SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread engaged five poets in what turned out to be a nine-month poetic conversation. The resulting series of linked poems was presented in five Zoom readings.

To complete SpeakEasy 27, audience members were invited to submit their own poems inspired by and directly linked to specific ideas or language in the 25-poem series. Round 6, on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific, will feature response poems by Sarah Brownsberger, Lauren Camp, Nancy Canyon, Bev Darnall, J.I. Kleinberg, Eric Kosarot, Rachel Mehl, Peter Messinger, Jory Mickelson, Don Mitchell, Kevin Murphy, Bethany Reid, Sheila Rosen, Paul Sarvasy, Betty Scott, Carla Shafer, Sheila Sondik, Allie Spikes, and Nik Warren.

Additional information and video of the previous readings is available on the Other Mind Press SpeakEasy 27 page. The reading is free on Zoom (Zoom link available from the participating poets or by sending an email to othermindpress AT gmail.com). Please join us!

summer Sundays

June 1, 2019

You’re invited to a first-Sunday-of-the-month
poetry reading
at 5:00pm
by the book box
at 1507 Larrabee,
in Bellingham.

Featured poets are
Kevin Murphy (June 2),
Carla Shafer (July 7),
Luther Allen (August 4),
and You (open mic, September 1, 2019, followed by a potluck).

Thanks to Jeni Cottrell for the idea and the venue!

2019 Boynton winners

May 2, 2019

We have winners!

The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest committee has announced the winners of this year’s contest.

Winners will read their poems at a free public awards ceremony, 7:00pm, Thursday, May 16, 2019, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue, in Fairhaven. Poet Kevin Murphy will host the ceremony.

Now in its 14th year, the annual contest is open to Whatcom County residents of all ages and poetry experience. This year’s winners were chosen by judges Jessica Lohafer and Christopher Patton, both Bellingham-based poets.

Ten Walk Award winners will have their poems displayed for a year on plaques outside the downtown Bellingham Public Library. Those poems, and the 14 Merit Award winners, also will be displayed on artist-designed placards on WTA buses. (The winning poems and placards will be posted weekly on this site following the awards ceremony.)

Winners include Jaelyn Pitts, a Bellingham 3-year-old, the youngest in the contest’s history; and award-winning poet Luci Shaw of Bellingham, who, at age 90, is likely the contest’s oldest winner ever.

Youths who won the Walk Award are Maddie Patterson, 5th grade, Silver Beach Elementary; Gavin James Karney, 6th grade, Whatcom Middle; Bella Mendoza, 12th grade, Squalicum High; Margaux Barber, kindergarten, Sunnyland Elementary; and Jaelyn Pitts.

Adults who won the Walk Award are Barbara Bloom of Bellingham, Tor of Bellingham, Sandra F. Lucke of Lynden, Stephany Vogel of Bellingham, and Luci Shaw.

Youths won won the Merit Award are Quinn Moore, 4th grade, Natural Learning Center; Porter Chesbrough, 6th grade, Whatcom Middle; Gaia Garza, 6th grade, Whatcom Middle; Eliot Stockman, 6th grade, Whatcom Middle; Lucas Cunningham, 12th grade, Sehome High; Anishka Duggal, 11th grade, Sehome High; Karanjot Mann, 12th grade, Squalicum High; and Adam McCluskey, 11th grade, Squalicum High.

Six adults won a Merit Award: Sally Hewitt of Glacier, Phelps McIlvaine of Bellingham, Carlos Martinez of Ferndale, Tom Moore of Bellingham, Susan Cohen Raphael of Bellingham, and Cadillac Joe Wright of Bellingham.

A chapbook of the winning poems will be available for purchase at the awards ceremony.

Congratulations to the winners and heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of poets who submitted their work to this year’s contest.

tonight in Bellingham

August 22, 2018

Greene’s Corner, in Bellingham, will welcome poet Kevin Murphy this evening, Wednesday, August 22, 2018. The mic will be open for musicians in between sets of Kevin’s poetry. Signups begin 6:30, music at 7:00, with emcee JP Falcon Grady.

Kevin Murphy has been performing off-kilter poetry for approximately 39.5 years. A winner of a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award in 2017, he likes to think his poetry offers many of the benefits of a round-the-world trip at a fraction of the cost. Come on down. No passport required.

Saturday in Bellingham!

April 19, 2018

SpeakEasy 21: Poets Talk Poetry is going to be an exceptional evening of insightful reflections and scintillating words from poets Bruce Beasley, Ramona Elke, Jory Mickelson, Kevin Murphy, Nancy Pagh, Dayna Patterson, and Rena Priest. Please join us on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at 7:00pm, in the Encore Room of the Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham, Washington. The event is free and the poets’ books will be for sale.

tough choice

September 22, 2016

Kevin Murphy & Michael Schmeltzer

While the poetry workshops offered by Kevin Murphy (left) and Michael Schmeltzer (right) are not exactly at the same time, it would be a stretch to do both… So, if you’re interested, you’re just going to have to make the tough choice.

Both workshops take place on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

From 10:00am to Noon, in Bellingham, Kevin Murphy will teach Writing Poetry: Expressing the Inexpressible. “Poetry is the art of expressing the inexpressible. In poetry, the ordinary becomes miraculous and the miraculous is revealed as ordinary. We’ll explore ways of writing poems that reach beyond the limitations of what we know to include the unconscious, the dream world, the irrational. We’ll experiment with forms and exercises to spark the imagination and open the door to mystery.
Kevin Murphy is ‘poet-in-residence’ for the Chuckanut Radio Hour. His most recent release is The Bird of Pure Midnight, a poetry-with-music CD and chapbook.” NOTE: Kevin’s workshop continues for a second session on Saturday, October 22.

From 2:00 to 4:00pm, in Tacoma, Michael Schmeltzer will teach Studying the Shadow: A Poetry Workshop Exploring Elegy. “Much like Peter Pan’s shadow, grief has a life of its own. In this workshop we’ll not only examine various elegies, but we’ll write our own using techniques borrowed from poets who’ve wrestled with their own loss.”
Michael Schmeltzer is the author of Elegy/Elk River (Floating Bridge, 2015,) winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and Blood Song (Two Sylvias, 2016) his debut full-length. He earned an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

Two fine poets. Two fine-sounding workshops. Good luck.

. . . . .
Kevin Murphy photo by Gary Wade

You’re invited!

October 9, 2015

Kevin Murphy, The Bird of Pure Midnight

You are invited (and encouraged) to join Kevin Murphy and friends for a CD release Poetry Performance on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at 7:30pm, at The Majestic in Bellingham, Washington.

Kevin Murphy, a poetry/performance favorite, has just released “The Bird of Pure Midnight” — a collection of 17 original poems, many with musical accompaniment. Guest musicians will be on hand. $5 requested donation at the door can be applied to your CD purchase.

Kevin Murphy has been performing his poetry for over 30 years. He is the author of A Beautiful Chaos Demands Energy and also has a previous poetry CD, “Between Onions and Oxygen.” He regularly performs on the “Chuckanut Radio Hour,” has toured the Pacific Northwest and beyond as a member of the New Old Time Chautauqua, and teaches poetry through the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project. Kevin’s poetry tends toward the comic and the surreal, and he often accompanies himself on guitar or drum.

Come enjoy an evening of energetic and mind-expanding poetry and music!

Poetry Alive

Kevin Murphy and Matthew Brouwer are at it again, this time joined by poets Shannon Laws, Joe Nolting and CJ Prince. Poetry Alive IV (or III, depending on where you look) promises “a night of poesy so mind-bendingly grand, so soul-shakingly shaking it may just inspire you to quit your day job and pursue a hermetic life of poetic penury…not that you should come with any expectations or anything…”

Proceeds benefit the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project, which leads writing workshops with kids in the juvenile justice system. JJCWP affirms that all youth have a unique voice that deserves to be shared with the community and that helping teens to connect with the vitality of their imaginations can be a powerful means for self expression and personal growth.

Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 7:00pm in the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham. $10 suggested donation.

Poetry Alive!

April 7, 2014

Poetry Alive

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the National Poetry Month bonanza continues in Bellingham as five local favorites share the latest inklings of their imaginations with typical aplomb and flair. Poetry Alive, with Kevin Murphy, Jim Bertolino, Nancy Canyon, Susan Chase-Foster and Matthew Brouwer, will pack enough creative juice to power a whole city block and leave you wishing that poetry month could file for an extension.

Proceeds benefit the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project, which pairs teaching artists with teens in the local juvenile justice system. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the project has been underway for nearly a year, with a writing club that operates in detention most weeks. Proceeds from the show will ensure that the club continues through 2014 and can be offered to teens outside of detention as well.

Poetry Alive will take place at the Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room, 7:00pm. Suggested donation: $5 students, $10 adults.

Old World Deli

This just in: a poetry reading and performance on Sunday, December 15, 2013, at the Old World Deli in Bellingham, Washington, to benefit The Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project.

The poets:

Y. Yi Pang, traveling from Heidelberg, Germany, will read from her new book, Tales of Life in Light and Shadow.

Award-winning Bellingham poet Kevin Murphy, known for his exuberance, quirky humor and off-beat insights (with nods to the Beats, the bards, the surrealists and the blues) will accompany himself on guitar and percussion.

Doors open at 5:00pm – antipasto, wine and beverages available.
Reading and performance begins at 6:00pm.

$10 donation suggested, with net proceeds given to the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project.

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