The programming inspired by this year’s Whatcom READS title, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, includes a poetry reading by Robert Lashley, one of this year’s judges for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. The book is terrific, the reading, this evening, Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 7:00pm, is free, and sign-in information is here.

more Cirque…tonight!

January 12, 2021

Join in as Cirque Journal #21 celebrates Winter Festival with Fringe this evening, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at 6:00pm Alaska / 7:00pm Pacific. Readers include Drue Robinson, Don Colburn, Kelly Lenox, Daniel Dagris, Roger Topp, Sherri Levine, Susan Chase-Foster, Karen Tschannen, Sandra Yannone, and Leslie Fried.

Zoom link, with code 1111.

Please tune in to SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread for the third round (of five) on Saturday, January 16, 2021, 7:00pm Pacific, as poets Susan Alexander, Luther Allen, Bruce Beasley, Jennifer Bullis, and Dayna Patterson read and comment on their poems from this linked series of writings on spirituality.

Series info, poet bios, videos of previous rounds, and sign-in information are available on the SpeakEasy 27 page and on Facebook. Free on Zoom with password.

The final two rounds of the series are scheduled for Saturday, February 6, and Saturday, February 27, 2021.

Sunday reading series

January 8, 2021

In celebration of Alaska Quarterly Review’s 40th Anniversary, Pièces de Résistance is a free, live, weekly reading series that can be viewed on the AQR site each Sunday at 3:00pm Alaska / 4:00pm Pacific. The series started in October 2020 and will wrap up at the beginning of May, hosted by the Anchorage Museum and moderated by author Heather Lende and AQR Co-founder and Editor Ronald Spatz.

The series is available on YouTube and some of the reading segments have been excerpted here.

Each year, poets in Oregon and elsewhere celebrate the prolific poet William Stafford to mark his January 17 birthday. There seem to be fewer readings than usual this year, but we’ve found these three free online events:

  • Saturday, January 9, 2021, 2:00pm – Milwaukie Poetry Series and the Ledding Library present a William Stafford Birthday Celebration with featured readings and an open mic.
  • Thursday, January 14, 2021, 7:00pm – Southern Oregon University presents the 26th Annual William Stafford Poetry Celebration with featured poets Angela Decker, Barry Vitcov, Susan DuMond, Pepper Trail, Tiel Aisha Ansari, and Michael Dylan Welch, followed by a special presentation by James Armstrong on “William Stafford and Popular Modernism” as well as an open mic.
  • Sunday, January 17, 2021, 3:00pm – Oregon City Public Library presents a William Stafford Poetry Reading by members of the Third Monday Authors Group, plus an open mic.

If you know of other 2021 Stafford celebrations, please feel free to note them in the Comments.

Tuesday launch

December 28, 2020

The latest edition of Cirque Journal, Volume 11, Number 1, is now published and available in hard copy for purchase and digital, free online.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 29, 2020, a free online launch will include seven contributors from this issue as well as readings from the authors of two new Cirque Press books: Sandra Wassilie reading from The Dream that is Childhood and Sean Ulman reading from Seward Soundboard. Join the reading on Zoom at 6:00pm Alaska / 7:00pm Pacific with the passcode 1111.

Round 2, this Saturday

December 7, 2020

After a warming response to Round 1, SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread will offer Round 2 of this linked-poem series on Saturday, December 12, 2020, at 7:00pm Pacific. As with Round 1, Susan Alexander, Luther Allen, Bruce Beasley, Jennifer Bullis, and Dayna Patterson will each read one poem linked to the previous poem (or poems), discuss the linkage, and whatever else is on their mind. At the end of the reading there will be further discussion and questions from listeners.

The poets’ bios and a video link to Round 1 are available on the SpeakEasy 27 page (video link is at the very bottom).

Request a Zoom link for Round 2 by sending a note to othermindpress@gmail.com.

Thursday poetry

November 11, 2020

Beyond Baroque and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books are two venerable L.A. literary institutions. This year, due to COVID-19, the Festival of Books, and the Poetry Stage, had to be canceled, though virtual events are ongoing (see daily calendar at the FoB link above).

This Thursday, November 19, 2020, 6:00pm, Beyond Baroque will present the first installment of The Poetry Stage Redux, featuring Sara Borjas, Nickole Brown, Cyrus Cassells, Victoria Chang, Cathy Colman, Megan Fernandes, Jane Hirshfield, Jessica Jacobs, John Murillo, and Aimee Nezhukumatathil. The reading event will be streamed live via Crowd Cast and is free with advance registration.

Additional broadcasts will be streamed December 3, 10, and 17, 2020.

In November 2019, Luther Allen invited four poets to join him in creating a series of linked poems on a spiritual theme for the next SpeakEasy. No one could have imagined either the scope of the project or the many challenges 2020 would set in the way.

The idea is quite simple: one person writes a poem; the second person writes a poem in response; the third person writes a poem in response to poem 2, etc. It had been a very successful approach in 2014, when SpeakEasy 14: String Theory presented un-themed linked poems by five poets.

In his invitation, Luther suggested that each poet would have about a week to respond to the poem they had received, and that SpeakEasy 27 would probably happen in April or May. All of the invited poets — Susan Alexander, Bruce Beasley, Jennifer Bullis, and Dayna Patterson — accepted the invitation and the writing commenced.

By the end of the first round of five poems, the word pandemic had surfaced. It soon became apparent that schedules could not be imposed on the shape, content, or duration of these poems. Nine months and 60 pages of poetry later, SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread stands as a poetic testament to a year quite unlike any other.

Over the coming months, the poets will read and comment on their poems in a series of free readings on Zoom. The first reading will be on Saturday, November 14, 2020, at 7:00pm Pacific. To participate, send an email to othermindpress@gmail.com. You will receive sign-in information by email.

still relevant

October 30, 2020

Published by Lost Horse Press in 2017, Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse is still fresh, relevant, and full of powerful voices. Hear some of them on Sunday, November 1, 2020, live on Facebook at Noon Pacific (don’t forget to set your clock back!).

Julie Kane and Lost Horse Press editor Christine Holbert co-host, with the following Nasty Women Poets reading from the anthology: Nordette Adams, Desiré Aguirre, Melissa Balmain, Judith Barrington, DeMisty Bellinger, Tara Betts, Carolyn Breedlove, Kim Bridgford (posthumous — read by Nicole Caruso Garcia), Patricia Clark, Annie Finch, Twyla Hansen, Allison Joseph, Julie Kane, Jenna Lê, Lesléa Newman, Jennifer Perrine, Valentine Pierce, Hilda Raz, Pat Gallagher Sassone, and Andy Young.

If it’s not already on your shelf, or you need a copy to give as a gift, distributor University of Washington Press is giving Cultivating Voices LIVE Poetry members, guests, and attendees a 30% discount (on all books you order) with the promo code WST30.

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