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.

Wednesday in Bellingham

June 12, 2018

Bring it, poets! Wednesday, June 13, 2018 (and the second Wednesday of every month), the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater invites you to read your original writing (all forms welcome) for up to (but no longer than) 7 minutes. The summer location is the atrium at Lovitt Restaurant, 1114 Harris Avenue in Fairhaven. Sign up to read between 6:30 and 6:45pm. Readings begin at 6:50pm.

call for writers

November 16, 2017

The annual collaboration between Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater and Bellingham Repertory Dance is now underway, with a call for poems, short stories, and essays that will serve as the inspiration and foundation for dances to be performed April 13, 14, and 15, 2018, at the Western Washington University Fine Arts Gallery. The show: “A Night in the Gallery: Dance, Poetry, and Visual Art” will feature four or five poetry and dance collaborative works.

(Note: If you are unfamiliar with Bellingham Repertory Dance, the troupe will perform “Emerge” on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 17, 18, and 19, 2017.)

The call for writing follows. Submissions must be received on or before Wednesday, December 6, 2017. Follow the instructions very closely.

Choreographers in the Company read the written submissions with a fresh perspective. They look for feelings, images, or stories to convey through modern dance. Four to five performance pieces will be chosen and will involve one or more dancers. Works may be read aloud or posted prior to, during, or after the dance. All winning submissions will be presented in a Phrasings 2018 chapbook.

The program is looking for a wide range of poetry and all forms of writing to be selected for:

  • Originality — has not been published or performed previously.
  • Vivid imagery — the content could be personal, pastoral, and/or tactile.
  • Lyrical qualities — gives attention to rhythm and language.

Important note: No writing has ever been selected that refers to dancing or had obvious dance content.

Instructions (follow closely):

  1. To submit: e-mail submissions to chuckanutsandstone@gmail.com on or before Wednesday, December 6, 2017. Use the Subject line: Submission Phrasings 2018.
  2. Submit an attachment of up to 3 poems and/or dialogue, essay, or short story as a pdf or MSWord attachment. Do not put your name on the attachment. Limit submissions to pieces that are 1-2 pages in length. They must be original and not previously performed on stage.
  3. Plus, in the body of the e-mail, please list the titles (or first lines) of the submissions and your name, phone number, street address, and e-mail address. In 75 words or less, write a short introduction that describes you and your degree of openness to how your works might be performed.

Receipt of your submission and outcomes with follow-up details will be sent via e-mail. Please address comments or questions to Carla Shafer at chuckanutsandstone@gmail.com.

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Photo by Nolan McNally

Buckingham in Bellingham

February 25, 2017

Polly Buckingham workshops

Polly Buckingham, poet, fiction writer, and founding editor/publisher of Stringtown Press, will be offering two workshops on Saturday, March 4, 2017.

At 10:00am, she will present The Surprise of Poetry: Concentration & Abandonment.

This workshop is intended to bring participants into that space where everything in language is up for grabs, into a greater state of uncertainty and unknowing. Garcia Lorca writes in his essay “Theory and Function of the Duende,” “Very often intellect is poetry’s enemy because it is too much given to imitation, because it lifts the poet to a throne of sharp edges and makes him oblivious of the fact that he may suddenly be devoured by ants, or a great arsenic lobster may fall on his head.” We will work on reaching a state of deep concentration and abandonment, that space from which the real surprises begin and with them the energy of poetry.

At 1:00pm, she will present Re-envisioning Fiction: Drafts Refocused, Reimagined

What happens after that first inspired draft of a story? This workshop will give authors ideas for refocusing, restructuring and further developing their drafts. We will run through a series of exercises that ask students to think about their drafts in ways that might not yet have considered. For example, what happens when you think about your story as a dream narrative or consider major world events that might be happening at the same time as your story? We will work on a series of writing prompts that allow students to flesh out scenes that might feel flat or dialogue that feels dull. If you have a draft, bring it along. But a draft is not necessary.

Both workshops will be held at St. James Presbyterian Church (upstairs), 910 14th Street, in Fairhaven. Sliding fee: one workshop $10 – 30 (you decide); both workshops: $15 – $45.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, email Carla Shafer at chuckanutsandstone@gmail.com, including your name and contact information along with the workshop(s) you wish to attend, or call 360-961-2320. Bring your registration fee on Saturday in cash or check along with writing materials.

These workshops offered by TALA – Teaching and Learning Arts and Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater.

In addition, Polly Buckingham will be reading from her latest book, The Expense of a View, on Friday, March 3, at 7:00pm at Village Books.

Poetry

Poet Carla Shafer, well known around Cascadia as the founder (1993) and guiding spirit of the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, has forwarded several invitations for poets and poetry lovers.

First, there’s the World Peace Poets Third Annual Read-In, which is happening tomorrow, Saturday, October 24, 2015, at St. James Presbyterian Church, 910 14th Street, Bellingham, Washington. This is a free, public event with special musical guests. Doors open at 5:00pm. A light dinner will be served at 5:30 along with coffee and tea. Readings begin at 6:15pm and 30-40 poets and musicians will present until about 9:30pm.

Next, there’s the Thanksgiving Community Concert to be held on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 25, 2015, at 7:00pm, also at St. James Presbyterian Church. The evening will include the reading of three poems selected from open submissions. Poets may submit up to three poems (maximum 35 lines or 1-2 minutes each) on the theme of thankfulness. Suggestions from Carla: “A short narrative poem on a Thanksgiving memory, lyrical or commentary poem on thankfulness related to life today. Start with a repeating line, such as: I am thankful when… It can be humorous or serious, but a poem or a prose poem. Avoid end rhymes.” Use the subject line Thanksgiving poem and send as a pdf or MSword attachment to chuckanutsandstone@gmail.com. The deadline is Noon on Sunday, November 1.

Finally, poets are invited to submit up to three poems in which rain is the theme or a significant metaphor for a Pacific Northwest rain anthology. Poems can be up to 1-1/2 pages long. Readers “will want to read this under an umbrella, in front of a warm fire, or until they feel drenched in the solemn or giddy joy or the overwhelming dreariness of rain.” Use the subject line RAIN POEM 11.15.2015 and send as a pdf or MSword attachment to chuckanutsandstone@gmail.com. The deadline is midnight on Sunday, November 15.

reading!

June 15, 2015

CSWT Featured Poster 6.18.2015

Mark your calendar and plan to attend this special poetry reading by three writers from east of the Cascades — Lenore Plassman, Dave Plassman and Joanne McLain. Sponsored by the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center (cafe area) on Thursday, June 18, 2015, 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:45pm.

let’s write

May 13, 2015

Village-Books-Writing-Groups

In the privacy of your writing space, it’s easy to become enamoured of your own words — or to get bogged down in the process. A writing group can help. Many writers find their way into compatible groups that stay together for years, offering feedback and encouragement.

If you’re not currently in a group — or you’d like to hear and be heard by different ears — drop-in writers’ groups offer audience and support.

Start at your local independent bookstore. Village Books, in Bellingham, offers a slate of twice-monthly writing groups in various genres. They’ve recently added a second, daytime, poetry group (meets 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 10:15am-12:15pm) and a prompts group (meets 2nd & 4th Mondays, 6-8pm).

In Auburn, Washington, the Striped Water Poets critique circle meets every Tuesday, 7pm, Auburn City Hall. The Mukilteo Arts Guild writers group meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays at 7pm.

Feedback may also come from open mic sessions, such as Chuckanut Sandstone Writers (2nd Wednesdays, 6:30pm, Colophon Cafe, Bellingham); Creekside Open Mic (3rd Wednesdays, 6:30pm Creekside Cafe, Sudden Valley/Bellingham); or Red Wheelbarrow Writers (monthly happy hour, 1st Saturday, now at 4:15pm, Uisce Irish Pub).

There are also classes and facilitated writers’ groups, such as Independent Writers Studio (Fairhaven/Bellingham); and Weekly Writing Practice with Nancy Canyon (Tuesdays, 1pm, Fairhaven/Bellingham).

More? Check out the local Meetups, such as Bellingham, Everett and Seattle. Search for writing group on Craigslist.org. Bellingham Writers Group (2nd Mondays, 6:30pm, Cozy Corner Books). Hugo House. See what’s on offer at your local library. Attend a conference and ask around. Do an internet search with writing group and your town. Why not start your own group?

There’s a group of writers out there, ready to listen and offer constructive comments. Let’s write.

new venue!

January 14, 2015

Chuckanut Sandstone Writers

Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater has a new Open Mic venue at the Colophon Cafe in Fairhaven. Come on by tonight, Wednesday, January 14, 2014. Sign-up at 6:30pm. Reading about 6:50pm. Read your own original writings of all kinds for 7 minutes or less.

There’s lots of room. Invite your friends to come, listen and cheer you on.

writing peace

October 15, 2014

World Peace Poets

World Peace Poets invites “Poets and Writers of the Northwest” to submit up to three poems (maximum two 8-1/2″ x 11″ pages) or a short essay (maximum 200 words) for a Peace Chapbook.

Volunteer editors from Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater will select materials for inclusion and writers whose work is chosen will be asked to make a contribution toward the first printing of 200 books ($4 to $40 based on ability to pay and the cost of the book).

Send submissions to worldpeacepoets@gmail.com by the deadline, November 15, 2014.

Firehouse Performing Arts Center, Bellingham, WAJoin the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theatre at the Firehouse Café in Fairhaven (Bellingham, Washington) this evening, Wednesday, August 13, 2014, at 7:00pm.

The reading will be hosted by poet Betty Scott, with both new and familiar voices featured during the open mic.

While you’re there, check out the artwork and poetry on the walls by Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Canyon, J.I. Kleinberg and Sheila Sondik.

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