Join the Skagit River Poetry Foundation
for a summer celebration
Outdoor Picnic at Pioneer Park
La Conner, Washington
Sunday, July 24, 2022, 2:00-7:00pm
Heron & Crow, Erik Christensen Band, and Deep River Blues Band
Northwest poets plus audience open mic
Burgers, dogs, drinks, and ice cream
Family friendly
Bring a camp chair or blanket

Mark your calendar!
(and while you’re at it: make a note of
the Skagit River Poetry Festival, October 6-9, 2022)


June 11, 2022

If you’re stacking up books for your summer reading, here are some titles, including a few slightly delayed recommendations:

Happy reading!

meet the press

June 4, 2022

Airlie Press is a Portland, Oregon, based nonprofit publishing collective dedicated to cultivating and sustaining fine contemporary poetry. Each year, the press produces two or three full-length volumes of poetry by Pacific Northwest poets.

The Airlie Press open reading period runs from June 1 through July 31. Along with the submission of a manuscript, the press seeks “Pacific Northwest poets who are willing and able to commit to a three-year term of doing the shared work of running a collective press.”

If this sounds interesting and you would like to learn more, Airlie Press will offer two free one-hour online information sessions: Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 7:00pm and Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at Noon.

CIRQUE, A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim, has just announced two upcoming readings from CIRQUE #23 Volume 12, No. 1.

The first will be on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at 7:00pm, at Kennedy School McMenamins in Portland, Oregon. Readers will include Carey Taylor, Jennifer Dorner, Paul Haeder, Amelia Diaz Ettinger, Sandra Kleven, Dale Champlin, Liz Nakazawa, Connie Soper, Rosemary Lombard, Merna Dyer Skinner, David Rowan, Kelly Lenox, and Leah Stenson.

The second will be on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at 7:00pm, at Northlake Lutheran Church in Kenmore, Washington. Readers will include Esther Altshul Helfgott, Hamish Todd, Claudia Green, Tamara Sellman, Sandra Kleven, Craig Smith, Alan Weltzien, Lyn Coffin, Cynthia Steele, David Rowan, Mark Burke, Lynda Humphrey, Joel Shavishinsky, and Kristina Marie Boratino. A reception will follow this event.


May 31, 2022

National Youth Poet Laureate Alyssa Gaines

Urban Word, the founding organization of the National Youth Poet Laureate Program, has announced that Alyssa Gaines has been selected as the 2022 National Youth Poet Laureate (NYPL). The four finalists were chosen from a field of more than 65 Youth Poets Laureate from across the United States. All of the poets were judged on their artistic excellence, as well as their commitment to civic engagement, youth leadership, and social impact.

The Midwest Regional Finalist and the first-ever Indianapolis Youth Poet Laureate, Gaines’s work has been featured in Scholastic’s “Best Teen Writing,” the Indianapolis Recorder, and was published by Teach for America. A recent high school graduate, she has performed in numerous theater productions and was the captain of the lacrosse team.

As the 6th NYPL, Alyssa Gaines follows Alexandra Huynh (2021), Meera Dasgupta (2020), Kara Jackson (2019), Patricia Frazier (2018), and Amanda Gorman (2017). Read an interview with Alyssa Gaines in The Indianapolis Review.

Founded in New York City in 2008, the Youth Poet Laureate Program partners with local and national literary arts organizations across the country to elevate youth voices at the forefront of social change.

The Poetry Postcard Fest (formerly known as the August Poetry Postcard Fest) “is an annual literary event where people sign up to send 31 original poems on postcards to folks on a participation list before the end of August. The Fest was initiated in 2007 by poets Paul Nelson and Lana Ayers, and has grown to include poets participating worldwide.”

For participants, a highlight of summer is writing and sending short, daily poems and, of course, finding postcards in the mailbox day after day.

Registration for the #PPF2022 is now open and early-bird rates apply until Jun 4. Registration CLOSES July 3, 2022, and lists go out after that.

For more information, visit the Poetry Postcard Fest site (on the main page, scroll down for detailed instructions), and see some of the Fest posts that have appeared on The Poetry Department.

Poetry Picnic

May 25, 2022

The Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma Creates, Write253, and The Asian Pacific Cultural Center invite you to celebrate poetry and community at a Poetry Picnic on Saturday, June 11, 2022, 11:00am to 3:00pm in South Park, Tacoma, on the grounds of The Asian Pacific Cultural Center.

The free, all-ages event will feature drop-in activities, an open mic, live readings, book sales, book giveaways, letterpress printing, oral history recording booth, the Creative Colloquy book bike, a vegetarian food truck, and more.

More new titles, plus a couple of catch-up recommendations, for your spring reading list:

LiTFUSE 2022!

May 22, 2022

Great news from Tieton, Washington, this week: the LiTFUSE faculty lineup for 2022 has been announced, PLUS a new monthly reading series and open mic, Fuel, has been added to LiTFUSE programming.

For LiTFUSE 2022, September 23-25, faculty will feature keynote poet, Kim Addonizio, featured guest, Washington State Poet Laureate, Rena Priest, and additional faculty Brooke Matson, Gabrielle Bates, Robert Lashley, Xavier Cavazos, Aileen Koewn Vaux, Matt Trease, Luther Hughes, Kathryn Hunt, Lyn Coffin, Mathias Svalina, Taneum Bambrick, and Gary Copeland Lilley.

Fuel happens every fourth Wednesday at 7:00pm at the Fueling Station in Tieton. On May 25, you can hear Raúl Sánchez reading from his new book, When There Were No Borders.

Keep an eye on the LiTFUSE website or Facebook page, or get your name on the mailing list for all the latest info.


May 19, 2022

It’s Thursday, May 19, 2022, and tonight’s the night! Celebrate winning poets and poems for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest at 7:00pm on Zoom. Or click here, if you need to join by phone.

Please arrive a few minutes early so the ceremony can start promptly at 7.

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