; awards (typically publication and funds) may vary significantly. More information about each of the contests and their sponsoring organization can be found at the links provided. Always read and follow guidelines very carefully.
chapbooks photo

what to do on November 17…

November 17, 2011

  • Have a look at the latest post and prompt by Robert Lee Brewer for the National Poem A Day (PAD) Chapbook Contest.
  • Use today’s prompt to write a poem.
  • Check out the word count at the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) page. As this goes to post, it’s at 1,696,114,603, but that won’t last long!
  • Take out a poem that you wrote last month, or last year, read it aloud and then see if you can change a word or two to make it better.
  • Go to Duotrope or New Pages or Poets & Writers and look over the calls for submission. Choose a market. Submit a poem. Repeat.
  • Click on NW Lit Events and look over the impressive list of literary events going on around Washington. Mark your calendar. Add your Washington state poetry event by posting a comment on this blog.
  • Read something about Nikky Finney, who just won the National Book Award for her book of poetry, Head Off & Split.
  • Open a book of poetry and read a poem at random. Out loud.
  • Subscribe to this blog. Thank you.

what to do on December 10…

November 16, 2011

Mark your calendar for Saturday, December 10, 2011, 7-9pm, for SpeakEasy 5, an evening of poetry featuring Luther Allen, Jennifer Bullis, Elizabeth Colen, Paul Piper and Sheila Sondik. There will be several sets, with each poet reading 4 to 5 minutes per set. Drop in for a set or stay for the entire evening. At The Amadeus Project, 1209 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, Washington. Free! Download the SpeakEasy 5 flyer (PDF, Adobe Reader required).

poetry bridges the gap…

November 10, 2011

Poetry: what could be a better bridge across the generation gap?

Luther Allen’s workshop, Intergenerational Poetry, scheduled for this Saturday, November 12, 10:30am-12:30pm, at Mindport Exhibits in Bellingham, will explore the subject of collaborative writing with individuals from different generations. Pairs of participants will build poems together — no previous experience necessary!

“The poetry partners can be friends or relatives,” Allen says, “as long as there’s about a generation — 20 years or so — of difference in their ages.” The younger participant should be at least 10 years old, he suggests. “We’ll explore what it means to collaborate and how to combine two voices into a poem. I think the participants will have fun and be surprised at the possibilities. My hope is that it will enrich their relationship.”

Luther AllenLuther Allen, a lifelong poet and two-time Sue Boynton Poetry Contest winner, is author of The View from Lummi Island and host of the occasional poetry-reading series, SpeakEasy.

Allen’s workshop is one of several offered this fall to benefit the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. The cost is $44 per twosome and includes admission to Mindport Exhibits. Participants can pay at the workshop if they pre-register at BoyntonPoetryContest[AT]hotmail[DOT]com.

Download a flyer (PDF, Adobe Reader required).

NaNoWriMoSo…National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) got off to a rollicking good start. You pounded out a couple thousand words a day…for a day…or two…or maybe even a week. But now the editor that lives inside your head has started to whine, and the Thanksgiving menu has become an obsession, and you really have to rake those leaves before the next windstorm, and… well, you get it: your daily output has dribbled, dwindled and died.

Well, Village Books wants you to keep writing. On Tuesday, November 15, 2011, from 4:00 to 5:00pm, Village Books will be holding a NaNoWriMo Info Session, complete with “pep-talk, inspiration, collaboration, and blister-therapy.”

Get that novel back on track. Mark your calendar. Come on down. It’s free!

And by the way, if instead of writing your novel you’re wandering the wide aisles of Bellis Fair Mall, do stop by the Village Books Holiday Store for their grand opening events, November 11-19, and a slew of Saturday signings, November 12 through December 17.

Buy local. Support your independent bookseller. Write a novel.

New York Botanical Garden waterfall

If you’ll be in New York over the weekend of November 12-13, 2011, slip over to the New York Botanical Garden to view Poem Forest, A Self-Guided Walk Designed by Jon Cotner. To create this poetry walk, “Cotner has fused lines selected from 2500 years of nature poetry with Thain Forest’s autumnal landscape. At 15 spots along Sweetgum Trail, visitors will speak, sing, or variously engage with 15 lines that encourage them to see and sense more clearly, to inhabit the present more deeply, and to fill with enchantment over the course of this walking meditation.”

On the other hand, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the Pacific Northwest on November 12, please consider participating in one of the two terrific poetry workshops being offered in Bellingham to benefit the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. More information here. Download the flyer (.pdf, Adobe Reader required) here: November 2011 poetry workshops. Register by e-mail at BoyntonPoetryContest AT hotmail DOT com.

Poetry reading…

November 4, 2011

Denise duMaurierPlease join Village Books in welcoming 2011 Sue Boynton Poetry Contest winner Denise duMaurier as she reads from her new book of poems, Follow Me Down, at 7:00pm today, 4 November 2011, at Village Books in Bellingham.

Here is Denise’s winning poem:


When you listen, a sigh like
godforsaken silence tells you
it is weary of in and out, rise and fall,
catch and release.

When you ask why it does not stop,
it answers that it could—
but before it does, it would rather
be much closer to the sea, the fire-
mountains, wide red pines
and the wracking of the ground.

Me too, you whisper. Let’s go out
together. As if we were pioneers,
half-crazy to roll off this tornado
flatland into the spinning winds.

*Copyright 2011 by Denise duMaurier.