Pelican Bay Books is a wonderful bookstore in downtown Anacortes, Washington. Along with a huge inventory of used and rare books, wine, and coffee, the store hosts monthly poetry readings that bring out a warm and supportive audience of poets and poetry lovers. On Saturday, January 28, 2023, Pelican Bay will welcome poets Georgia Johnson, Roberto Ascalon, and Natalie Lahr. It should be good. Hope to see you there!

tonight in Anacortes

September 30, 2022

Here’s some good news: Pelican Bay Books, in Anacortes, launches a new season of in-person poetry readings tonight, Friday, September 30, 2022, at 7:00pm. Bill Ransom (author of Finding True North & Critter, nominated for National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) and Jill McCabe Johnson (author of Revolutions We’d Hoped We’d Outgrown and Diary of the One Swelling Sea, winner of the Nautilus Book Silver Award in Poetry) will read as part of The Madrona Project 2022-2023 Poetry Series. Singer-songwriter Steven Dolmatz will perform his original folk and bluegrass music. The series is co-curated by Michael Daley and Georgia Johnson, who bring a specially selected mix of literary and musical arts together in the heart of Anacortes.

Mark your calendar for Friday, May 27, 2022, 7:00pm, when contributors to The Madrona Project #3: Human Communities in Wild Places will read live, in person, at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes. The new volume from Empty Bowl is edited by Michael Daley and features the writing of 73 contributors. The evening’s readers will include Luther Allen, Michael Daley, Virginia Hietpas, Georgia Johnson, and Bob Rose, as well as 2021 and 2022 Washington State Poetry Out Loud champion and Student Poet Laureate Lucy Shainin reading her work.

Oh, how we’ve missed these live, in-person gatherings and oh, how happy we are to see them emerging once again.

Tomorrow, Friday, April 29, 2022, at 7:00pm, Empty Bowl presents a reading by Jessica Gigot and Gary Thompson with musical accompaniment by Erik Christensen at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes.

Poetry in Anacortes

February 23, 2020

The monthly poetry series at Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse continues on Friday, February 28, 2020, 7:00pm, with an evening of poetry and music with young Skagit poet Piet Anna Pruitt, featured poets Luther Allen and J.I. Kleinberg, and a musical set by Anacortes’ own Pearl Tottenham.

Luther Allen writes poetry and designs buildings from Sumas Mountain, Washington. He facilitates SpeakEasy, a community poetry reading series in Bellingham, and is co-editor of Noisy Water, an anthology of local poets. His collection of poems, The View from Lummi Island, can be found at Other Mind Press. His work is included in the recent anthologies WA 129 (edited by Tod Marshall), Refugium: Poems for the Pacific (edited by Yvonne Blomer), Poets Unite! LitFUSE @10, Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press), and For Love of Orcas (edited by Jill McCabe Johnson and Andrew Shattuck McBride). His short story “The Stilled Ring” was finalist in the annual fiction contest at terrain.org. He views writing as his spiritual practice.

Twice nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards, J.I. (Judy) Kleinberg is co-editor of 56 Days of August (Five Oaks Press 2017) and Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington (Other Mind Press 2015), and co-produces the Bellingham-based SpeakEasy poetry series. Her poetry has appeared in One, Pontoon, Pedestal Magazine, Psaltery & Lyre, December, and elsewhere, and more than 300 of her found-word collage poems have been published in print and online. She lives in Bellingham and posts frequently at chocolateisaverb.wordpress.com and thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com and occasionally on Instagram @jikleinberg.

Monday in Anacortes

February 12, 2020

The Empty Bowl reading series continues on Monday, February 17, 2020, with two literary lights: Samuel Green and Clemens Starck. The poetry begins at 7:00pm at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes and the evening will include a solo guitar set by Brad Killion.

next Friday in Anacortes

January 24, 2020

The Empty Bowl Reading Series at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes will kick off 2020 on Friday, January 31, at 7:00pm with a reading by Ed Harkness and Donald Kruse. [NOTE CHANGE: Donald Kruse is unable to attend; Rena Priest will read in his place.] They will be joined by Yesica Solano, a young poet from Skagit County who has released her first chapbook, Talk About Me, published by Underground Writing. Plus, there will be musical interludes by The Dovetails.

Michael Daley will also be introducing Empty Bowl’s latest publications: Hold Fast, by Holly J. Hughes, and The Blossoms Are Ghosts at the Wedding: Expanded Edition, by Tom Jay.

A congenial atmosphere and good sounds. Try it.

next Friday in Anacortes

September 20, 2019

After a summer break, the Empty Bowl Reading Series at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes resumes next Friday, September 27, 2019, at 7:00pm. The season’s first program features Lorraine Healy and Jane Alynn, two excellent poets and photographers

planning ahead

August 20, 2019

Spend an entertaining evening in Anacortes on the last Friday of the month as Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse opens its doors for featured poets and musical interludes. Michael Daley, who coordinates the series, has released the list of poets for September through May and you can download a PDF by clicking 2019-2020 Pelican Bay reading series.

April in Anacortes

April 24, 2019

The April poetry reading at Pelican Bay Books will feature Jourdan Imani Keith and Larry Laurence, with music by Brad Killion. Join them for an evening of words on Friday, April 26, 2019, at 7:00pm.

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