Tonight in Bellingham!

October 22, 2016

Mount Baker Theatre

It’s not often that this particular blogger steps out from behind the veil of anonymity, but if not now, when? I am the very grateful recipient of the 2016 Ken Warfel Fellowship, established to distinguish and reward those poets who, like Ken Warfel, have made substantial contributions to their poetry communities. This blog, The Poetry Department, which I launched in July 2010 (today’s post is the 2,253rd), is a significant part of that contribution.

It would be an honor and a pleasure to see you in the audience this evening, Saturday, October 22, 2016, at the award ceremony. The doors open at 6:45pm and events get underway at 7:00pm. Please join me at the Mount Baker Theatre, Encore Room, 104 North Commercial Street, Bellingham, Washington. (Use the Champion Street door to enter the Encore Room.) Hope to see you there!

Alaska Flying Poets

Every two years, poetrynight invites poets who “have made substantial contributions to their poetry communities” to apply for the Ken Warfel Fellowship. Applications are open until Friday, July 1, 2016. Read the guidelines and the Call for Entries. Participate (as an audience member and in the open mic) in poetrynight on Mondays at the Bellingham Public Library. Like poetrynight on Facebook.

Ken Warfel, for whom the fellowship is named, was (among other achievements) one of the original five Alaska Flying Poets, “a group of five professors from the [Iowa Writer’s] Workshop who flew a small airplane around Alaska and the Midwest to talk to high school students about the value of learning to write well.” He was the author of three books of poetry: Fow! and Other Fingerprints, The Sunnyside Vinegar Works and A Fine Hotel. See Ken Warfel’s obituary.
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photo: Alaska Flying Poets, 1964, from left: Donald Kaufmann, Kenneth Warfel, Robert King, Edmund Skellings, Laurence Wyatt

celebrate with Sara!

November 20, 2014

Sara Brickman - Ken Warfel Fellowship

You’re invited to party with the poets as poetrynight celebrates this year’s Ken Warfel Fellowship winnner, Sara Brickman (author, performance artist, educator and the 2011 Seattle Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion). There will be poetry from Sara herself, and from the last Warfel Fellowship winner, Mark Anderson, plus music and food.

This free, all-ages event takes place this Saturday, November 22, 2014, at 6:00pm in the Crystal Ballroom at The Leopold, in Bellingham. And… there will be an after-party at Brandywine Kitchen starting at 8:45pm!


Are you a poet who has made a substantial contribution to the poetry community? Are you at least 18 years of age and a three- (or more) year resident of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana or Washington? If so, get thee quick to the Poetrynight website and put in your application for The Ken Warfel Fellowship.

Ken Warfel, for whom the fellowship is named, was (among other achievements) one of the original five Alaska Flying Poets and the author of three books of poetry: Fow and Other Fingerprints, the Sunnyside Vinegar Works and A Fine Hotel.

NOTE: the application deadline has been extended to Saturday, June 21, 2014.

Ken Warfel Fellowship

April 13, 2012

Ken WarfelWhat have you done for the poetry community lately? If you think you’re making a “substantial contribution,” then hasten yourself to the Ken Warfel Fellowship page over at, study the requirements and send in your application for a possible $1,000 fellowship. The deadline is Sunday, April 15, 2012, so don’t tarry.

You can also learn more about the fellowship and about Ken Warfel and listen to the poetrynight podcast of the 28 February 2011 Ken Warfel tribute.
Ken Warfel photo