Langston Titles*

September 2, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Emma Thario, grade 11

Her voice is like a Juke Box Love Song
Even when she has a Bad Morning
She’s like Daybreak in Alabama
When Sue Wears Red
Her appearance is like a Bouquet of bright red roses
she just wants Acceptance
to feel that her Life is Fine
whenever my Quiet Girl journeys away
The Weary Blues
of the April Rain Song are what I sing
I travel to the Night Funeral in Harlem
Where there’s no Sea Calm
Yet all I can see is my Genius Child
In my Dream Variations
I see her dancing among the stars
That can’t seem to out shine her light

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Emma Thario. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

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2018 Walk Award
By Nancy Canyon

Wooden oars slosh     cutting lazy eddies
through narrow channel           low water
turns swampy              orange flicks and
flashes        sunfish circling murky shoal
fins  wag  to  cacophony  of  insect  buzz
green stalks curl and arch      chirp   plop
frog-kick      dive deep under    mirrored
surface reflects cirrus            streaks of
spilled milk above       rippling tea below
stems refract at water break     black lily
roots twist       gold marbled surface laps
red-winged blackbirds trill     dragonflies
flit past grandpa’s green rowboat.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Nancy Canyon. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Cup of Tea*

July 29, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Alandra Barker

She says,
being married is like holding a hot cup of tea
and being worried that you’re going to sneeze.

I think, if marriage is a cup of tea,
I know it’s my favorite kind.
The kind that makes you feel whole and warm
from the inside out after a long, cold day.
But then I think, it’s not the same for everyone;
maybe it’s the resentment that builds
from holding back that sneeze because you don’t want
to get burned. OR MAYBE,
the tea is the only thing that makes you feel better
every time that sneeze starts to irritate your nose,
and the tea is your relief and a sense of security.

It seems to apply to every possibility.
So I guess that makes it the perfect analogy,

but I don’t know which one she meant.

I say,
being married is like thinking you can swim, but realizing
you don’t…
after you’ve jumped in the water.

. . . . .
Alandra Barker is a junior at Western Washington University studying Linguistics with a concentration in Anthropology, who also happens to have a passion for poetry and literature. Alandra likes to spend her free time exploring the parks, trails, and beaches of Bellingham with her wife and dog.

“Cup of Tea” was written as a sort of response to an analogy that her wife used to explain marriage to a coworker. “I just remember her coming home and telling me about this conversation that she had, and I thought about it for days. This poem was written mostly in my head over the course of weeks as a way to process how I felt about it.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Alandra Barker. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.


2018 Merit Award
By Leslie Wharton

Avoiding whirling eddies
recirculating worries
torrents of to-dos
swirling self-doubt
Poem swims.

She rests in calm water
next to fast current
watches for a word
flash of muse
enticing nymph
anything to nibble on.

Hidden in shadows
She maneuvers
beyond logjams
past traumas
political debris.

Poem rises
hardly edited
never spoken
barely noticed.
Concentric circles
ripple outwards.

. . . . .
Leslie Wharton is a caregiver for extraordinary elders, currently a retired philosophy professor. You can find her writing in Phoenix Rising: Stories of Remarkable Women, in the upcoming 2018 Red Wheelbarrow Writers anthology, and chapbooks around Bellingham. She is proud of organizing poets and speakers for Bellingham Women’s Marches.

Leslie caught the poem, Fish Is Plural for Fish, while fishing on the Wynoochee River. Despite the poem’s claims, it was heavily edited with help from a friend, Ann Morris.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Leslie Wharton. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

meet the artists

May 12, 2018

Each of the 25 winning poems in the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is illustrated with flair and care by one of four artists. The resulting placards are displayed in Whatcom Transportation Authority buses for a full year.

We introduce the four artists here, in their own words:

Angela Boyle
As a cartoonist and natural science illustrator, I like to blend my passions together into both nonfiction and science fiction comics. My focus is the natural world: the plants and animals we can see and interact with, or at least potentially interact with. It is not surprising that I focus on nature. I have always been surrounded by animals. Two weeks before I was born, my parents’ borzoi, Domino, birthed a litter. They were so busy raising me, they never really got around to selling the puppies as intended. Then with my brother coming along, we all moved out to the country. They bought a house (it came with a cow!) and quickly filled the land with horses, a pony, chickens, turkeys, and other animals. Even without the added domestic animals, I was playing with frogs and raising the tadpoles from our pond. And I was drawing and writing and reading. And I am still drawing, writing, and reading. I draw comics, which you can get on Storeenvy, and paint nature, which you can get on mugs and pillows from Society 6. And I am reading—researching Maria Sibylla Merian and the late 1600s in preparation for a graphic novel biography. You can follow my research on Patreon. I have a sci-fi comic on tumblr and an autobio comic on tumblr. My general social media (twitter, tumblr, Instagram) is angelabcomics, and my personal website is angelaboyle.flyingdodostudio.com, which has links to everything, including many more comics. Photo Copyright Abe Olson.

Megan Carroll
I once told my husband that making art was not an option, it was a need. I have to make art, I have to use my hands. I believe in craftsmanship. I research every single one of my ideas, draw several sketches, collect images, words and doodles. I throw out several ideas and save what I think are the very best ones. As an artist I collaborate with those around me, seeking feedback and critique. My illustrations have a minimalist style that leans heavily on mark making. I love strong lines that create a visual impact using simple repetitive shapes. I would describe myself as a mixed media artist as my current works are digital, surface and pattern design, illustration, fabric, and clay. I received my BFA from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC, and I have made my home in Bellingham for the last 6 years. You can buy my prints, including the ones inspired by the poems in this contest, on Society6, or my handmade goods at Scrappy Carp Living on Etsy.

Christian Anne Smith
I like to tell stories with art. I love garish and fantastical characters. I enjoy human beings and my art explores stories of human emotion as well as my passion for costumes, colors, textures, and intriguing environments. Growing up on the coast of Maine, I was surrounded by stories and images of the region’s folklore. Seilkies, Mermaids, Ghosts, and Pirates were all believably real entities to me. My childhood fascination with monsters and supernatural beings continues and influences the way I choose to portray people. I also have a need to express with my art. I become inspired, and have worked hard to train myself to go into a sort of a trance that allows what’s inside to come out. It’s only later that I can look with any objectivity on something that I’ve created and perhaps get a glimpse of what I was feeling or thinking. It is akin to the way one might analyze a dream. I may start a painting or puppet with a certain image in mind, but I allow the original image to change or even get completely painted over whenever I start to see new things. I am often quite confused about how I am feeling until after I paint, draw, or build things and the truth comes to the surface. This is the way I best communicate with myself. In this way I suppose nearly all my paintings are also portraits of my life. Thank you for your interest in my work. I hope that the world I have created sparks your own imagination and provokes many hours of daydream in the years to come.

Kimberly Wulfestieg
is a paper cutting, rainbow loving, poetry flowing mother and teacher. Originally from Northern California, she made her way to Bellingham seven years ago and never passes a mountain, lake, flower, or tree, without a deep breath and an appreciation for its beauty. A self-taught artist, she has always been enamored with the color and texture of paper and collage. She employs a wide array of colored papers, scissors, scalpels, knives, and glue, and uses them in conjunction with details and patience. She runs the Natural Learning Center in Bellingham and loves to share her joy of art and words with the children she works with. Also known as K. Wulfe, more of her work can be seen on Facebook at K. Wulfe and followed on Instagram @kimwulfy.

Possum love…

July 14, 2014

Awesome Possum

If you’ve been enjoying the weekly postings of the beautiful Egress Studio placards of this year’s winning poems from the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, you may be interested in this project.

Some of the placards are illustrated by Angela Boyle (some by Anita K. Boyle, and yes, the last name is no coincidence). Angela, along with a select group of 2014 graduates of the Natural Science Illustration certificate program at the University of Washington, is putting together a natural science comic anthology, Awesome Possum, and funding it on Kickstarter.

With a modest goal in sight, they’re well on their way to full funding, but over-funding means the artists will get paid (!), so definitely have a look at this fun and informative enterprise. Visit Awesome Possum on Kickstarter and see more Angela Boyle illustrations and comics here and on Flying Dodo Publications.

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