Olympia two-fer

September 11, 2019

The Olympia Poetry Network (OPN) invites your participation in a weekend of laureate poetry, LaureateFest.

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, 1:00-3:00pm, there will be a panel discussion with Washington State Poets Laureate Samuel Green, Kathleen Flenniken, Elizabeth Austen, Tod Marshall, and Claudia Castro Luna. That evening, beginning at 7:00pm, there will be a LaureateFest reading. Both events are free and will be held at Norman Worthington Conference Center, Saint Martin’s University.

On Sunday, September 22, Elizabeth Austen will conduct a workshop, “The Title as Frame and Invitation,” 11:00am-1:00pm, at Heart Of The Deernicorn studio in downtown Olympia. Workshop is limited to 20 participants and registration is required.

Olympia’s new poet laureate

February 17, 2019

Meet Sady Sparks. Poet. Student at The Evergreen State College. Age 24. Recently named Poet Laureate for the city of Olympia, Washington, 2019 – 2020.

To learn more, read an interview with Sady in South Sound Magazine and an article in The Olympian. Watch Sady Sparks read “Eating Out of Season” at the January 8, 2019, meeting of the Olympia City Council meeting.

“Poetry Rides the Bus”

February 12, 2018

Bus riders in Olympia, Washington, will now have a chance to enjoy poetry on their journey, thanks to Poetry Rides the Bus.” The project, coordinated by Olympia’s First Poet Laureate, Amy Solomon-Minarchi, received more than 120 submissions, from which 22 were selected for posting in buses and bus shelters around the city.

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photo by Jeff Chew

Launch party

April 7, 2017

The public is cordially invited to a special reading to celebrate National Poetry Month and the launch of State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall’s state-wide poetry anthology, WA129, which includes a poet for each year of Washington statehood.

The event will feature live music from The Bushwick Book Club of Seattle. Light refreshments will be served. Readings and recitations from anthology contributors, Tod Marshall, and special guests.

Thursday, April 13, 2017, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The State Reception Room, 3rd floor, Legislative Building
State Capitol Campus, Olympia

The event is free and open to the public but RSVPs are requested at Humanities Washington.

More on Facebook and Washington 129.

WA129 is a project of the Washington State Poet Laureate Program, funded by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission. The anthology is designed and published by Sage Hill Press, Spokane.


November 29, 2016

Amy Solomon-MinarchiAnd speaking of poets laureate, congratulations to the most recent, Amy Solomon-Minarchi, who has been named the first poet laureate of Olympia, Washington. A teacher (American Literature, World Literature, Creative Writing, Philosophy) at North Thurston High School, Solomon-Minarchi grew up in New Jersey, and moved to Washington in 2005. She holds a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Rutgers University and a Master in Teaching from the Evergreen State College. Learn more about Amy Solomon-Minarchi, her poetry, and her plans for her two-year appointment, in an interview with Janine Gates on Little Hollywood.

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human anatomyKahini has announced that registration is now open for “Writing The Body,” a one-day workshop happening on September 24, 2016, at the Monkeypod House in Olympia, Washington.

“Spend a full Saturday in September getting in touch with the sensory details and stories of our own bodies — and finding the inspiration and craft elements to turn these stories into a short-short story, poem, or short essay of 500 words or fewer.”

Jordan Hartt is the instructor and complete details are available on Kahini.org.

P.S. Kahini’s 2017 Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat is sold out, but registration is ongoing for the 2016 Kampala Writers’ Conference, October 9-15, 2016, in Kampala, Uganda, and is now open for the 2017 Desert Writers’ Retreat, May 21-27, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

poetry of politics

May 24, 2016

Olympia City Hall

This is last week’s news, but in case you missed it, it’s worth a mention. On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, a group of advocates for the $15 minimum wage used their three-minute public comment slot to express themselves in front of the Olympia, Washington, City Council in what Andy Hobbs at The Olympian calls “the first organized poetry slam at an Olympia council meeting.”

Calling their public appearance the “Poetry Smash City Council Meeting,” the group offered a Creative Writing Workshop / Working Washington session in advance to help participants “embrace their inner creative writers and poets, even if you didn’t know you had one.”

In his article on the event, Hobbs says, “council members praised the speakers — and even responded with poetry of their own.” Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel Jones recited part of a poem and Council member Jim Cooper said, “This is the most beautiful public comment in my four and a half years on the City Council.”
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Hoffman Construction Company photo

Basil Antone - accept the rain

Olympia, Washington, has a new stretch of public art: about 1,500 feet of sidewalk and wall along West Bay Drive that offers safer passage for pedestrians along with haiku poetry. “Walking on Land by Water” is a collaboration between Seattle artist Carolyn Law, who designed the project, and poet Lucia Perillo, who interpreted and wrote haiku inspired by the writing of Kobayashi Issa.

Read more about the West Bay Sidewalk Project in The Olympian and Thurston Talk.
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photo by Tony Overman, The Olympian

poetry walk in Olympia

November 14, 2013

Jeanne Lohmann Poetry TrailOne of the recurring topics on the Boynton Blog is poetry walks, inspired by the Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library, which is such a vital ongoing feature of the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest.

Not long ago, we wrote about a retreat center in Olympia, Washington: Holly House at Hypatia-in-the-Woods.

Today, those two threads cross as we add another poetry walk to the growing list. With the death of Hypatia-in-the-Woods founder, Elspeth Pope, and the subsequent listing for sale of a large portion of her property (but not Holly House), the Jeanne Lohmann Poetry Trail installed near Holly House had to find a new home. Happily, it did: the wooded grounds of Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington.

Read the full story. Learn more about Jeanne Lohmann. If you find yourself in Olympia, stroll the Poetry Trail in its new location.

Friday reading in Olympia…

November 26, 2012

Godiva Speaks ~ 30 November 2012

Art Kitchen and the Olympia Poetry Network present some of Olympia’s most dearly loved poets, including Barbara Gibson, Bonnie Jo Jones, Elizabeth St Louis, Emily Van Kley, Grayce Forsythe, Jeanne Lohmann, Madison Bennett-Ponsford, Mimi Alcántar, Sandra Yannone and Terri Cohlene, plus the piano musings of Ami Aika. 6:30pm, Friday, November 30, 2012, Traditions Café.

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