mark your calendar!

October 6, 2020

The winners of the 2020 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest were selected and notified back in April. When, by necessity, the awards ceremony was rescheduled from May to October, it seemed like surely an in-person celebration would be possible. Alas.

But there will be a celebration, online, on Thursday, October 22, 2020, at 7:00pm. We will hear from this year’s judges, Roger Gilman and Kami Westhoff, and from the poets who have waited so patiently to share their words.

Request a Zoom link and password for this year’s virtual Awards Ceremony by emailing BoyntonPoetryContest@hotmail.com.

Please mark your calendar and stay tuned!

Boynton winners!

May 13, 2020

We have winners!

This year’s distinguished judges for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, Roger Gilman and Kami Westhoff, have completed the difficult task of choosing winning poems from among the hundreds submitted.

Congratulations to the 2020 winning poets:
WALK AWARDS
Margaux Barber, Robert Beck, Chloe Nahani Braunstein,
Eugene S. Fairbanks, Suzanne Harris, Iluma Madrone, Kate Miller,
Betty Scott, Katen Van Harmelen, and Hayley Van Ness

MERIT AWARDS
Miakoda Baughman, Judy Bishop, Barbara Bloom, Randy Flowers,
Cristian H Gonzalez, John S. Green, Josh Hilderbrand, Steve Hood,
Stephen Jacob Huxford, Penelope Keep, Alexandra M. Lucas,
Fjola Martinez, Giorgiana Vignali, Richard Widerkehr,
and J. L. Wright

The Awards Ceremony, originally scheduled for May, has been postponed until Thursday, October 22, 2020, 7:00pm, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. The community is invited (encouraged) to attend this wonderful event, at which the poets will read their winning poems. Please mark your calendar!

meet the judges: 2020

January 4, 2020

Each year, the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest selects two distinguished poets to serve as judges. With hundreds of poems to read by poets of all ages and skill levels, it’s a challenging job. The judges each read every poem and then discuss their choices before coming up with the year’s contest winners.

The contest committee is very pleased to introduce this year’s judges: Roger Gilman and Kami Westhoff.

Roger Gilman is poetry editor for Adventures Northwest, winner of a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship, and of several Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest prizes. He teaches classes at the Hugo House Literary Center in Seattle. His latest poems are in Poetry Northwest. He is former Dean of Fairhaven College and Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Western Washington University.

Kami Westhoff is the author of Sleepwalker, which won Minerva Rising’s Dare to Be Contest, and Your Body a Bullet, co-written with Elizabeth Vignali. Her poetry and prose have appeared in journals including Booth, Carve, Hippocampus, Meridian, Passages North, The Pinch, Phoebe, Redivider, Waxwing, and West Branch. She teaches creative writing at Western Washington University where she serves as faculty adviser for Jeopardy Magazine.

The guidelines are now posted on the 2020 Contest page. Submissions don’t open until March 1, 2020, but it’s never too early to study the guidelines and start drafting your poem.

strong voices

January 2, 2019

You’re invited to look and listen as a group of poets offer their words to accompany the Women Empowering Women exhibit at Allied Arts in Bellingham on Sunday, January 6, 2019, at 4:00pm. Featured poets include Nancy Canyon, Lois Holub, Jessica Lee, Maria McLeod, Rainbow Medicine-Walker, Dayna Patterson, Carla Shafer, Kami Westhoff, and Leslie Wharton.

The opening reception for the exhibit will be held during Gallery Walk, Friday, January 4, 6:00-8:00pm. The participating artists (Francie Allen, Mary Jane Davis, Patti Fairbanks, LaVera Langeman, Erin Libby, and Leslie Wharton) will also host a film and fundraiser for the Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival on Thursday, January 17, 6:00-8:00pm, and a Tea Party in honor of the Women’s March on Saturday, January 19, at 2:00pm. The exhibit will remain on view through Saturday, January 26, 2019.

You are invited to join WWU Creative Writing alumni Bailey Cunningham (BA, 2017), Katy Ellis (MA, 2002), Maya Jewell Zeller (BA, 2002) and Taneum Bambrick (BA, 2014) as they read poetry and prose alongside their most influential and inspiring Creative Writing faculty members, including Kami Westhoff, Carol Guess, Nancy Pagh, and Bruce Beasley, respectively.

The reading is free, open to the public, and part of Western Washington University’s Alumni Weekend. It will be held on campus at WWU, Friday, May 18, 2018, 4:30-6:00pm, in Viking Union 565.

A pair of terrific poetry workshops are on offer this Saturday, November 5, 2016, at Honey Moon Mead and Cider in Bellingham. Space is limited and registration is required. All fees benefit the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: $30 for one workshop or $50 for both, paid by check or cash at the workshop. Register by sending an email to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com indicating the workshop(s) you wish to take and including your name and a phone number. Please bring writing materials.

Judy Kleinberg10:00am – Noon
J.I. (Judy) Kleinberg

Finding Poems: a hands-on workshop

In this fun and fast-paced workshop, Judy Kleinberg will offer an overview of found poetry techniques and an opportunity for you to experiment and identify the ones that resonate for you. You’ll discover ways to add found elements to more conventional-form poems and to use found prompts to kick-start new work. Some materials will be provided, but your writing notebook, pens, paper, scissors, junk mail, magazines (or books you’re willing to cut up), and glue sticks will be very welcome.

Kami Westhoff1:00 – 3:00pm
Elizabeth VignaliKami Westhoff and Elizabeth Vignali

Why Write Collaboratively?

Most people think of writing as a solitary act, yet ultimately the goal of the writer is to connect with the reader. Through collaboration, the writer can connect in a more immediate, tangible way. Writing with others can rejuvenate a sometimes lonely process, allowing the writer to be both contributor and reader, enhancing their perception and bringing into focus the goal of that ultimate connection with the reader.

One of the wonderful things about collaboration is that there are nearly as many ways to collaborate as there are types of people, so anyone can find a collaborative process that works for them. In this workshop, we’ll engage in various collaborative exercises that highlight our strengths, as well as encourage us to venture outside our comfort zones and ultimately enable us to grow as writers.

Knowing another writer’s name will be attached to your piece of writing can push us to work a bit harder to find that image that sears into the reader’s consciousness, to offer that perspective that incites action or a quiet moment’s reprieve, to render that scene in a way that promises the reader that even in a lonely world there are profound connections to be made, not the least of which come through the written word.

Learn more about the instructors on the Workshops page.

Workshops!

September 20, 2016

Honey Moon

Each autumn, the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest holds a series of short, dynamic poetry workshops taught by regional poets. The fall lineup is now in place, with two workshops scheduled on Saturday, October 8, 2016, and two more on Saturday, November 5, 2016.

You can read the workshop descriptions and see the instructor bios on the Workshops page.

Workshops will be held at Honey Moon Mead and Cider (see photo), which is located in the alley behind Pepper Sisters, 1053 N. State Street, Bellingham, Washington.

Registration is required and all fees benefit the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: $30 for one workshop or $50 for both workshops offered the same day, paid by check or cash at the workshop.

Register by sending an email to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com indicating the workshop(s) you wish to take and including your name and a phone number. Please bring writing materials.

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