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.

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.

Sunday in Fairhaven

September 1, 2021

Join poet Kevin Murphy and singer-songwriter Louis Ledford on Sunday, September 5, 2021, starting at 5:30pm, for poems and music in the lovely sycamore garden area outside the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Avenue, in Fairhaven (Bellingham). Donations accepted. The Firehouse Cafe closes at 5:30pm, but if you arrive a little early, you can grab a snack or beverage to enjoy during the performance.

Noisy Water at the Firehouse

To cap a series of readings that started in December and in celebration of National Poetry Month, Jeni Cottrell, Harold Niven and FAIM present an Art and Poetry Special Exhibit and Reading at the Firehouse Café and Firehouse Performing Arts Center, Fairhaven (Bellingham, Washington).

Noisy Water poets were invited to exhibit artworks inspired by or related to their Noisy Water poem. The resulting exhibit is on view through April 30, 2016, during café hours, 7:00am – 4:00pm daily. A special reception and reading will be held tomorrow, Sunday, April 24. The reception begins at 6:30pm and the reading begins at 7:00pm. The entire event is free and open to the public. Copies of Noisy Water will be available for purchase.

The Washington State Poet Laureate, Tod Marshall, in town for his poetrynight appearance on April 25, will be a special guest and member of the audience for the evening’s festivities. Participating artist/poets are: Anita K. Boyle | Nancy Canyon | Susan Chase-Foster | David Drummond | Susan J. Erickson | Stephanie Cosky Hopkinson | Sandra F. Lucke | Carol McMillan | Rachel Mehl | Stephen Peters | Erica Reed | Colleen Schwartz | Harvey Schwartz | Sheila Sondik | Caitlin Thomson | Richard Widerkehr.

Artist Trust on Tour

April 8, 2016

Artist Trust on Tour / Bellingham

Applications are being accepted for Artist Trust Grants for Artist Projects (GAP). The application deadline is Monday, May 23, 2016. If you plan to apply, you might want to attend one or both of the events scheduled in Bellingham.

On Thursday, April 28, 2016, spoken word performance artist Roberto Ascalon (Bellingham), circus artist Esther de Monteflores (Bellingham), poet Allen Braden (Tacoma), and visual artist and muralist Christopher Paul Jordan (Tacoma), will offer performances in their various disciplines. The event, at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, is free, but RSVPs are required.

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Owen David, Artist Trust’s Grants to Artists Program Coordinator, will conduct a 3-hour workshop on How to Submit a Competitive Grant Application. There will also be a Q&A panel with Artist Trust grant recipients Pam Kuntz, Roberto Ascalon, and Esther de Monteflores. The fee is $30 for Artist Trust members, $35 for non-members.

Artist Trust on Tour will continue in Tacoma on May 19, Seattle on August 3 and Port Townsend on September 15.

more Noisy Water!

March 22, 2016

Noisy Water 2016

Other Mind Press has announced an expanded calendar of readings for Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington. Selected poets from the 101-poet anthology will be reading at each of these upcoming events:

The Firehouse event, organized by Jeni Cottrell, Harold Niven and FAIM, includes an exhibit by 16 Noisy Water poets who created artwork inspired by or related to their poem. The art will be on display at the Firehouse Café throughout National Poetry Month, April 1-30, during café hours, 7:00am – 4:00pm daily, and the poets will read at the reception/reading on April 24.

All readings are free and copies of Noisy Water will be available for purchase. There’s more information about Noisy Water and a complete lineup of poets for each event on the Other Mind Press Noisy Water page.

Farewell Firehouse

April 21, 2015

Farewell Firehouse

From 1927 to 2001 it was Fire Station No. 2. In 2002, the old Fairhaven firehouse was purchased by Matt Christman and transformed into the Firehouse Performing Arts Center.

With its beautiful floor and retractable seating system, plus the lively Firehouse Café, “the Firehouse” has served the greater Bellingham community for a decade as a venue for dance, music, poetry, other performing arts, classes, meetings and much more. The Café was home to open mics, a small poetry library and art exhibits and a home-away-from-home to scores of regulars who treasured the coffee, pastries, huge fireplace and camaraderie.

When the property was put on the market for sale, a group of Firehouse fans rallied support to purchase the building and keep it operating. But the price was steep and the Firehouse was finally sold to a buyer who will use it for another function.

To mark the closing of the Firehouse, there will be a Final Poetry Reading / Open Mic on Saturday, April 25, 2015, starting at 7:00pm. Please join local poets and Firehouse lovers for this poignant evening of farewells.

photo © Steve Mahler

Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater and Bellingham Repertory Dance (BRD) announce the 2015 Phrasings Collaboration for Writers & Dancers

The 9th annual Phrasings collaboration and performance will offer a fresh constellation of modern dance, film and original poems. Poems will be linked with video creations, drawing inspiration from the dancers and Seattle choreographer Mary Sheldon Scott (known as Molly).

Five performances are scheduled, May 22, 23 and 24, 2015, in Bellingham, Washington, at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center.

BRD is a collective of accomplished dancers dedicated to bringing high-quality, vibrant contemporary dance to the Northwest. They are always looking for new ways to engage visual arts, spoken word and modern dance as an intersection of new ideas and experience. In a special, community-supported effort, BRD contracted with Mary Sheldon Scott to create a completely new 20-minute piece.

This year, five to seven poets will be selected to read their poem as part of the show or to work with videographers on a short film featuring their poem. Writings need to be derived from the work of Ms. Scott and the movement of BRD dancers, so writers are invited to six open rehearsals at the Firehouse (1314 Harris Avenue in Fairhaven) to watch and write. Come prepared to freewrite while watching preparations for the show in the hope that the dancers’ movements might inspire “phrasings,” images or a storyline that will become a poem.

The open rehearsals are Friday, January 30, 2015, 2:00 to 4:00pm and 6:00-9:00pm; Saturday, January 31, 11:30am to 4:30pm (full company from 2-4:30pm only); and every Friday in February, 12:30 to 2:30 pm. Writers may drop in without an appointment for as long as desired.

All winning submissions will be presented in a Phrasings 2015 chapbook. Poets whose poems are selected will receive a video of their poem. One submission from every poet will be printed and displayed during the shows.

Guidelines provided by Chuckanut Sandstone Writers:

We are looking for a wide range of poetry and all forms of writing to be selected for:

  • Originality, and not previously published or performed.
  • Vivid imagery – with content that’s personal, pastoral, featuring the natural world, tactile.
  • Lyrical qualities – gives attention to rhythm and language.

Themes – Please consider suspension and/or interdependency as themes for your concrete images, narratives or imaginings. You may or may not use the actual words, but let suspension and/or interdependency become your context. (And if the theme doesn’t work for you, your poem without the theme might work for us. Let nothing hold you back from submitting.)

Your entry must be e-mailed by Sunday, February 22, 2015.

  1. To submit: e-mail your entry(ies) to Use the subject line: Submission Phrasings 2015.
  2. Submit one to three separate poems as a pdf or Word attachment. Do not put your name on the attachment. Limit yourself to pieces that are one to two pages in length.
  3. 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.

The videographers will select the two submissions that they want to work with, and will contact the poets for further development. A reading committee will select the three to five poems to be read and featured at the show.

Receipt of your submission and outcomes with follow-up details will be sent via e-mail. Send your comments or questions to Carla Shafer, via e-mail to:

Further inspiration: Mary Sheldon Scott is a visual artist as well as a choreographer, so be sure to visit her website. Her artwork will be on display at the Firehouse Café during May.
. . . . .
Bellingham Repertory Dance photo © Steve Mahler

poetry tonight!

August 22, 2014

Whatcom Women Words and Works
Please join Jeni Cottrell and the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Avenue in Fairhaven (Bellingham, Washington), this evening — Friday, August 22, 2014 — as they host a reception and poetry reading for Whatcom Women Words and Works.

The exhibit, which remains on view at the Firehouse Café through the month of August, features art and poetry by Sheila Sondik, J.I. Kleinberg, Nancy Canyon and Anita K. Boyle.

The reception begins at 6:30pm, the poetry reading (in the performance space) runs 7:15-8:00pm and the reception ends at 8:30pm.

Whatcom Women Words and Works

Organized by Jeni Cottrell and featuring work of four artist-poets, Whatcom Women Words and Works is currently on display at the Firehouse Café, 1314 Harris Avenue in Fairhaven (Bellingham, Washington). The café is open 7:00am to 5:30pm daily.

Each of the artists – Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Canyon, J.I. Kleinberg and Sheila Sondik – has both artwork and poetry in the exhibit and all four will talk about their work and read poetry at the reception/reading next Friday, August 22, 2014. The reception begins at 6:30pm, the reading (in the adjacent Firehouse Performing Arts Center) runs 7:15-8:00pm, and the reception ends at 8:30pm. The reading is free, with donations appreciated to cover venue costs. All artwork is for sale.

%d bloggers like this: