two poetry fundraisers

June 23, 2020

Two poetry organizations that are vital to Cascadia and to the wider world are holding virtual fundraising events and hope you will participate.

Tonight, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 6:00pm Pacific, the Skagit River Poetry Foundation presents Poemed and Uplifted, featuring poets Tony Curtis, Daemond Arrindell, Octavia Prosser, Olivia Elias, and Lucy Shainin. NOTE: “Due to a regional internet upload outage, we were unable to stream our live event. Thank you for your patience and I hope you will tune in on Sunday, June 28th at 6 PM for a re-broadcast of this event.”

Next Tuesday, June 30, at 5:00pm Pacific, Copper Canyon Press presents For the Future of Poetry, featuring Ellen Bass, Arthur Sze, and Jericho Brown, along with Editor-in-Chief Michael Wiegers.

Your generosity, in any amount, will be gratefully accepted.

It’s time to hear the 2018 Jack Straw Writing Fellows at a series of three readings hosted by 2018 Writers Program Curator Daemond Arrindell. Held at the Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, admission to each reading is a $5 suggested donation, and comes with a gift of the 2018 Jack Straw Writers Anthology. A light reception will follow each event.

On Friday, May 1, 2018, featured readers are Bryan Edenfield, Kamari Bright, Corbin Louis, and Meredith Clark.

On Friday, May 11, featured readers are Juan Carlos Reyes, Natasha Kochicheril Moni, Dujie Tahat, and Danielle Bero.

On Friday, May 18, featured readers are Jalayna Carter, Sarah María Medina, Daniel Atkinson, and Rachel Trignano.

Early-bird tickets available!

February 13, 2016

Skagit River Poetry FestivalTickets are now on sale for the 2016 Skagit River Poetry Festival, May 19-22 in the historic town of La Conner, Washington. The four-day event features some of the most renowned and diverse names in poetry, including Naomi Shihab Nye, a celebrated Arab-American writer described as “international in scope and internal in focus.” She is four-time winner of the prestigious Pushcart Prize.

The 9th biennial festival opens with a literary bang on May 19, when spoken word poets take the stage in a program called “Wake Up. Speak Out,” challenging audiences with new poetic ideas and forms. Participants include Jeanann Verlee, who has represented New York City ten times at the National Poetry Slam; Jamaal May, Detroit poet and filmmaker; Daemond Arrindell, curator of the Seattle Poetry Slam; American-Bangladeshi poet, educator, editor, and spoken-word artist Tarfia Faizullah; and Seattle Grand Slam champion Matt Gano.

Over the next two days, the festival presents some of the most thoughtful and provocative voices in contemporary poetry, reflecting cultures from around the world. The lineup includes Aimee Nezhukumatathil, a poet born to a Filipina mother and Malayali Indian father; Natalie Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes and a former professional basketball player; Zen Buddhist priest and poet Norman Fischer; poet Lorna Dee Cervantes, a major voice in contemporary Chicana literature; and Koon Woon, born in a small Chinese village near Canton in 1949 and described as a “cross-cultural rebel.”

Top Northwest poets on the bill include Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellow Richard Kenney from Port Townsend; Canadian musician, philosopher, and award-winning poet Jan Zwicky; and Washington State’s new Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, a professor at Gonzaga University who is dedicated to bringing humanities to underserved populations. “Poetry matters — not just to poets, professors, and students — poetry matters to everyone,” he says.

Events include a Thursday night Soiree extravaganza, a mixer with festival artists that includes wine and delicious, locally sourced hors d’oeuvres. On Sunday, the final day of the festival, select poets will offer writing workshops to the public. The workshops will be posted on the Festival Workshops page and at Brown Paper Tickets in April.

Tickets for all other events are on sale now at www.brownpapertickets.com. Be sure to click through the dates and ticket offerings on the menu. Special discounts are available for students with ID and seniors over 65. Unless sold out, tickets will also be available at the door. Get your Early Bird ticket by March 1 and save $25.

The festival takes place in venues throughout La Conner. “The festival turns La Conner into a town filled with poetry, from its churches to its museums, its community center, and its bed and breakfasts,” says poet Susan Rich. “Where else can a person sleep, eat, live, and breathe poetry for a spring weekend?”

The festival, one of the largest celebrations of poetry on the West Coast, is put on by the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings poets into school classrooms year-round to promote literacy, an appreciation of language, and youth participation in culturally diverse communities. All proceeds benefit the foundation’s mission to support lifelong literacy and cultural diversity through the writing, reading, performing, and teaching of poetry in Northwest Washington schools and communities.

For more information, visit the festival website at (www.skagitriverpoetry.org), email skagitpoetry@gmail.com, or call 360-399-1550.

new Lit series

October 10, 2015

Columbia City Gallery

The Columbia City Gallery — a Seattle artist-run collective that provides an exhibition space for local artists, an educational center for creative endeavors and a gathering place for neighbors to experience art — has just announced a new literary series that will meet the second Sunday of every month, 5:00-7:00pm, at the Gallery, located in historical Columbia City.

The first meeting, CRAVE, is tomorrow, Sunday, October 11, 2015, and will feature poets Daemond Arrindell, Samar Albuhassan, Irene Keliher, and Saundra Fleming.

September in Twisp

July 3, 2015

An Ekphrastic Assortment

Explore the possibilities of art-inspired poetry for two days in September as poet Daemond Arrindell conducts “An Ekphrastic Assortment” at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington (“the heart of the Methow Valley”). The workshop, September 26 and 27, 2015, 9:30am to 12:30pm, will use “the current exhibit in the gallery to influence our writing and as jumping off points for engaging several different forms including found poems, persona, anaphora, structured free verse, and more.” There will be a participant reading at Confluence Gallery on Sunday, September 27, at 4:00pm.

Seattle poet and performer Daemond Arrindell is on the faculty of the Washington State Teaching Artist Training (TAT) Lab, Cornish College of the Arts and Freehold Theatre, and is Writer in Residence for the Skagit River Poetry Foundation and the Seattle Arts & Lectures Writers In The Schools program. He was a 2013 Jack Straw Writer, a 2014 VONA/Voices Writer’s Workshop fellow and has performed nationwide.

For more information and to register, visit Confluence Gallery, or contact Executive Director Salyna Gracie at 509-997-2787 or salyna@confluencegallery.com.

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