Our First Apartment*

May 28, 2023

2022 Merit Award
By Flannery White

our sheets suspend across my second-
hand chairs; our socks and delicates
overwhelm his drying rack
we read together in
our laundry-wrapped room
our belongings

*Copyright © 2022 by Flannery White. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Poet’s bio:
After growing up overseas in Beijing and The Hague, Flannery White moved to the Pacific Northwest at 17 to attend the University of Washington. Her work has previously appeared in Potluck Mag, Foliate Oak, Cirque, and the “Your Body of Water” Collection of the Seattle Poetry on Buses project. “I began writing ‘Our First Apartment’ soon after my now-husband and I moved in together. I didn’t want to forget the poignancy of our first small, shared space, knowing we would eventually move on to larger pastures. I choose to use a nonet because the decreasing line length down to one final syllable echoes a relationship deepening into a single shared life, and nicely mirrors folding laundry, too.”

NOTE: a chapbook of the 2022 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poems, including this one, is available at Village Books in Bellingham. All sales profits benefit the annual contest.

2022 Merit Award
By Vincent Tsan

You are like your house
Earthy and youthful
And all the smells you cook yourself into

You are your backyard garden, transformed from hand
The wooden bed with summer kale and beets

You are the tarp you made that protects your foyer
And the pieces of dark sturdy wood that bind your house
That is still there when I come over

You gave life to the thanksgiving party
Cranberry cider and shrimp chips fizz in my mouth

On the top of your tall staircase is
A party of rubber ducks with various costumes
You make ME look forward to growing up
So I can buy my own house

I will buy rubber ducks
And through living, I will become a house

You are life at the purest form,
I love you Yee Ma

*Copyright © 2022 by Vincent Tsan. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Poet’s bio:
“My name is Vincent Tsan. I am 18 years old. This is my first published poem. I will graduate from Sehome High School and plan to attend WWU. My favorite food is either dumplings or char siu bao (Chinese Barbecue Pork bread). ‘Yee Ma and her Homey Vibe’ is about being excited to grow up. Yee Ma means Aunt in Cantonese, which is my native tongue. Her home is one of my favorite places in the world and I celebrate many fun holidays at her house. I want a house like hers when it is the time for me to buy my own home.”

NOTE: a chapbook of the 2022 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poems, including this one, is available at Village Books in Bellingham. All sales profits benefit the annual contest.

Poetic Shelters

May 22, 2020

The ever-busy, ever-imaginative Claudia Castro Luna, Washington State’s Poet Laureate, has introduced a new project for these times: Poetic Shelters.

“This project asks you to consider the poetics of your home and how its physical and emotional character is changing during this time. The home, whatever that may be for someone, is a space we each know intimately and can therefore represent poetically by sharing our memories, frustrations, daydreams, and also by by describing its physical configuration.”

Poems, mini-essays, and accompanying photos, if available, are invited. While Poetic Shelters is Washington-centric, contributors from other locations are welcome to submit.

Visit Poetic Shelters for more information and to read a sampling of poems.

Atlas Obscura calls it “digital detective work”: volunteers who visit online archives to decipher handwriting, tag photos, and other essential archival tasks. Find out more about this project here and see what else Atlas Obscura has mapped for your home enjoyment here. Think of it as one big poetry prompt.

poetry on film

December 23, 2019

At a time of year when the word home has a particular resonance, we invite you to view the lovely poem/film “Home” by spoken-word poet Erin Fornoff and director/cinematographer David Knox.

More poetry on film here.

the Raven comes home

June 17, 2017

Mark your calendar for Friday, July 7, 2017, and join in A Reading & Reception for Raven Chronicles Journal Vol. 24: HOME. Along with emcee Paul Hunter, readers will include Dianne Aprile, Anna Bálint, Jim Cantú, T. Clear, Clare Johnson, Shankar Narayan, Linda Packard, Joannie Stangeland, Carolyne Wright, and Recovery Café’s Safe Place Writing Circle readers. The 7:00pm event is free and will be held at the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle.

Volume 24, on the theme HOME, features the work of 14 artists/illustrators and 68 writers from 21 states and 3 countries:

Words From the Café by Megan McInnis, Johnnie Powell, Cathy Scott, Jay Scott, and Susan Tekola.

Fiction by Jennifer Clark, Cheryce (Chy) Clayton, Clare Johnson, Gina LaLonde, Don Noel, Sue Gale Pace, Michael Philips, J.R. Robinson, and Terry Sanville.

Essays/nonfiction by Michael Dylan Welch, Inye Wokoma, Maria de Los Angeles, Diane Glancy, Thomas Hubbard, John Olson, Susan Noyes Platt, Maiah Merino, and Rebecca F. Reuter.

Poetry by Anna Bálint, Anita Endrezze, T. Clear, Larry Eickstaedt, Paul Hunter, Mark Trechock, Jim Cantú, Soonest Nathaniel, Luther Allen, Dianne Aprile, Virginia Barrett, Michele Bombardier, Elizabeth Burnam, Minnie Collins, Mary Eliza Crane, Larry Crist, Jenny Davis, Risa Denenberg, Patrick Dixon, Penny Harter, Tanya McDonald, Michael Dylan Welch, Sharon Hashimoto, Tom Hunley, Sarah Jones, J.I. Kleinberg, Charles Leggett, Joan McBride, Marjorie Maddox, Kate Miller, Kevin Miller, Shankar Narayan, Linda Packard, David J.S. Pickering, Robert Ronnow, Frank Rossini, Judith Skillman, Joannie Stangeland, Alison Stone, Angie Trudell Vasquez, Diana Woodcock, and Carolyne Wright.

Rants, Raves & Reviews
Alaskero Memories by Robert Francis Flor, reviewed by Maria Batayola
A Thousand Horses Out To Sea by Erika T. Wurth, reviewed by Thomas Hubbard
Words From the Café, An Anthology edited by Anna Bálint, reviewed by Martha Kreiner
Moods & Women & Men & Once Again Moods: An Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Erotic Poetry edited by Ruxandra Cesereanu, reviewed by Elizath Myhr
Hola and Goodbye: Una Familia in Stories by Donna Miscolta, reviewed by Angie Trudell Vasquez
Rules for Walking Out by Crysta Casey, reviewed by Corinna Wycoff
Love’s Last Number by Christopher Howell, reviewed by Polly Buckingham

. . . . .
cover art: The Fireplace in the Violinists’ House, oil on canvas, by Rebecca Pyle

Synthesis of Happiness*

September 13, 2015

2015 Merit Award
By Erica Reed

Synthesis of Happiness
after Gary Wade

Strangers are thickest
in that part of the city
you learn to call home.
. . . . .
*Copyright 2015 by Erica Reed. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

“Terrorist, I am not”*

December 15, 2010

By Emilie Elizabeth Friske, 11th grade
2008 Merit Award
Placard design by Egress Studio
It seems that my home—
Is no longer mine.
Going to America for a better life.
Away from the bombs, poison and screams.
Arriving was difficult and frightening.
This is not the home I expected.
Where are the blonde blue-eyed smiles?
Instead I get shady glares.
It’s pretty lonesome—
In the land of the free.

*Copyright 2008 by Emilie Elizabeth Friske. This poem is included in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book! Placard design by Egress Studio.

South Fork Valley*

November 11, 2010

Placard design by Egress Studio
2006 Walk Award
By Kimberly Roe

Almost home: See Katrina?
Flower child — keeps bees; grows berries and beans.

Swing left: Ed waves,
Stooped from milking cows, bucking bales.

Left again: Larry the Junk man naps in his truck.
Heaps of steel encircle his home.
He knows waste, the casting off of possessions,

Road’s end: Jim the bird-dog man spits,
Smiles and nods.
Protective father, loves ducks, long stories.

Veer right: Turn the key.
Frogs sing.
Horses rush the fence, leap and twirl.
The city is behind me,
Released like an embarrassment,
A small stumble.

Stretch, breathe deeply,
Wish that we could stay this way forever.

*Copyright 2006 by Kimberly Roe. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book! Placard design by Egress Studio.


October 21, 2010

Placard design by Egress Studio
2008 Merit Award
By Jazlyn Atwood, 1st grade

When I come home from school,
My brother is waiting for me on the steps.
He hugs me tightly.
He tells me that he was looking for me under rocks.
We go inside and watch movies.
He loves me.
I love him too.

*Copyright 2008 by Jazlyn Atwood. This poem is included in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book! Placard design by Egress Studio.

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