one more best-of list

December 28, 2014

The New Yorker

We recently posted a list of lists to give you a head start on your poetry reading for the coming months. And here’s one more, as The New Yorker weighs in with Dan Chiasson’s list of Nine Great Poetry Books of 2014.


I Love My City in Snow*

November 9, 2014

Andrew Shattuck McBride - I Love My City in Snow
I Love My City in Snow
By Andrew Shattuck McBride
2014 Walk Award

I love how, as the snow starts,
everything slows and the city catches its breath.
As hush settles over landscape becoming snowscape,
I love the quiet, how the hard edges soften,
how snow covers grit and scatter of litter.

Power’s out in my apartment.
I’m on foot, feel I don’t belong, feel as unwanted
as a trespasser. The diner on Cornwall is open:
I gulp coffee, shovel down biscuits and gravy,
sausage and eggs, finally find comfort.

Snowmen, a snow frog and a snow ogre
appear, redeemed by eyes that aren’t coal.
Deciduous trees are black, fringed with white lace.
Tracks everywhere: humans and dogs,
rabbits and raccoons, deer and birds.

I’m not alone; I do belong. I love my city in snow.

*Copyright 2014 by Andrew Shattuck McBride. Broadside designed and illustrated by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio.

Get dirty*

October 5, 2014

Cody Moser - Get Dirty
Get Dirty
By Cody Moser, 12th grade
2014 Merit Award

One shall always be dirty
The joy will overwhelm you
Until being dirty is the only thing you want

Remember your childhood
The water the grass the mud
Relive the greatest moments of your life

No matter where you are
Find a hose and give it a squirt
Get dirty

The joy of it oozing through your toes
And dripping down your face
Go out and get dirty

When your long hard day is over
Get dirty
People get cleaner and cleaner every day
But in reality they need to get out and

*Copyright 2014 by Cody Moser. Broadside designed and illustrated by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio.

poetry postcard

By all accounts, 2014 has been a good year for August Poetry Postcard-ers. Though some people were disappointed with the number of cards they received, most seem delighted, and continue to enjoy the surprise of finding a late-arriving postcard in the mailbox even well into September. (Comments are gathered from the project’s Facebook group.)

For this participant, it was the fourth year and the best haul yet. The people on my list received postcards from my extremely random collection — cards that have found their way to me from family, garage sales, past travels, etc. — and most of the poems were prompted by the image or the caption on the card itself.

After I finished my regular August list, I decided to keep going, sending cards to the people who had sent them to me (the way the list is set up, your receive from list is different from your send to list) and responding very directly to the poem they wrote. I still have a few more to send, but by the end of September, I’ll have around 60 little drafts and, among them, perhaps some lines that will find their way into more developed poems.

Paul Nelson is a founder of the August Poetry Postcard Fest, along with Lana Hechtman Ayers, and he is also this year’s poet wrangler. His blog serves as Postcard Fest Central and there you’ll find information about the annual event, including a 2015 countdown clock, Paul’s afterword about this year’s fest and details on the postcards and poems he sent, plus a page about the postcards he received.

Paul’s tremendous work on behalf of this event results in the production of an enormous amount of poetry, to say nothing of the expanded (worldwide) network of poets connecting with one another and the mood-enhancing effect on our mail carriers, who must certainly be amused at all this poetry traffic. Thanks, Paul.

Some of the other 422 people on this year’s August Poetry Postcard list are also sharing their poems (and/or their reflections on participating). To see more, click on the poet’s name (in some cases you may have to navigate through several pages to see all of the person’s postcards):

Anna ElkinsBarbara Jean Sunshine Walsh
Courtney BirstDenise at NewPagesJessica Goodfellow
Kelleyanne PearceKristin Cleage Williams
Lisa NicholsMartina RobinsonMary Beth Frezon
McKenzie Lynn TozanNaomi / Kestrel Hill
Raymond MaxwellS.E. IngrahamWrensong

If I’ve missed your postcard posts, please leave a comment with a link to your blog or website. Thanks!

100 Thousand Poets for Change

September 9, 2014

27 September 2014

“Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.” Elie Wiesel

Now in its fourth year, 100 Thousand Poets for Change is a worldwide event in which local gatherings, celebrations, readings, exhibits, marches, lectures and other activities honor the possibility of change for the better. This year it will be celebrated on Saturday, September 27, though some events spill over, before or after.

100TPC has a website, a Facebook page, a Facebook event page and “official” local coordinators for Ellensburg (Lowell Murphree), Olympia (Jean Marie Riquelme), Puyallup (Kimberlee Gerstmann), Seattle (Lola Peters) and Tulalip (Kismet Armstrong).

Details about local events are more likely to be found in the local media than on official sites, but here are a couple:

In Seattle, Poetry+Motion presents Justice & Social Change: poetry, dance and open mic at Dahlak Eritrean Cuisine. Ticket info.

In Vancouver, WA, the William Stafford Centenary Reading will feature George Thomas and local authors from the anthology World of Change: Eileen Elliott, Christopher Luna, and Toni Partington, plus open mic, at Angst Gallery.

Whether you celebrate in public or in private, change is an excellent prompt. Be creative. If you have events scheduled in the region, please leave a comment and a link!

SPL Washington Center for the BookThe Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library has announced the finalists for the 2014 Washington State Book Awards. Books are considered in several categories: fiction, poetry, biography/memoir, history/general nonfiction and four groups of children’s books.

The winners will be announced at a free, public event on Friday, October 10, 2014, at the Central Library. The evening event will include readings, music, book sales and signings.

We congratulate this year’s poetry finalists:

See the complete list of finalists and more information about the Washington State Book Awards.

Be Fearless*

August 24, 2014

Savannah Miller - Be Fearless
Be Fearless
By Savannah Miller, 12th grade
2014 Walk Award

One should always be fearless.
that is all that matters.
A necessity for adventure
so as not to feel Fear’s liquid iron grip
slowly encasing and hardening around your heart.
You must be fearless
But how?
By honesty, by wild ideas and by abandoning
the worries that drag your feet.
Get fearless.
And if, at some time on the endless dirt road
littered with lost hope and despair.
In the hollow silence of a lonely night,
in the piercing cold of the biting wind
at the very edge of a cliff
you are at a loss —
You must be fearless.
Ask the wings, the wind, the knife,
all which live freely.
Ask them what time it is,
and the wings, the wind, the knife will reply:
“It’s time to break the chains”
Be fearless.

*Copyright 2014 by Savannah Miller. Broadside designed by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio. Illustration by Angela Boyle, Flying Dodo Publications.

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