get inspired!

June 13, 2017

It’s time again for the Two Sylvias Press Online Poetry Retreat: four weeks of new prompts, writing exercises, inspiration and critiques offered by the editors of Two Sylvias Press (Kelli Russell Agodon and Annette Spaulding-Convy).

There are two sessions: June 26 – July 23 (July session) and July 31 – August 27 (August session). Find all the details and registration information on the Two Sylvias Press Online Poetry Retreat page.

have you seen this?

June 12, 2017

SAL Poetry

The 2017-2018 lineup for the Seattle Arts and Lectures Poetry Series is now posted and tickets are on sale. There are six events between October and May, featuring speakers Stephen (Steph) Burt; A.E. Stallings; Gregory Orr; Tyehimba Jess; Rachel McKibbens, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Javier Zamora; and Aimee Nezhukumatathil. The SAL Literary Arts Series features another six lectures. Get these on your calendar, and get your tickets before they sell out!

In-between Places*

June 11, 2017

2017 Walk Award
By Virginia Ferm Herrick

I keep running into my mom
in halls, elevators, and alleyways.
I’m always glad to see her, but we never really talk.

“I came to see Dr. Seymour,”
she lamented in the elevator one morning.
“I ended up with some guy who didn’t know my situation—”

Then my alarm went off, and she was gone.

Another time, she came down the hall
at the transitional house for women and children
where I was helping paint for the Grand Opening.
We were so happy to see each other.
I gave her a big hug before she hurried on,
her bird-like bones as solid as ever.

Even both alive, we only got to talk
when she was busy
doing dishes, changing her shoes, cooking, gardening.
Stands to reason now she’s dead,
she’s even harder to pin down.

Bumping into her like this helps, but I know why
she wanted Dr. Seymour.

. . . . .
An award-winning journalist for more than a decade, Virginia Ferm Herrick is no stranger to seeing her name in print. Her website, Yes! Virginia, includes samples of her poetry and prose; she also has published in magazines and had a poem selected for inclusion in the 2009 poetry and prose collection, Enlivened by the Mystery. She shares her household with two lordly but affectionate cats, a patient dog, and a husband who loves boats.

“I wrote ‘In-between Places’ based on a dream journal and a subsequent rough draft that sat on my computer for two years. Inspired by the contest announcements in April 2017 and the upcoming anniversary of my mom’s death on May 3, I picked up the amorphous draft and wrote the poem. Only in writing it did I realize: I was the one who wanted ‘Dr. Seymour.’”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Virginia Ferm Herrick. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

a sure sign of summer

June 5, 2017

Although technically it’s not yet summer, making plans to attend LiTFUSE is a sure sign that the season is right around the corner. The annual Tieton, Washington, event is definitely a landmark on the poetry map and a rewarding way to spend three days in September. This year’s faculty and schedule are now available for your perusal and registration is open for the September 22-24, 2017, gathering. Go!

Eric Kosarot
2017 Walk Award
By Eric R. Kosarot

Dusk falls on Toad Lake.
I slide over frozen fish and gaze into
ice swollen around dock planks.

A fracture like a lightning bolt
extends its frozen electricity
through unsheltered vaults of ice, wood and sky.

. . . . .
Eric Kosarot has self-published three poetry chapbooks, Cascade Winter, Azure Blue, and Writings in the Sky. He has a degree in Earth Arts Journalism from Fairhaven College. Currently Eric lives with his family in a yurt near Lake Whatcom and teaches music at Cascades Montessori Middle School.

“Slip of the Frozen Note” was inspired by this winter’s freezing temperatures. “I wrote it after visiting the iced-over lake with my mom. Several people, including myself, were exuberantly sliding across the thick ice while bystanders watched from beside a barbecue fire on the shore.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Eric R. Kosarot. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

planning ahead

May 29, 2017

Here’s an event for your later-this-summer calendar: The 2017 Poetry Marathon. This year’s Marathon will take place on August 5, starting at 9:00am ET and concluding at 9:00am ET on the 6th.

The idea is that during those 24 hours, you write and post a poem each hour. What you do during any remaining minutes of each hour is up to you, but some advance planning — snacks, prompts, marathon buddies — is a good idea. The marathon team posts hourly prompts and has a Facebook group for ongoing inspiration.

If staying awake (or diligent catnapping) for 24 hours is daunting, this year there will also be TWO half-marathons (12 poems in 12 hours): one beginning at 9:00am ET and concluding at 9:00pm ET on the 5th, the other beginning at 9:00pm ET on the 5th and concluding at 9:00am ET on the 6th.

Participation is free, but you must register in advance. Whichever version you do, one or two dozen poems drafted in such a short time is quite a remarkable result. You can sleep any time. Put it on your calendar and learn more at The Poetry Marathon.

meet and retreat

April 17, 2017

Here are a number of conferences, retreats and other events in the greater Cascadia area (and beyond) that merit some planning for the coming months (all 2017).

For readings and other events, see the Calendar page.

. . . . .

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