La Conner two-fer

November 9, 2017

La Conner, Washington, will host two poetry events on Saturday, November 18, 2017:

  • WORKSHOP. At 1:00pm, Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall will conduct a workshop on Ekphrastic Poetry. The workshop will be held at the Museum of Northwest Art. Cost: $25, 10% discount to Museum members.
  • READING. At 6:00pm, Tod Marshall will host poets Tom Robbins, Tess Gallagher, Samuel and Sally Green, Alice Derry, Michael Daley and Jennifer Boyden for an evening of poetry from the pages of Washington 129. The event, which will be held at Maple Hall, is free.

. . . . .
photo by Walter Siegmund

Advertisements

this month in La Conner

December 10, 2016

detail of Poem on the Stairs by Dianne Firth

On display now through December 30, 2016, at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum is Ekphrastic: Quilts & Poetry. To assemble this exhibit, the Fibre Art Network of Western Canada (FAN) invited twelve well known Canadian poets to contribute a poem, and each poem was then interpreted by four FAN members. You can preview the poems and quilt-art on the FAN website. Better yet, spend a day in La Conner and see them in person.

. . . . .
image: detail of Poem on the Stairs by Dianne Firth, created in response to “Poem on the Poem on the Stairs” by Chandra Mayor

Patricia Smith!

November 6, 2016

Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith doesn’t spell her name with an exclamation point, but she should. A powerful poet and a dynamic performer and instructor, Smith will offer a three-hour workshop and a public reading in La Conner on Sunday, November 20, 2016.

The workshop, “Stamping the Word with You,” will examine the elements that help you identify, define, and establish your creative signature. It runs from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the La Conner Middle School Library, 503 N. Sixth Street in La Conner. Cost is $120, and the workshop is limited to 15 participants. For registration, contact Molly McNulty at directorsrpp@gmail.com.

Smith’s public reading will begin at 2:00pm at the Museum of Northwest Art, with donations at the door to benefit The Skagit River Poetry Foundation, which brings poets into public-school classrooms throughout the region.

In her reading, Patricia Smith will discuss her new book, Incendiary Art, which examines the black experience in prose poems, sestinas, and sonnets. She will also explore the conception, trajectory, and difficulties of crafting a cohesive manuscript.

Patricia Smith is the author of six critically acknowledged volumes of poetry, including the National Book Award-finalist Blood Dazzler, a chronicle of the human and environmental cost of Hurricane Katrina, and the National Poetry Series winner Teahouse of the Almighty. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and in both Best American Poetry and Best American Essays.

Skagit River Poetry Festival 2016

It only happens every other year and it’s coming right up. So in case you haven’t put it on your schedule or purchased your tickets, here’s the full text of the recent press release for the Skagit River Poetry Festival, May 19-22, 2016, in La Conner, Washington:

This year brings a world of fresh, provocative voices to the Skagit River Poetry Festival, May 19-22 in the historic town of La Conner. The celebrated four-day event, with performances, readings, workshops, and discussions, features some of the most renowned and diverse names in poetry, including Pushcart Prize winner Naomi Shihab Nye, an Arab-American writer described as “international in scope and internal in focus.”

The festival opens with a literary bang on Thursday, May 19, when celebrated spoken word poets take the stage in a program called “Wake Up. Speak Out,” challenging and provoking audiences with new poetic ideas and forms. Participants include Jeanann Verlee, who has represented New York City ten times at the National Poetry Slam; Jamaal May, Detroit poet and filmmaker; Bangladeshi-American poet and spoken-word artist Tarfia Faizullah; Daemond Arrindell, curator of the Seattle Poetry Slam; and Seattle Grand Slam champion Matt Gano, emcee of this event. The popular Northwest band Rabbit Wilde will provide the musical stomp.

Over the next two days, the festival presents some of the most thoughtful voices in contemporary poetry, reflecting cultures from around the world. The lineup includes:

  • Natalie Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes, and former professional basketball player
  • Aimee Nezhukumatathil, who writes at the intersection of Filipino, Indian, and American cultures
  • Norman Fischer, Zen Buddhist priest and poet
  • Lorna Dee Cervantes, a major voice in contemporary Chicana literature
  • Garrett Hongo, celebrated Japanese-American poet

Top Northwest poets on the bill include Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellow Richard Kenney from Port Townsend; Canadian musician, philosopher, and award-winning poet Jan Zwicky; and Washington State’s new Poet Laureate, Tod Marshall, a professor at Gonzaga University dedicated to bringing humanities to underserved populations. “Poetry matters — not just to poets, professors, and students: poetry matters to everyone,” said Marshall.

Special events include a Thursday night Poet’s Soiree extravaganza preceding the “Wake Up. Speak Out” program. This mixer includes wine and delicious locally sourced hors d’oeuvres, along with the chance to meet the poets one-on-one.

Back this year are popular Sunday writing workshops with festival poets, including sessions on “Found Poetry,” “Poetry and Silence,” and “Invoking Magic” with Jeanann Verlee. Poet Tim McNulty leads a special three-hour session on nature writing that takes participants outdoors with their journals, and Kevin Craft, editor of Poetry Northwest, offers attendees tips on writing and getting published. New this year are individual consultations with festival poets. Writers can have a poem critiqued in a 20-minute session for $20.

Tickets to all festival events, including all-festival passes, are on sale at Brown Paper Tickets. You can also go to the Festival website for a direct link and description. Special discounts are available for students with ID and seniors over 65. Unless sold out, tickets will also be available at the door.

The biennial festival takes place in venues throughout La Conner, which is transformed by poetry for four days. “The festival turns La Conner into a town filled with poetry, from its churches to its museums, its community center, and its bed and breakfasts,” says poet Susan Rich. “Where else can a person sleep, eat, live, and breathe poetry for a spring weekend?”

The festival, one of the largest celebrations of poetry on the West Coast, is put on by the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings poets into school classrooms year-round to promote literacy, an appreciation of language, and youth participation in culturally diverse communities. All proceeds benefit the foundation’s mission to support lifelong literacy and cultural diversity through the writing, reading, performing, and teaching of poetry in Northwest Washington schools and communities.

For more information, visit the Festival website, email skagitpoetry@gmail.com, or call 360-399-1550.
. . . . .
poster

Early-bird tickets available!

February 13, 2016

Skagit River Poetry FestivalTickets are now on sale for the 2016 Skagit River Poetry Festival, May 19-22 in the historic town of La Conner, Washington. The four-day event features some of the most renowned and diverse names in poetry, including Naomi Shihab Nye, a celebrated Arab-American writer described as “international in scope and internal in focus.” She is four-time winner of the prestigious Pushcart Prize.

The 9th biennial festival opens with a literary bang on May 19, when spoken word poets take the stage in a program called “Wake Up. Speak Out,” challenging audiences with new poetic ideas and forms. Participants include Jeanann Verlee, who has represented New York City ten times at the National Poetry Slam; Jamaal May, Detroit poet and filmmaker; Daemond Arrindell, curator of the Seattle Poetry Slam; American-Bangladeshi poet, educator, editor, and spoken-word artist Tarfia Faizullah; and Seattle Grand Slam champion Matt Gano.

Over the next two days, the festival presents some of the most thoughtful and provocative voices in contemporary poetry, reflecting cultures from around the world. The lineup includes Aimee Nezhukumatathil, a poet born to a Filipina mother and Malayali Indian father; Natalie Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes and a former professional basketball player; Zen Buddhist priest and poet Norman Fischer; poet Lorna Dee Cervantes, a major voice in contemporary Chicana literature; and Koon Woon, born in a small Chinese village near Canton in 1949 and described as a “cross-cultural rebel.”

Top Northwest poets on the bill include Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellow Richard Kenney from Port Townsend; Canadian musician, philosopher, and award-winning poet Jan Zwicky; and Washington State’s new Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, a professor at Gonzaga University who is dedicated to bringing humanities to underserved populations. “Poetry matters — not just to poets, professors, and students — poetry matters to everyone,” he says.

Events include a Thursday night Soiree extravaganza, a mixer with festival artists that includes wine and delicious, locally sourced hors d’oeuvres. On Sunday, the final day of the festival, select poets will offer writing workshops to the public. The workshops will be posted on the Festival Workshops page and at Brown Paper Tickets in April.

Tickets for all other events are on sale now at www.brownpapertickets.com. Be sure to click through the dates and ticket offerings on the menu. Special discounts are available for students with ID and seniors over 65. Unless sold out, tickets will also be available at the door. Get your Early Bird ticket by March 1 and save $25.

The festival takes place in venues throughout La Conner. “The festival turns La Conner into a town filled with poetry, from its churches to its museums, its community center, and its bed and breakfasts,” says poet Susan Rich. “Where else can a person sleep, eat, live, and breathe poetry for a spring weekend?”

The festival, one of the largest celebrations of poetry on the West Coast, is put on by the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings poets into school classrooms year-round to promote literacy, an appreciation of language, and youth participation in culturally diverse communities. All proceeds benefit the foundation’s mission to support lifelong literacy and cultural diversity through the writing, reading, performing, and teaching of poetry in Northwest Washington schools and communities.

For more information, visit the festival website at (www.skagitriverpoetry.org), email skagitpoetry@gmail.com, or call 360-399-1550.

putting the treat in retreat

December 12, 2015

Poets on the Coast

Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich have just announced not one, but two upcoming writing retreats.

The first will be a Seattle Winter Retreat on Saturday, February 6, 2016, from 10am to 4pm. There will be two workshops: Generating New Poems (10am – 1pm) and From The Art of Revision (1:30pm – 4:00pm). Take one or both, or save on registration by bringing a friend.

The second will be Kelli and Susan’s annual writing retreat for women, Poets on the Coast, which will again be in La Conner, September 9-11, 2016.

Enrollment, which is now open, is limited for both retreats, so if you’re intrigued, don’t delay.

reading art

October 15, 2015

MoNAWe’ve mentioned Poets on the Coast: a Writing Retreat for Women before. Participants join Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich for sessions on creativity, generating work, publication, a Master Class workshop, and one-on-one mentoring. This year’s retreat included a visit to the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA), in La Conner, where participants wrote poems inspired by the paintings, photographs, mixed media pieces and installations on exhibit. The resulting poems are now posted on the MoNA site.

Poets on the Coast 2016 has already been scheduled and registration is open! Space is very limited. Sign up now and watch for updates on Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: