plaques

November 13, 2022

The Walk Award winning poems from the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest have now been installed on the Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Avenue, downtown. They will remain in place for about a year. Take a stroll on the Poetry Walk and stop in to see the beautifully remodeled library (now open Sundays).

on view: 2021 plaques

May 23, 2022

The planter beds in front of the Bellingham Public Library (210 Central Avenue) are decked in their spring finery, thanks to the Birchwood Garden Club. This is a great time to take a short poetry stroll and view the ten Walk Award plaques for the 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. And while you’re there, stop in and see the recently remodeled library! (The 2022 plaques will probably be put in place sometime this summer.)

. . . . .
top: poem by Ty Colson
bottom: poem by Peyton Eberhardt

Tonight!

May 19, 2022

It’s Thursday, May 19, 2022, and tonight’s the night! Celebrate winning poets and poems for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest at 7:00pm on Zoom. Or click here, if you need to join by phone.

Please arrive a few minutes early so the ceremony can start promptly at 7.

awards!

May 16, 2022

The committee of the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest invites you to join the awards celebration for the 2022 contest winners. This year’s ceremony will be held online on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 7:00pm Pacific.

You’ll hear a few words from the judges, Victor Ortiz and Dayna Patterson, snappy repartee from everyone’s favorite emcee, Kevin Murphy, and then you’ll hear the 10 Walk Award and 15 Merit Award winners read their poems.

Click to join the Awards Ceremony on Zoom, or here, if you need to join by phone.

Congratulations!

May 3, 2022

We have winners!

The esteemed judges, Victor Ortiz and Dayna Patterson, have read every submission and made their (always difficult) choices for the winners of the 2022 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. Congratulations to:

WALK AWARD WINNERS
Margaux Barber, Chloe N. Braunstein, Bliss Goldstein, Maureen Kane, Marley Lotts, Amanda Norenberg, Matthew Stuckey, Alina Tsakhniv, Leslie Wharton, Hayley Van Ness.

MERIT AWARD WINNERS
Luther Allen, Kathryn Aspinall, Rusty Bower, Linda Conroy, Kyle Heaton, Blake Heuett, Dylan Jacobs, Heidi Kenyon, Timothy Pilgrim, Capucine W. Rougny, Luci Shaw, Sheila Sondik, Vincent Tsan, Joselyn Vasquez, Flannery White.

The list of poets and poems can be found on the Winners page. After the artists have completed their work on the placards, and sometime after the awards ceremony, Thursday, May 19, 2022, 7:00pm on Zoom (details soon), the poems and placards will appear here and will be linked to the poem titles on the Winners page.

We congratulate the winners — and offer a special shout out to all of the poets who had the courage to submit their work to this year’s contest.

at the local library

April 15, 2022

Nice to see POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, The First Five Years on display in such good company at the Bellingham Public Library for National Poetry Month. Edited by Nancy Canyon and Anita K. Boyle, and designed and illustrated by Nancy Canyon, the 152-page collection includes the full text of all winning poems from 2006 through 2010. Copies are still circulating in the Whatcom County Library system and at Western Washington University.

A second five-year collection was published in 2015 and chapbooks of winning poems have been published annually since then. The 2022 chapbook will be available at the time of the awards ceremony, Thursday, May 19, 2022.

Spring Melody*

April 9, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by J.L. Wright

Renewal upon the calendar, days in months
unused, value yet unknown: unripened

unpicked fruits seeds split by yellow-green life
emoting from the ground.

Nowhere in particular
this year, this then, that is now.

And above, fresh grass sweet sod on which to grow.
Tangible truths — seeds rooted as the water comes.

I remember time’s measure,
cheerfully, for when spring

spreads out at last, settling into warmth
and stays — how life changes, shifting

from one poignant vision to another, forever
in these eternal fields.

*Copyright © 2021 by J. L. Wright. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

*inspired by “Fall Song” by Mary Oliver

Jacob*

April 5, 2022


2021 Merit Award
by Genevieve Whelan, 6th grade

I look up at my brother who is tall.
I love him in the morning, noon, and night.
He sometimes answers the phone when I call.
He loves his little sis; he will not fight.
My heart leaps because of my big brother.
All I want is my brother to come home.
My big brother loves me and my mother.
I will wait outside for him with my comb.
I wipe my tears when I think of my love.
I loved playing soccer with him and friends.
He opens his arms like wings of a dove.
If he would just come home, it just depends.
Please, Jacob, come home because I love you.
Please come home because I am feeling blue.

*Copyright © 2021 by Genevieve Whelan. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Osteo*

April 1, 2022


2021 Merit Award
by Kami Westhoff

On nights the sky is a tantrum of texture and tone
I carry your ashes to the bridge. I ocean the hush
of traffic, cliff the scaffolding of buildings built
for collapse, force clouds into shapes of impossible
creatures. I think this is how you’d like to forever.

So often the skeleton gets forgotten, eclipsed
by organs that bleed or burst, quiver or collapse.
A needle in the retina to suspend blindness,
a scribble of gristle carved from tissue. I’m guilty
of this forgetting, so desperate to tether myself
to the trench of your memory, I missed the cathedral
of your bones.

There’s no way of knowing, but sometimes I wonder
what part of you I carry. The fissured section of a once-
fractured jaw, the clavicular cradle of morning-after
nightmares, or something more sacral, a bone so holy
even fire can’t ash it.

*Copyright © 2021 by Kami Westhoff. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Poet’s bio:
Kami Westhoff is a writer, poet, and teacher from Bellingham, Washington. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks and a collection of short stories forthcoming in 2022. “Osteo” was inspired by a stunning and complicated April sunset days after retrieving her mother’s ashes. Much of her work explores nature’s ability to provide respite from suffering and insight into healing.

countdown

March 29, 2022

Attention Whatcom County poets: Submissions to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest close this Thursday, March 31, 2022. The judges, Victor Ortiz and Dayna Patterson, are eager to read your poem and select this year’s Walk and Merit Award winners.

If you were planning to turn in your poem in person at Film Is Truth, your last chance to do so is TODAY, Tuesday, March 29, at 8:00pm, because Film Is Truth is closed tomorrow and Thursday.

You can double check the guidelines here.

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