Gather Round: stories

May 30, 2017

Honey Moon Mead & Cider has added a new monthly event to their music- and poetry-friendly programming: Gather Round.

This evening, Tuesday, May 30, 2017, will be the fourth in the Gather Round series, which happens on the last Tuesday of each month. Here’s the official description:

Gather Round is inspired by The Moth, the New York based non-profit dedicated to “true stories told live.” We believe that nothing binds a community together like shared stories. Our format is Open Mic: prospective tellers prepare a story based on the evening’s theme and submit their names before the show starts. Our rules are simple:

  1. Stories must be true and personal, that is, they must relate something that actually happened and directly affected the teller.
  2. Stories must be told, not read — they must be performed without notes.
  3. Stories last approximately 5-8 minutes.

We’re committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all sorts of stories to be shared. Funny stories, sad stories, stories about small triumphs or epic defeats; stories about friends, about families, about the search for love or justice; stories about the human condition and how we cope with it on any given day. Come tell us a story, or just sit back and listen as others share theirs.

One more thing: our space is small and seating is limited — come early to get a good spot!

Each Gather Round has a theme. The theme for this evening’s event is “Taking Liberties – Stories of Overstepping Bounds.”

We’ve all taken liberties in big ways and small, with people, with situations, with facts. Maybe you’re a rebel at heart, always defying conventions, or maybe you’ve occasionally chosen to bend the rules, just slightly and for good reason. Maybe it’s what happened that time your parents were out of town; maybe it’s a story you embellished for artistic effect; maybe you were impudent, or impertinent, or too fresh. Maybe the moment helped define who you were, or who you didn’t want to be. Maybe it wasn’t a big deal, but it makes a good story. Either way, we’d love to hear about it.

See more Gather Round on Facebook.

Chuckanut Writers Conference

This is a guest post by Amberly Baker.

Have you made any fun plans for summer? Are you looking to spend time in one of the most beautiful regions of the country? This year, do something inspiring and fulfilling, and engage with a huge community of writers at the Chuckanut Writers Conference on Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, 2017, at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington.

An annual craft-centered writing conference, Chuckanut is an amazing opportunity for all writers, whether you’re local or visiting, have published three novels or are writing on napkins in rare quiet moments. The conference offers a weekend of breakout sessions and keynote addresses, taught by some of the finest writers our area has to offer. For an additional fee, attendees can register for pre-conference master classes, agent pitch sessions, marketing consultations and editing consultations. You can find the full line up on the website.

And today, Monday, May 22, is the last day for Early Bird Registration! If you register today, you’ll receive the $239 rate, a savings of forty dollars. You can register online, by phone, or by mail; for more information, visit the registration information section of our website, here. But don’t wait, this deal is good through today only!

I am so excited to share this amazing opportunity with you. This conference is a great experience, one that draws attendees back year after year. Tara Fort, an attendee of last year’s conference, said, “Perfect amount of speakers, sessions, and attendees. I feel inspired and not overwhelmed. I am looking forward to 2017!” We are too. We’ll see you at the conference!

. . . . .
Amberly Baker is a student in Western Washington University’s Creative Writing program, and works at a small bookstore. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys playing Animal Crossing, knitting, and is obsessed with her cats.

Awards ceremony!

May 11, 2017

Bellingham Cruise TerminalMark your calendar and please plan to join the 2017 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poets and their fans for the annual awards ceremony. Held at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal at 7:00pm next Thursday, May 18, 2017, this once again promises to be a heart-warming, celebratory event. Admission is free. Kevin Murphy will emcee. The winning poets will read their poems, a chapbook of the 2017 winning poems will be available for purchase and all of this year’s submitted poems will be on display along with samples of the beautiful poetry placards that will be placed in Whatcom Transportation Authority buses later this summer.

See the list of winners and watch for the winning poems in this space each Sunday over the coming months.

Residents of Whatcom County are invited to submit a poem to be displayed in the Poem Booth at the downtown Bellingham Co-op. Runner up poems will be posted on the Poem Booth blog. The deadline is Friday, May 19, 2017, by midnight. See the Call for Submissions for complete guidelines… and visit the Poem Booth the next time you’re at the Co-op.

Prize-winning author of sixteen novels, Laura Kalpakian will be the guest speaker for the Whatcom Writers and Publishers May dinner meeting, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Her topic: How to give a reading. The event, at Nicki’s Bella Marina, is free, but seating is limited and RSVPs are required. Find details on the WWP website.

If you can’t make it, you can see what Billy Collins has to say about “How to Read a Poem Out Loud” on the Library of Congress website.

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Reading!

April 9, 2017

Village Books (Bellingham) is pleased to present a National Poetry Month reading by Rick Hermann. He will read from his latest book, Nooksack: Poems & Prose, on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at 7:00pm in the Readings Gallery.

Nooksack is a River, a People, a Spirit of Place. It is shadow and cloud, glacier and bay. In this realm, even the stones have spirits. Bellingham author Rick Hermann employs close-listening and observation to shape a notably original perspective in this new book of poetry and prose. Evoking the un-knowable mysteries as well as discovering the apparent solidity of the sensate world, these writings come also from his own life experience, describing possible worlds accessible through these rabbit holes. As readers, we discover in each moment “an arid sense of optimism,” irony and humor, and an abiding predisposition to survive.

Rick Hermann is the author of two previous books: The Bright World of Dandelion Court and Parkinson’s Dreams About Me: My Dance With the Shaking Palsy. He moved to Whatcom County in 1987 with his wife Lee Willis, where they raised their son, Eli Hermann, in the city of subdued excitement.

In this time of post-truth and false news
SpeakEasy 19: Poems of Darkness / Poems of Light
presents an evening of heartfelt words of clarity and wisdom.
Saturday, April 8, 2017, 7:00pm
Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room, Bellingham
Admission is free.

Poets
Tanner Abernathy ▪ Luther Allen ▪ Jim Bertolino ▪
Barbara Bloom ▪ Nancy Canyon ▪ Susan Chase-Foster ▪
Thom Davis ▪ Victoria Doerper ▪ Jaiden Dokken ▪
R.L. Elke ▪ Paul Fisher ▪ Mary Elizabeth Gillilan ▪
Steve Hood ▪ David Imburgia ▪ Alexander Joseph ▪
J.I. Kleinberg ▪ Shannon P. Laws ▪ Rob Lewis ▪
Andrew Shattuck McBride ▪ Carol McMillan ▪
Rainbow Wohali Medicine-Walker ▪ Rachel Mehl ▪
Peter Edward Messinger ▪ Kate Miller ▪ Jim Milstead ▪
Donald Mitchell ▪ Kevin Murphy ▪ Timothy Pilgrim ▪
C.J. Prince ▪ John James Reid ▪ Paul Sarvasy ▪
Jim Schmotzer ▪ Luci Shaw ▪ Aaron Silverberg ▪
Sheila Sondik ▪ Candace Lee Street ▪ Stan Tag ▪
Gary Wade ▪ Andrea Weiser ▪ Leslie Wharton ▪
Richard Widerkehr

SpeakEasy is an occasional reading series produced in Bellingham, Washington, by Luther Allen, author of The View from Lummi Island and co-editor of Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington.

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