plaques on view

November 28, 2021

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit the newly (and wonderfully) remodeled downtown Bellingham Public Library, it’s here: the plaques of the 2021 Walk Award winners in the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest are now in place and will remain on view until the 2022 plaques are installed.

Along with the ten Walk poems, a plaque features a poem by the contest’s namesake, Sue C. Boynton, and another acknowledges this year’s generous donors: C S Downing, Solon & Sharon Boynton III, Louis & Janet Nelson, Evan Friedman, Jan Pierson, Luther Allen, and George Drake and the Drake Family Fund at Whatcom Community Foundation. Special thanks to the Bellingham Public Library and to the Birchwood Garden Club, which maintains the planters that are home to the plaques.

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pictured: “I Got Lost in my Book” by Peyton Eberhardt

Congratulations BTV Bellingham!

September 25, 2021

Congratulations to BTV Bellingham, which earned three national awards on September 23, 2021, for videos featuring Bellingham Public Library and one award for a Public Service Announcement from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.

The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk video, featuring Librarian Suzanne Carlson-Prandini and young poet Haley Van Ness, to highlight National Poetry Month in April, won an Award of Distinction in the Library category.

The Library Curbside Service Behind the Scenes video produced in February, also featuring the Van Ness family and the sustained collaboration of Bellingham Public Library staff to keep materials circulating during the COVID-19 pandemic, won two Awards of Honor in the Library and Editing categories.

“The talented staff at BTV and the quality of their content are a true service to Bellingham, keeping our locals informed and raising the profile of our City alongside communities throughout the country,” said Annette Bagley, Head of Community Relations for Bellingham Public Library.

BTV Bellingham is operated by the City of Bellingham to provide information about publicly funded government and educational institutions through high quality video services delivered via the internet and cable television. It can be viewed live 24/7 on the City of Bellingham website, as well as on Comcast Cable TV channels 10 and 321 in greater Bellingham.

Special thanks to BTV and to the Bellingham Public Library for a long tradition of supporting community poetry in Whatcom County!

See also BTV videos of 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winners Margaux Barber, Barbara Bloom, Marie Eaton, David M. Laws, Jory Mickelson, Janette Rosebrook, and Genevieve Whelan, with one more, by Lynn Geri, to come!

We have winners!

May 4, 2021

Congratulations and thanks to ALL of the poets who submitted work to this year’s Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, and in particular to the poets who have been selected as this year’s winners:

WALK AWARDS: Ty Colson, David P. Drummond, Marie Eaton, Peyton Eberhardt, Jory Mickelson, Maddie Patterson, Timothy Pilgrim, Janette Lyn Rosebrook, Noa Shelsta, J.L. Wright.

MERIT AWARDS: Rylie Anderson, Margaux Barber, Barbara Bloom, Kathleen Byrd, Lynn Geri, Arden Haines, Sophie Hall, Callum LaPlant, David M. Laws, Payton Ling, Phelps S. McIlvaine, Isabella Nelson, Robert Stern, Kami Westhoff, Genevieve Whalen.

The awards ceremony will be held online on Thursday, May 20, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific. Access information will be provided as soon as it is available.

In addition… the names of the winning poets and poems will be added to the Winners page. The winning poems and their beautiful illustrated placards will be featured on this page, one per week, over the coming months, and linked to the Winners page. And finally, the Walk Award poems will take their places on the Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library, where they will remain on view for a full year. (If you haven’t seen the 2020 Poetry Walk poems, be sure to take a look before they go away.)

Meanwhile, please enjoy this wonderful video celebrating the contest and its namesake, Sue C. Boynton.

plaques in place

July 1, 2019

The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest Walk Award plaques are now installed along the Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library, on Central Avenue, downtown. They will remain there until the 2020 contest winners take their place.

send poems!

March 17, 2019

Attention, Whatcom County poets: you have just two more weeks to submit your poem to the 2019 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. The submission deadline is 6:00pm, Sunday, March 31, 2019. Submissions can be mailed, hand-delivered, or emailed, but they must arrive by the deadline.

See the complete guidelines on the 2019 Contest page and submit your very best poem. If it’s a winner, it could find a home in front of the Bellingham Public Library and/or inside a Whatcom Transportation Authority bus for a full year!

plaques on view!

August 25, 2017

Plaques displaying the ten Walk Award poems from the 2017 Sue Boynton Poetry Contest are now on view in front of the Bellingham Public Library (Central Avenue between Grand and Commercial in downtown Bellingham). They will remain there until replaced by the 2018 winners. Stop by and read some poetry!

poetrynight and Piper

It’s Monday, June 6, 2016, so that means it’s poetrynight night and Paul S. Piper features. Paul will be reading poetry from three past books, plus new poems from a book due out in late June or July. That book is entitled and Light and will be published by Good Deed Rain Press.

Join the audience and join in the open mic at the Bellingham Public Library. Doors open and sign-ups begin at 7:45pm. Poetry begins at 8:00pm sharp!

Carolyne Wright, times two

January 14, 2016

Carolyne WrightBellingham poets and poetry fans will be treated to a double dose of good words when Carolyne Wright visits for a pair of readings on Sunday, January 17, and Monday, January 18, 2016.

On Sunday, Carolyne Wright (lead editor) will be joined by Ana Maria Spagna, Miranda Pearson and Christine Holbert (publisher) to read from Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace, a “ground-breaking anthology of poems by 120 women in over 60 occupations, giving voice to working women world-wide.” The reading and book signing at Village Books will begin at 4:00pm.

On Monday, Carolyne Wright will be the featured poet at Bellingham’s weekly poetrynight. This special event will be held in the Encore Room of the Mount Baker Theatre and will include an open mic. Sign-ups start at 7:45pm, poetry starts at 8:00pm sharp.

Since its founding in 1995, poetrynight has provided opportunities for new and established writers — local, regional and national — to share their work before a friendly and enthusiastic audience in coffee shops and classrooms, basements and concert halls across Whatcom and Skagit counties. Poetrynight can be found every Monday evening in the lower-level meeting room of the Bellingham Public Library (after hours, enter through the back of the building) and welcomes new and returning readers and listeners.
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photo

plaques up!

September 9, 2015

2015 SCB donor plaque

The 2015 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest Walk Award poems are now on view in front of the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Avenue in Bellingham, Washington. Go for a short poetry walk and enjoy this year’s winners along with a plaque honoring the contest’s generous donors (shown above) and another with a poem by contest namesake, Sue C. Boynton. The plaques will remain on view until they are replaced, next summer, with the 2016 winners.

plaquesThe 2015 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is now mostly complete. The chapbook of winning poems is available for sale at Village Books and the podcast is posted (see link in sidebar at right). In the coming months, the ten Walk Award poems will be posted in front of the Bellingham Public Library and beautiful placards of all 25 winning poems will find a place inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses, where they’ll be on view on routes throughout Whatcom County for the next year.

Each Sunday, starting tomorrow, we will post one of the winning poem placards on this page and link that post to the Winners page.

This year, instead of working with a single artist/designer on the placards, the committee decided to hold a competition among local artists. Four artists — Megan Carroll, Mat Hudson, Christian Smith and Kimberly Wulfestieg — were selected to illustrate the placards. The artists had one week to absorb the poems and create their illustrations. We introduce the artists here:

Megan CarrollMegan 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 now made my home in Bellingham for the last 3 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.

Mat HudsonMat Hudson left art school in the forests of the the Eastern United States to join AmeriCorps, where he served in the Washington Reading Corps for three years and designed many a T-shirt that was a envy of every non Washington Reading Corps VISTA. He sketches directly onto a digital pad connected to his computer and then uses photoshop to modify his artwork. He makes art for Jinx Art Space and the Bureau of Historical Investigation. He is the author of a young adult novel, Hazel, and a picture book, Dig. He lives in Bellingham, WA, where he ponders unicorns and narwhal and finds inspiration in the local music scene.

Christian SmithChristian 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 WulfestiegKimberly Wulfestieg is a paper cutting, rainbow loving, poetry flowing mama of three amazing girls, Jane, Quinn and Grace. Originally from Northern California, she made her way to Bellingham four 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. Also known as K. Wulfe, more of her work can be seen on Facebook at K. Wulfe. “Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful poems with me. They all touched me deeply and I enjoyed creating these images so very much. I read and reread your works so many times throughout this process, your poems are a part of me now. Thank you, thank you!”

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