it’s not too late!

March 2, 2021

The AWP Conference & Bookfair begins tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, and continues through Sunday, March 7. If you are interested in attending this year’s all-virtual event, you can still register. Plus, registration gives you full access to all presentations through April 3, 2021. Check out the featured presenters, the schedule, the bookfair, and then sign up!

call for poems

March 1, 2021

The 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is now open for submissions from Whatcom County, Washington, poets of all ages and experience. You can learn more about this year’s judges here and see the complete guidelines and submission details on the 2021 Contest page.

Also, a reminder for student poets: John S Green will offer a free Children’s Poetry Workshop, this Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 11:00am-12:15pm. Participation does not guarantee that your poem will be selected as a winner, but it’s sure to be fun. Advance registration is required.

virtual book fair

February 17, 2021

The website doesn’t offer a lot of detail on how it works, but SMOL Fair is an alternative book fair that will be live online between Wednesday, March 3, and Sunday, March 7, 2021. There will be readings, giveaways, and discounts, plus, it’s a great introduction to the 130 participating presses, including many that may be entirely new to you.

new titles

February 16, 2021

Here are some recommended titles to look forward to in 2021:

Happy reading!

what a list!

February 15, 2021

banner for PEN Literary Awards finalists

PEN America has announced the finalists for the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards, and what a list it is!

To make their decisions, the judges narrowed down 1850+ submissions to 55 books, spanning 11 awards in the categories of science writing, the essay, poetry and short story collections, translation, the novel, and more. Twenty of the books featured are from writers making their literary debuts. Half of the open-genre award finalists are poetry collections.

The winners will be celebrated at the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony, to take place virtually on Thursday, April 8, 2021, and will be open to a global audience. (Details TBA.)

better than flowers

February 8, 2021

Sunday, February 14, 2021, is Valentine’s Day and here are a couple of sweet options.

The League of Canadian Poets presents Poetry in Union. You book a 15-minute time slot (7:00am to 1:00pm Pacific) with a Canadian poet and after a brief conversation you will receive a poem written specially for you and your sweetheart. Advance booking recommended.

From Noon to 3:00pm on Sunday, the Olympia Poetry Network (OPN) and Cultivating Voices LIVE Poetry presents an international celebration of poets laureate: Laureate Lovefest. Poets laureate from Ireland, Canada, and across the U.S. will participate in a three-hour lovefest of readings and conversation, including special video readings by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and current U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. See the lineup (including Claudia Castro Luna, Kim Stafford, and former Youth Poet Laureat of Seattle Azura Tyabji) and register here.

virtual FisherPoets

February 3, 2021

If this is February, FisherPoets must be on the horizon. And indeed it is. In spite of everything, the FisherPoets Gathering, which normally (can we say normal in reference to this event?) populates Astoria, Oregon, for a rollicking weekend, will this year happen online, February 26-28, 2021.

Join us for a virtual FisherPoets Gathering this time, a slimmed-down version that, nonetheless, offers a truly singular occasion to catch everyone for a change. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings will feature three 90-minute shows of 15 or so fisherpoets keeping it short and sweet, a parade of five-minute performances, original song, story and poetry from the commercial fishing industry. A thirty-minute break will separate shows.

The entire catch is free. Mark your calendar and keep an eye on the 2021 FisherPoets Gathering page for access info and a list of fisherpoets who have already agreed to perform.

The poets (Dayna Patterson, Jennifer Bullis, Bruce Beasley, Luther Allen, and Susan Alexander) will continue their poetic musings in Round 4 of SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread on Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific.

By this point in the linked series, spirit and virus are inextricably entwined. The intimacy of breath and the magnitude of the imponderable are stitched together. The poems reach back not only to the immediately preceding poem, but also to the entire collection, now some six months in the making.

The reading is free on Zoom with a password, available by sending an email to othermindpress AT See the poets’ bios and links to videos of the previous three readings on the SpeakEasy 27 page.

more from Whatcom Reads

February 1, 2021

Since it was published in October 2020, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (Penguin Random House) has appeared on one best-of list after another. Edited by Kevin Young, the collection of 250 poets writing about 250 years of “struggle and song” was called “Monumental and rapturous” by The New York Times.

On Friday, February 5, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific, as part of the continuing programming inspired by this year’s Whatcom Reads title, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, local poets will read selections from African American Poetry and Dr. Bill Lyne, coordinator of African American Studies at Western Washington University, will moderate a discussion on African American literature. The event is free online, with advance registration.

Monday at 7

January 30, 2021

This good news just in: artist and poet Anita K. Boyle will read from her new book, Why Horses (MoonPath Press, 2020) on Monday, February 1, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific on Zoom (p: 664442).

The at-home, online, monthly Monday Night Poetry event with Northwest Renaissance Poets and Striped Water Poets will include a 20-minute featured reading by Anita followed by a round-robin open mic. The reading will be recorded and posted afterwards to the Northwest Renaissance Poets Facebook page.

Find Why Horses at your local independent bookstore. Here’s more on Anita K. Boyle, Why Horses, and MoonPath Press, and here’s the event on Facebook.

Don’t miss this one.

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