Homeless*

September 16, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Stephen Palmer

The car I live in
gray as my futureless life
rain on the windshield.

Green dumpster cardboard
shelters me between downpours
I can’t stop the wind.

Constant daily wait
charging phone on bus stop time
wheelchair in the rain.

Sun is my alarm
campsite my sanctuary
downpour dictates pain.

Lines for soup kitchen
queuing up at the mission
showers at the Y.

Voices surround me
torrent within me surges
melancholy rage.

. . . . .
I was inspired to write “Homeless” because it’s something I know about and I wanted to give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. Having nowhere to go in foul weather, as in Bellingham, is the most miserable existence a person can have when they’re homeless.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Stephen Palmer. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

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October workshops!

September 6, 2018

Each year, the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest offers fall workshops taught by exceptional poets. This year is no exception. On Saturday, October 20, 2018, a pair of workshops and a trio of instructors will offer insight and inspiration and participants are sure to go home with drafts in hand.

From 10:00am to Noon, Jory Mickelson will present Spectacular, Wild, Precarious!

From 1:00 to 3:00pm, Maya Jewell Zeller and Laura Read will present The American Character & The Personal Pronoun.

Workshops are held at Mindport, in downtown Bellingham, Washington. 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.

Registration is now open. 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.

See the complete workshop descriptions and instructor bios on the Workshops page.

FisherPoets-on-Bellingham Bay

September 4, 2018

Bellingham SeaFeast 2018 is coming up on Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22, 2018, and that means it’s time once again for FisherPoets-on-Bellingham Bay. Modeled on the original Astoria, Oregon, FisherPoets Gathering (next up: February 22-24, 2019), the event highlights poetry, prose, and song, at various venues in downtown Bellingham, Washington, including Boundary Bay’s Mountain Room, two recently refurbished theaters within the Sylvia Center for the Arts, and Honey Moon Mead and Cider. Performers’ chapbooks, stories, CDs, photos, cards, and whatevers will be for sale in the Sylvia Center’s entrance lobby thanks to Village Books.

If you are a commercial fisher and/or find inspiration in or on the sea that fuels your art, consider signing up to perform. Read the guidelines and register to present your prose, poetry, film, or songs of the sea at FisherPoets-on-Bellingham Bay on Friday, September 21, 2018. The registration deadline for performers has been extended to Monday, September 10, 2018.

Clover!

August 29, 2018

It’s Clover time again! Join Mary Gillilan, Norman Green, and Village Books as they welcome contributors to Clover: A Literary Rag, volume 15.

The writers/readers will be: Janet Bergstrom, James Bertolino, Anita K. Boyle, Susan Chase-Foster, Virginia Herrick, Paul Hunter, J.I. Kleinberg, Shannon Laws, Andrew Shattuck McBride, C.J. Prince, Abbe Rolnick, Betty Scott, and Pat Phillips West.

The reading begins at 4:00pm on Sunday, September 2, 2018, in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. It’s free, of course, and copies of Clover will be for sale before and after the reading.

memoir your September

August 24, 2018

September is Whatcom Memoir Writing Month (WhaMemWriMo) and for the fourth year, Chuckanut Writers and Village Books will offer a series of four memoir workshops. The goal for each writer is 1,666 words a day — 50,000 words (a book’s worth) for the month.

The workshops, taught on successive Thursdays by Cami Ostman, Laura Kalpakian, Nancy Canyon, and Jennifer Wilhoit, can be taken individually or as a series ($25 each or all four for $89). See the full description and registration links on the Village Books WhaMemWriMo page.

tonight in Bellingham

August 22, 2018

Greene’s Corner, in Bellingham, will welcome poet Kevin Murphy this evening, Wednesday, August 22, 2018. The mic will be open for musicians in between sets of Kevin’s poetry. Signups begin 6:30, music at 7:00, with emcee JP Falcon Grady.

Kevin Murphy has been performing off-kilter poetry for approximately 39.5 years. A winner of a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award in 2017, he likes to think his poetry offers many of the benefits of a round-the-world trip at a fraction of the cost. Come on down. No passport required.

Here comes Cirque

August 16, 2018

Bothell, Portland, and Bellingham will celebrate the launch of CIRQUE #18 and two poetry collections from the newly established Cirque Press at a series of readings by current and past contributors. Join the celebration:

Friday, August 17, 2018, 7:00pm, at Tsuga Fine Art, Bothell, Washington
Friday, August 25, 2018, 7:00pm, at Taborspace, Portland, Oregon
Tuesday, August 28, 2018, 7:00pm, at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room, Bellingham, Washington

Meanwhile, submissions to Cirque #19 are open through September 21.

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