reserve your seat!

June 3, 2022

If you think that Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest just sits around waiting for the muse, think again! In addition to fulfilling her geographically challenging laureate duties, writing articles and poems, leading classes and workshops, and pursuing numerous community projects, Rena has found time to work with illustrator Jake Stoumbos on a new book: Northwest Know-how: Beaches.

Described as being “Entertaining, educational and highly giftable,” the book features descriptions of more than 30 beaches in Washington and Oregon, providing tips for visiting, fun facts, natural history, poetry, and lore.

Village Books and the North Cascades Institute invite you to join Rena and Jake for their book launch, presented as part of the Nature of Writing series on Friday, June 10, 2022, at 7:00pm, in the Readings Gallery at Village Books in Bellingham.

PLEASE NOTE: Village Books is still operating at limited capacity for in-person events. Proof of full vaccination is required, masking is optional, and advance registration is strongly recommended.

book launch: tonight!

April 13, 2022

Poet and interviewer Paul E. Nelson will launch his brand-new book, Haibun de la Serna, this evening, Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at 7:00pm, at C&P Coffee Company in West Seattle and streaming live on Facebook. An open mic will follow. The event is co-produced by PoetryBridge and Goldfish Press.

book launch

December 2, 2021

In celebration of this month’s publication of the Jim Harrison: Complete Poems, Copper Canyon Press will present an online book launch and reading on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 5:00pm Pacific. The thousand-page definitive collection

contains every poem Harrison published over his fifty-year career and displays his wide range of poetic styles and forms. Here are the nature-based lyrics of his early work, the high-velocity ghazals, a harrowing prose-poem “correspondence” with a Russian suicide, the riverine suites, fearless meditations inspired by the Zen monk Crazy Cloud, and a joyous conversation in haiku-like gems with friend and fellow poet Ted Kooser.

When Jim Harrison died in 2016, Copper Canyon became the steward of his poetic legacy. This milestone reading will feature Amy Hundley, Peter Lewis, John Freeman, and Joseph Bednarik. Learn more, watch a short introductory video, donate, register, and don’t miss The Heart’s Work: Jim Harrison’s Poetic Legacy.

today in Chimacum!

July 14, 2021

The Madrona Project, published twice a year for a total of seven issues, by Empty Bowl, features the best work by poets and writers who are “outsiders” — who write in and of this world: outside of self, outside the mainstream, or simply outdoors.

Today, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at 6:00pm, at Finnriver Farm & Cidery in Chimacum, Washington, Empty Bowl will celebrate the publication of The Madrona Project, Volume II Number 1, Keep A Green Bough: Voices From The Heart Of Cascadia, edited By Holly J. Hughes.

For this issue, Hughes invited 64 women writers and artists from Alaska to Oregon to reflect on what it means to live and write in the Cascadian bioregion at the end of 2020, a year that challenged resilience on every level. Reaching out to national and regionally acclaimed poets and essayists as well as new and emerging writers, she brings together a diverse chorus, including Indigenous voices and those who work the land or sea. “The voices gathered here remind us that our lives in Cascadia are still interwoven with fir and cedar, salmon and kingfisher, heron and eagle, raven and crow — perhaps even more so as we face an uncertain future together, turning to the natural world for signs of resilience and hope.”

There will be a reception, followed by readings by ten authors, including Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest, who will read from her preface to the volume. Four artists will also be showing their work.

Join Copper Canyon Press for the Spring 2021 Launch Party Livestream this Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at 5:00pm Pacific. The reading will celebrate five new collections and feature poets Kelli Russell Agodon, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Arthur Sze, Nikki Wallschlaeger, and Noah Warren. Registration is free, and all are welcome.

Join Cirque and friends this evening, Friday, April 30, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific (6:00pm Alaska), as poets, writers, and artists celebrate the publication of The Fox Boy by Gretchen Brinck, followed by an open read. It’s free on Zoom.

solstice, tomorrow

April 10, 2021

Congratulations to Carla Shafer, who conceived and edited a wonderful collection of poems of light, Solstice: Light & Dark of the Salish Sea (Chuckanut Sandstone Press). The collection features the work of 29 poets in two sections, Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice.

Tomorrow, Sunday, April 11, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific, Village Books will present a book launch reading from Solstice. See the list of poets in the collection and register for the online reading here.

Monday reading

April 2, 2021

Tune in Monday, April 5, 2021, at 6:00pm, for a livestream reading and book launch with Kate Lebo and Kim Addonizio. Presented by Third Place Books (Seattle), Village Books (Bellingham), Browser’s Bookshop (Olympia), and Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane) the event celebrates Lebo’s latest, The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly and Addonizio’s brand-new collection, Now We’re Getting Somewhere: Poems.

The event is free on Zoom with registration.

the face of poetry

March 29, 2021

To publish your first book of poetry (well, any book of poetry, but especially the first) is cause for celebration. To do so at age 80 is a triumph.

This week we have learned about two newly published poets: Carol Seitchik (above left) and Sylvia Byrne Pollack.

Seitchik, a long-time visual artist, started writing 20 years ago. Her book, The Distance to Odessa (Atmosphere Press) explores an intensely personal four-generation story of immigration and emigration.

Pollack, a scientist, poet, and 2019 Jack Straw writer who lives in Seattle, has been writing all of her life. Her collection, Risking It (Red Mountain Press) uses persona poems to explore risk and reinvention.

Seitchik and Pollack are certainly not the only poets to publish later-than-usual first books. Dorothy A. Regal was 90 when Other Mind Press published A Measure of Strength and Sarah Yerkes was 101 when Days of Blue and Flame was published by Passager Books.

No doubt there are others, but as we wrap up Women’s History Month 2021, it seems particularly auspicious to salute these two poets. Read more about Carol Seitchik and her book in The Odessa Journal. And learn more of Sylvia Byrne Pollack’s story in The Seattle Times.

If publishers are distressed at the thought of online book launches, you’d never know it by the number of spring titles rolling off the presses. Here’s the latest selection of reviews and recommendations:

Happy reading!

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