face to face?

July 8, 2021

(NOTE: this post has been updated since it was published on July 8, 2021.)

We were curious about the prognosis for in-person poetry readings, so we contacted a bunch of event organizers from around Cascadia. There are certainly some missing and a few didn’t reply (perhaps they’ll Comment with current info), but here’s what we’ve found out so far (locations are Washington unless otherwise noted):

  • BookTree (Kirkland) will probably resume in-store readings in September and may have a couple of special events with visiting poets before then… like in August.
  • Broken Mic (Spokane) weekly in-person open mics resumed on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.
  • Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater (Bellingham) continues on Zoom on the second Wednesdays in July and August. Starting in September: second-Wednesday live readings at an indoor location TBA and fourth-Wednesday Zoom open mic readings; the two may later merge into a hybrid.
  • Couth Buzzard (Seattle) weekly in-person Wednesday Open Mics resumed on July 7. Seating is limited so reserve by calling 206-436-2960.
  • Creative Colloquy (Tacoma) MAY be back in action in July but no firm answer quite yet; will continue to host The Writer’s Workshop Series virtually for the time being.
  • Creekside (Bellingham) will not gather in person or Zoom for the summer months but hopes to resume on Zoom in the fall, perhaps October.
  • Duvall Poetry (Duvall) at some point will meet again in person at the Duvall Library, but no definite date has been set.
  • Easy Speak (Seattle)
  • Edmonds Bookshop (Edmonds) has no immediate plans for in-person readings, but hopes to be ready for a National Poetry Month gathering in April 2022.
  • Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle) expects to start hosting some in-person readings in October (Teresa K Miller will appear in person on October 10), while still hosting some Zooms. Elliott Bay has just announced its first in-person event in a year and a half: a ticketed outdoor benefit reading with Molly Wizenberg.
  • Empty Bowl (Anacortes) is still publishing and plans to send out a schedule of live, in-person readings to begin in September.
  • Everett Poetry Night (Everett) has two weekly in-person readings: Sundays at Legion Park (open mic, weather dependent) and Thursdays at Café Zippy (open mic plus feature, in covered patio)
  • 49 Writers (Anchorage, AK)
  • Gelato & Poetry Night (new in Bellingham) meets in person, in the patio, with a featured reader and open mic, 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2:00pm at All That Jazz Boutique Gallery, downtown. Masks and vaxx required. More on Instagram @allthatjazzgallery.
  • Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic (Vancouver) hopes to return to in-person readings in a new location before the end of the year. Also hoping to find $upport for continued Zoom coverage.
  • Haiku Komo Kulshan (Bellingham) is on hiatus for the summer. Will Zoom in September with a kukai.
  • Haiku Northwest will continue to meet via Zoom through the summer and will meet in person for the annual Seabeck Haiku Getaway, October 28-31, 2021.
  • Hugo House (Seattle) is still working out the details, with the first in-person Scribes summer camp in August, select in-person adult classes beginning in September, and other in-person events and classes phased in slowly this fall.
  • It’s About Time (Seattle) reports that the Seattle Public Library will not host public events through the end of the year, so plans for resumption of in-person readings at the Ballard branch remain in the works.
  • Lilla Lit (Portland, OR)
  • Margin Shift: Friends in Poetry (Seattle) isn’t quite ready to declare an in-person, indoors schedule, but will celebrate with the first live reading in 15 months on Thursday, July 15, at Volunteer Park at 6:30pm. This and future events will also livestream.
  • Milwaukie Poetry Series (Milwaukie, OR) hopes to host the 15th Season in person starting this Fall. Meanwhile, the 14th Season continues online.
  • Northwest Renaissance Poets (Auburn) does not have plans to resume in-person readings but hopes to start looking at options soon.
  • Olympia Poetry Network (Olympia) venue, New Traditions Café, has not yet opened for live events, but OPN is looking at September or soon after as a dream date for normalizing the monthly series.
  • Open Books (Seattle) is optimistic and the all-volunteer event staff is discussing plans, but there’s no definitive answer yet.
  • Planet Earth Poetry (Victoria, BC) is currently venue hunting; hopes to be able to resume face-to-face readings in the fall and also hoping to do a hybrid Zoom/in-person format.
  • PoetryBridge (West Seattle) on August 15, 2021, Leopoldo announced that in-person sessions would be postponed “until the situation regarding Covid improves significantly. My new plan is to have the next event be a ‘pop up’, meaning that I will provide fairly short notice based on improved conditions.” To receive updates by email, send a note to info@poetrybridge.net.
  • poetrynight (Bellingham) is talking about restarting but uncertain about the timing and location as their venue, the Alternative Library, is moving.
  • Puget Sound Poetry Connection (Tacoma) will meet live on Friday, September 10, at 7:00pm at Immanuel Presbyterian Church for the first live meeting after nine months of Zoom.
  • RASP (Redmond) awaits word from the venue on renovations and whether/when in-person sessions may be possible.
  • Red Wheelbarrow Writers (Bellingham) intends to begin in-person first-Saturday gatherings in August, including an open mic for ten readers as part of each meeting, newcomers welcome.
  • Salon of Shame (Seattle) is not sure when in-person will resume, but is putting together an outreach strategy to ensure they’ve got plenty of readers once they do.
  • SoulFood Poetry Night (Redmond) plans to resume its in-person events with the September 16, 2021, reading and meanwhile, continues on Zoom with the July 15, 2021, reading marking SoulFood Poetry Nights’s 15th anniversary, with features Jeannine Hall Gailey and Annette Spaulding, who were the very first readers on July 18, 2006.
  • Striped Water Poets (Auburn)
  • Valley Writers (Bellingham) will continue meeting on Zoom, 1:00-3:00pm on the last Friday of the month until further notice.
  • Village Books (Bellingham) in-person open mics with Seán Dwyer will resume in July (both Spanish-language, 6:00pm, and English-language, 7:00pm) with simultaneous Zoom for off-site readers.
  • Whatcom Writers & Publishers (Bellingham) is on hiatus for the summer following a celebratory in-person picnic. Watch the site to see if the second-Wednesday meetings will resume in person or online.
  • Windfall (Eugene, OR) will resume in September; the hope is that Windfall will continue in a hybrid fashion, with authors at the library proper, but streaming the readings so folks can tune in from anywhere in the known universe.

Meanwhile, in related news: Pacific Northwest Writers Conference will remain 100% online for 2021 as will Write on the Sound writers’ conference, while Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association will hold their regular tradeshow, in person.

Please be sure to check web links for the latest information.

HUGE thanks to the determined organizers who have kept on in spite of the odds and who responded so quickly to my pleas for information.

. . . . .
Photo by Joe Mabel

meanwhile, in Oregon

June 18, 2021

Oregon poet laureate Anis Mojgani seated on caramel colored couch wearing a coral colored shirt

Nice article this week in Oregon Live about how Oregon poet laureate Anis Mojgani plans to use the proceeds of a $50,000 fellowship funded by the Academy of American Poets with support from the Mellon Foundation. His plans include a quarterly print newspaper, a poetry telephone line, and a postcard campaign. Read all about it.

another festival

September 20, 2020

The Portland Book Festival is back and this year it’s online, November 5-21, 2020. The full schedule will be published in October, but there’s already an impressive lineup of presenters.

For updates, go to Literary Arts and sign up.

Kim Stafford x 7

April 13, 2020

Kim Stafford, the Poet Laureate of Oregon, has written and posted a small collection of short poems he wrote over a week’s time, each one addressing the realities and uncertainties of this particular time. Poems for the Pandemic includes the text of each poem, a vocal recording, as well as an accompanying photograph or video by Brooke Herbert or Beth Nakamura.

. . . . .
photo by Brooke Herbert
Thanks to Roger Gilman for the heads up!

get thee to Astoria!

February 19, 2020

It’s almost FisherPoets time! Once again, Astoria, Oregon, will be overrun with poets and fishers and fisherpoets and their fans as the FisherPoets Gathering 2020 takes to the bars, breweries, theaters, galleries, museums, halls, and other venues for two evenings of poems, stories, and music inspired by the sea, plus a variety of special events. Friday, February 28 – Sunday, March 1, 2020.

. . . . .
art by Ray Troll


Every January, the Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing program hosts readings by leading contemporary writers during the program’s 10-day residency in Seaside, Oregon. The authors/readers all teach in Pacific’s low-residency MFA in Writing program.

Free and open to the public, the evening readings begin at 7:30pm at the Best Western Ocean View Resort, located at 414 N. Prom in Seaside, Oregon. Here is the lineup for 2020:

  • Friday, January 10 — Marvin Bell, Claire Dederer, Pete Fromm
  • Saturday, January 11 — Ellen Bass, Jack Driscoll, Debra Gwartney
  • Sunday, January 12 — Frank Gaspar, Scott Korb, Mahtem Shiferraw
  • Monday, January 13 — Chris Abani, Mike Magnuson, Mary Helen Stefaniak
  • Tuesday, January 14 — Claire Davis, Valerie Laken, Joseph Millar
  • Wednesday, January 15 — Sanjiv Bhattacharya, Shara McCallum, Kellie Wells
  • Thursday, January 16 — Kwame Dawes, Cate Kennedy
  • Friday, January 17 — Molly Gloss, Shelley Washburn

FisherPoets… soon!

February 16, 2019

FisherPoets 2019 will be happening Friday, February 22, thru noon, Sunday, February 24, 2019, in Astoria, Oregon. The Evening Reading Schedule is posted (seven venues, 100+ poets), as is the Special Events Schedule (art, music, politics, movies, workshops, and more). More on Facebook event page. Go. You’ll get hooked.

lettering Oregon

August 6, 2018

While people around the world are busy writing their August Poetry Postcards, people in Oregon are writing letters. Dear Stranger is a wonderful collaborative project of Oregon Humanities in which Oregonians are invited to write a letter “about the place where you live or a community where you feel at home.” Letters are submitted to Oregon Humanities, where they will be paired and mailed to another letter writer.

Dear Stranger extends the conversation that has been started in the Bridging Oregon project.

next week in Portland

July 10, 2018

Mother Foucault’s Bookshop in Portland, Oregon, will welcome Norman Fischer, Alicia Jo Rabins, and Alicia Cohen for Torah, Dharma & Deep Coherence, a “poetic dive into ancient texts and meditative practices” on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at 7:00pm. Read more on the Mother Foucault’s event page or on Facebook.

In a related note, Norman Fischer and Rabbi Joshua Boettiger will join in a poetry reading on Saturday, July 14, at 8:00pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, Oregon.

farm-fresh poetry

June 15, 2018

In the brief history of the birth of the Lents International Farmers Market Poetry Series, Lents, Oregon, is described as a “little rugged, urban neighborhood…. in Outer Southeast Portland, a place that is often overlooked for its past history of crime and poverty, but an area that is rich in culture and down-to-earth-people.”

Founded in 2012, the series features monthly poetry readings on the main stage at the Sunday morning farmers market. Each reading features several distinguished local poets. This summer’s readings are on July 1, August 5, and September 9.

Good idea!

%d bloggers like this: