hurry, poets

December 19, 2017

Add your poems of joy, resolution, dire warnings, laments, or songs of praise to the Vashon Poetry Post in the Village Green to celebrate the Winter Solstice, Thursday, December 21, 2017. If you’re on Vashon Island, post your own. Otherwise, email your poem to Ann Spiers – spiers [at] centurytel.net – to add to the season’s much-needed cloak of poems.

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get posted…on Vashon

September 13, 2016

Vashon poetry post

We heard that there is a poetry post on Vashon Island, so to find out more we went to the source: Ann Spiers, Vashon’s inaugural Poet Laureate. Here’s what she told us:

The Poetry Post, a cedar pole, stands in Vashon town’s Village Green. The post is modeled after Yakima’s Poetry Pole, stewarded by Jim Bodeen of Blue Begonia Press.

The Vashon Post was erected in 2006. Ann Spiers and Zack Krieger led the effort. Loren Sinner Cedar donated the 10-foot clear cedar post. Vashon Parks and the Village Green stewards granted permission for its planting in public space. Bill Ferris’s Raven’s Isle Woodworks carved the letters. Bill Mann drove his tractor carrying the post and augured the hole. The late poet Paul Motoyoshi offered a tea ceremony as a blessing for the Post in the gloaming at the moment of the Winter Solstice 2006.

Once the Post was in place, it was just a matter of adding poems. Some people post their own, others send them to Ann for posting. Some of the poems are recent originals, others are old favorites, and the posted poems are periodically collected and archived. Ann says, “To attract readers I ‘decorate’ the post on farmers market Saturdays and holidays with swaths of seasonal flora, like grasses, apple branches, salal and currant berries, tansy and roadside pea flowers, and dahlia and spring blossoms.”

Sometimes, “the Post is used as a destination, such as a memorial walk. Island poetry events are posted. At times, groups have stewarded the post in my stead, school groups, writing groups.” And the Post is gathering its own set of stories. The post is planted four feet deep with six feet above ground, but once, “someone tried to pull out the post using a chain around its base. The post stood. In yellow jacket years, the bees will mine the paper the poems are printed on, making a filigree of the text.”

If you’re willing to subject your poetry — or your favorites — to public scrutiny, weather and yellow jackets, Ann welcomes poems from all over. You don’t have to be an Islander. Pin up your own or send them in an email to Ann Spiers at spiers@centurytel.net.

Vestige of Vashon

July 2, 2016

Vestige

With a minimum of fanfare, a group of Vashon Island poets has issued a limited-edition portfolio, “Vestige.” Read about it at the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber and look for it at the Vashon Bookshop and Vashon’s online Outrider Book Gallery.

more poetry workshops!

October 31, 2015

Two more terrific poets will offer workshops to benefit the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Workshops are held on the lower level of the Fairhaven Library in Bellingham, Washington. Registration is required: $30 for one workshop or $50 for both workshops offered the same day, paid by check or cash at the workshop.

Register by sending an email to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com indicating the workshop(s) you wish to take and including your name and a phone number. Please bring writing materials.

Ann Spiers10:00am – Noon
Ann Spiers
The Poem’s Line, or Lessons in Break Dancing

“Yet there is at our disposal no tool of the poetic craft more important, none that yields more subtle and precise effects, than the linebreak if it is properly used.” Denise Levertov

Linebreaks help you construct a poem, especially as you draft the poem’s final form. In this workshop, participants will respond to writing prompts to create stanzas, and then practice the art of line breaks. The class will consider how other poets used this integral craft by studying poems to discern poets’ diverse decisions about linebreaks. Linebreaks can define the poem, create cadence, establish emphasis, aid the reader in decoding meaning, uncover rhyme and half-rhyme, fudge clunky moments, provide humor, enhance sound, alter pace, and clarify phrasing. Some poets use linebreaks, spacing, and tabbing to display the process of the poet writing at the moment of creating a poem — its intellectual or emotional structure.

Ann Spiers is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Vashon Island. She stewards the Poetry Post in Vashon’s Village Green, co-produced the 2009 Vashon Poetry Fest, and curated Broadsides: Poems on Paper at a Vashon art gallery.

Bellingham’s poets have been good to Ann. Egress Studio Press published her chapbook, What Rain Does. She has read at the Whatcom Poetry Series and Village Books. She fondly remembers reading T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” at Fast Eddie’s Tavern when the audience raucously joined in the poem’s refrain. This year, Peasandcues Press designed and printed the broadside, “Rain Violent,” a poem from her Weather Station manuscript.

Michael Daley1:00 – 3:00pm
Michael Daley
Attentively

This workshop will suggest the practice of “organic form” described by Denise Levertov in her essay by that name. Attentiveness, or “attentivity” (not a word), may be the prime mover of poetry, or at least its muse’s primary tool, so basic it operates at the instinct level, and like spontaneous dance, leads to refinement. The workshop’s efforts will be toward an organic practice of composition through six different exercises. As they are exercises, rough drafts are the hope, but the practice includes recognizing three distinct tiers, or phases, in crafting observational responses. “During our time together we will grope toward the form of what we need to say.”

Michael Daley was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He later took vows and prepared to become a Catholic priest. Upon leaving religious life, he was wild in the streets, protesting wars and seeking a life of experience. He holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and an M.F.A. from the University of Washington. He is the founding editor of Empty Bowl Press, former Poet-in-Residence for the Washington State Arts Commission, the Skagit River Poetry Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a retired English Instructor for Mount Vernon High School. In addition to seven chapbooks, he has published three full-length collections of his poetry and a book of essays. He has been awarded by the Washington State Arts Commission, Seattle Arts Commission, Artist Trust, Fulbright, and the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Wonderful workshops!

August 21, 2015

Fairhaven Library pre-stucco

Once again, two outstanding poets have generously offered their time and inspiration in support of the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. On Saturday, October 17, 2015, Jeffrey Morgan and Kelli Russell Agodon will each teach a two-hour poetry workshop at the Fairhaven Library in Bellingham (pictured here pre-stucco, pre-parking lot, pre-landscaping).

Jeffrey Morgan’s morning workshop is Submission: A Practical Guide to Literary Publishing. Kelli Russell Agodon’s afternoon workshop is Fire On the Page: Generating New Work With Writing Prompts.

Registration is required and all fees benefit the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: $30 for one workshop or $50 for both workshops offered the same day, paid by check or cash at the workshop.

Register by sending an email to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com indicating the workshop(s) you wish to take and including your name and a phone number. Please bring writing materials.

A second set of fall poetry workshops will be taught by Ann Spiers and Michael Daley on Saturday, November 14.

See instructor bios and full workshop descriptions on the WORKSHOPS page.
. . . . .
Fairhaven Library

Good one!

April 1, 2015

Egress Studio Press reading

There’s no shortage of options for National Poetry Month, but this one should definitely be on your list: a selection of readings by Egress Studio Press authors. Poets include Richard Widerkehr, Ann Spiers, Sheila Sondik, Susan J. Erickson, Anita K. Boyle and James Bertolino. See you there: Village Books, Bellingham, 7:00pm, Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

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