There’s a new event in town: PROMPT: An Evening for Poets, Friday, January 13, 2023, 6:00-9:00pm, at the FireHouse Arts & Events Center in Fairhaven. The event is organized by writer, performer and creative coach Tere Harrison, who describes it as “an evening of curiosity and fun with words spoken out loud.”

John S. Green will host an exquisite corpse table to gather one-line contributions to a collective poem for the evening.

To sign up to read, play music, sing, dance, contact Tere Harrison (address at event link above). Spots are 5 minutes. Space is limited.

Spring in Bellingham*

December 11, 2022


2022 Walk Award
By Margaux Barber

A soft wind blows as I
trudge through the field
of Sunnyland Elementary
School. The first
flowers bloom like a
dragon taking flight,
their colors pushing through
the gray. I can feel the
breeze on my cheek like
a million butterflies taking flight.
This is spring in Bellingham.

*Copyright 2022 by Margaux Barber. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Poet’s bio:
Margaux is in 3rd grade at Sunnyland Elementary. She’s obsessed with artichokes.

poetry music

November 25, 2022

The first Poet Laureate of Washington State, as voted by the Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1931, Ella Rhoads Higginson was a prolific poet, novelist, and short story writer. She settled in Bellingham, Washington, in her 20s and remained there for the rest of her life, writing and actively promoting education, women’s rights, and the arts.

On Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, 2022, Vox Pacifica and Choir of the Salish Sea will perform music set to Ella Higginson’s sonnet, “The Opal Sea” (among other works). Choral conductor and composer Duncan Tuomi composed the music for “The Opal Sea” as his “musical love letter to this gorgeous region.”

The performances will be at the First Congregational Church in Bellingham. You can find ticket information here and more on Ella Higginson here.

back to in-person

October 16, 2022

Here’s some good news: Village Books, in Bellingham, has announced, “Beginning November, 2022, we will begin bringing VB Writes Writing Groups back to In-Person Meetings at Village Books in the Writers Corner.”

VB Writes offers free, drop-in, twice-monthly writing groups on fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, and prompts, as well as two 4th-Monday Open Mic Nights — one in Spanish and one in English.

Watch for these and other events on the Village Books calendar.

Live in Bellingham

September 24, 2022

While it’s nice to be able to attend poetry readings from afar, it’s very exciting to have the calendar filling up with local, in-person events. This week, in Bellingham, Washington, Village Books is presenting two worthwhile poetry readings among their many goings-on:

On Sunday, September 25, 2022, at 5:00pm, Sati Mookherjee will present her debut collection, Eye (Ravenna Press), in a reading at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher courtyard. The outdoor event is free, but seating is limited and pre-registration is highly recommended.

Later in the week, on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 7:00pm, Village Books will present celebrated poet and author Michael Daley reading from his brand-new poetry collection, Reinhabited (DOS Madres Press), as well as his new novel, Telémachus (Pleasure Boat Studio). The event, in the Village Books Readings Gallery in Fairhaven, is also free, with advance reservations suggested.

Visit the Calendar for more events throughout Cascadia.

This Sunday in Bellingham!

September 16, 2022

This Sunday, September 18, 2022, make your way to the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham for a long-awaited in-person celebration of poetry: SpeakEasy 29: Waymaking. Inspired by the work of Olympia poet Bill Yake, Sunday’s event will feature Bill Yake, Empty Bowl Press, and a stellar group of poets responding to Yake’s poem “Waymaking By Moonlight.” Doors open at 3:30pm, the reading begins at 4:00pm, and it’s entirely free. Masks and proof of vaccination are required.

SpeakEasy returns!

September 9, 2022

The Bellingham-based poetry series returns to in-person programming for the first time since 2019 with SpeakEasy 29: Waymaking.

This audience-friendly afternoon of poetry will feature Bill Yake, Empty Bowl Press, and a curated program of fine poets. The free, public event will be held at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at 4:00pm. Masks and proof of vaccination are required.

Poet, naturalist, photographer, traveler, and occasional essayist Bill Yake has been published widely in books, magazines, and anthologies. His book Waymaking by Moonlight (Empty Bowl Press) and the title poem were inspiration for this SpeakEasy.

In addition to Bill Yake, Empty Bowl Press will be represented by newly announced co-owner Holly J. Hughes along with Marie Eaton, Kathryn P. Humes, and Lois Holub.

Reading their own poems in response to Bill Yake’s poem “Waymaking by Moonlight” will be Barbara Bloom, Nancy Canyon, Linda Conroy, Rick Hermann, David M. Laws, Charles Luckmann, Jerry Dale McDonnell, Victor Ortiz, Dayna Patterson, Raúl Sánchez, Leslie Wharton, and Richard Widerkehr.

SpeakEasy is an occasional poetry series that emphasizes themed, audience-friendly presentations of quality poetry by Cascadia-region writers. It is produced in Bellingham, Washington, by Luther Allen, author of The View from Lummi Island, and Judy Kleinberg. Please join us!

The ever-popular Kevin Murphy will perform on the Garden Stage at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center in Fairhaven (Bellingham) tomorrow, Saturday, July 30, 2022, at 5:30pm. Kevin Murphy is the author of A Beautiful Chaos Demands Energy and has released two poetry CDs, Between Onions and Oxygen and The Bird of Pure Midnight. He is the “poet-in-residence” of the Chuckanut Radio Hour, and was the winner of a Bellingham Mayor’s Art Award in 2017. Kevin has been performing his comical, surrealistic, dramatic work, often accompanying himself on guitar or percussion, for over 40 years. Join him in this convivial outdoor setting, and afterwards, stroll on down to the Village Green where there will be live music by Free Harmony from 7:45-8:45pm followed by an outdoor screening of “Dirty Dancing” at dusk.

new zine in town

April 17, 2022

Shannon P. Laws, aka Chickadee Productions, has just announced the launch of a new zine: Corridor. Taking its name from the I-5 corridor that runs north-south through much of Cascadia, the zine is now open for submissions for the inaugural issue. Read all about it here.

On a slightly related note (the connection is Bellingham and the Corridor Collective), artist Jeni Cottrell has coordinated a rotating weekly display of poetry at the seven Little Free Libraries in Fairhaven for National Poetry Month. Stroll the South Side Poetry Trail to see what’s up.

Whatcom WRITES – times two

February 13, 2022

Like many communities, Whatcom County, Washington, has an everybody-reads-the-same-book program each year. This year’s Whatcom READS title is Greenwood by Michael Christie.

In addition to discussion groups and author events, Whatcom WRITES invites writers to respond to a theme from the book and publishes a volume of selected work. The theme for 2022 is interconnectedness and Whatcom WRITES will present two readings from the collection, one in person and one online.

The in-person reading will be Sunday, February 20, 2022, at 2:00pm, at Village Books in Fairhaven. Covid protocols are in place and pre-registration is required.

The online reading will be Sunday, February 27, 2022, at 2:00pm. Advance registration is required.

Watch the Whatcom READS site for information about additional author events with Michael Christie in March.

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