from Boston and beyond

July 29, 2021

Founded in 1998, the Boston Poetry Marathon is a summer tradition of poets from around the globe, representing many different aesthetics and backgrounds, coming together for a weekend-long poetry-reading festival. Admission is free (donations encouraged) and open to the public.

The 2021 Boston Poetry Marathon will be held online on Thursday, August 5, Friday, August 6, and all day Saturday, August 7. Here’s the schedule and here are the YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter access links.

Sunday in Sequim

July 23, 2021

The town of Sequim, Washington, doesn’t get a lot of play on these pages (most Washingtonians know how to pronounce it; do you?), but just last week we introduced The Poetry Cafe, which is curated by Sequim poet and resident Risa Denenberg. Now Sequim is back, with a reading from of Empty Bowl’s Madrona Project #2, Keep a Green Bough, this Sunday, July 25, 2021, at 4:00pm, in the amphitheater outside the Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park.

You can hear Risa Denenberg, along with poets Tess Gallagher, Meredith Parker, Alice Derry, Carmen Germaine, Kathryn Hunt, Paula MacKay, K’Ehleyr McNulty, Mary Morgan, Kate Reavey and Charlotte Warren. The volume’s editor, Holly J. Hughes, will emcee.

Take a hike, do some picking in the Lavender Capital of North America, take in some poetry, have a meal: enjoy Sequim.

today in Chimacum!

July 14, 2021

The Madrona Project, published twice a year for a total of seven issues, by Empty Bowl, features the best work by poets and writers who are “outsiders” — who write in and of this world: outside of self, outside the mainstream, or simply outdoors.

Today, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at 6:00pm, at Finnriver Farm & Cidery in Chimacum, Washington, Empty Bowl will celebrate the publication of The Madrona Project, Volume II Number 1, Keep A Green Bough: Voices From The Heart Of Cascadia, edited By Holly J. Hughes.

For this issue, Hughes invited 64 women writers and artists from Alaska to Oregon to reflect on what it means to live and write in the Cascadian bioregion at the end of 2020, a year that challenged resilience on every level. Reaching out to national and regionally acclaimed poets and essayists as well as new and emerging writers, she brings together a diverse chorus, including Indigenous voices and those who work the land or sea. “The voices gathered here remind us that our lives in Cascadia are still interwoven with fir and cedar, salmon and kingfisher, heron and eagle, raven and crow — perhaps even more so as we face an uncertain future together, turning to the natural world for signs of resilience and hope.”

There will be a reception, followed by readings by ten authors, including Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest, who will read from her preface to the volume. Four artists will also be showing their work.

new venue in Bellingham

July 11, 2021

people seated in a long patio in front of a building

If you were reading carefully, you may have noticed Gelato & Poetry Night listed in our recent face to face post. Here’s a bit more about this new Bellingham venue.

All That Jazz Boutique Gallery is located at 1015 Railroad Avenue, which is the pedestrian-only extension of Railroad, south of the Bellingham Farmers Market and Boundary Bay. Along with beer, wine, gelato, and light food fare, All That Jazz has an outdoor patio that hosts a variety of events each week, including Gelato & Poetry Night (second and fourth Sundays, 6:00pm, feature plus open mic), Tango Night, Opera Night, Salsa Dance Night, Swing Dance Night, and more.

All That Jazz does not post a schedule of events, but would be happy to add you to their email announcement list. Just send an email to guzwdj@aol.com and ask to be added to the ATJ Event email list.

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, 6:00pm at All That Jazz Boutique Gallery, downtown. 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) is on hiatus for the summer but plans on resuming readings in person at C&P Coffee the second Wednesday of each month starting on September 8, 2021, and also plans to continue monthly Zoom readings on a date TBA.
  • 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

PoetryBridge text logo on gold with photos of Luther Allen and Tamara Kaye Sellman

PoetryBridge Association of West Seattle will round out a season of online readings with Luther Allen and Tamara Kaye Sellman this Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 7:00pm.

PoetryBridge wrangler Leopoldo Seguel says, “It will be our 48th zoom session since the pandemic overtook us last spring featuring over 100 poets and storytellers from Canada to California, from New Hampshire to Missouri, from Pittsburgh to Peru. It has been a wonderful ride and I am ready for a summer pause. I plan on resuming live readings in person at C&P Coffee the second Wednesday of each month starting on September 8th from 7-9 PM (PT). I also plan to continue the zoom readings on a monthly basis in September on a date to still be determined.”

For Zoom access to Wednesday’s Allen-Sellman reading, join the PoetryBridge Facebook group or send Leopoldo an email at info@poetrybridge.net requesting the link.

6:00 p.m. today!

June 24, 2021

Sorry for the last-minute notice, but just learned about this free online reading at 6:00pm today, Thursday, June 24, 2021. Writers with work in the Submergence: Going Below the Surface with Orca and Salmon exhibition will present a live-on-Facebook reading of writing on the orca-salmon co/recovery theme.

Readers include Rena Priest, Christianne Balk, Sarah DeWeerdt, Sandra Noel, Orin Melvin, Jayne Marek, Alicia Hokanson, Gloria Vando, Sheila Dearden, Fredda Jaffe, Ching-In Chen, and Sophia McLain. Sophia McLain will also speak about the process of creating letterpress broadsides for the exhibition.

Submergence is the culmination of a workshop and event series co-created by Endangered Species Coalition and Creature Conserve, with support from Jack Straw Cultural Center.

You can visit the exhibition at Jack Straw Cultural Center until July 2, 2021. Schedule an appointment Monday-Friday between 10:00am-5:30pm by calling the gallery at (206) 634-0919 or emailing jsp@jackstraw.org.

meanwhile, in Ravenna

June 1, 2021

If you were looking for a project to round out your summer, this might be a good time to catch up with the writings of Dante Alighieri. This year marks the 700th anniversary of his death, September 13, 1321, with celebrations throughout Italy and, in particular, in the city of Ravenna, which Dante adopted as his home while he was exiled from Florence and where his tomb now stands.

The year of events include an epic, canto-by-canto, every-evening reading from Dante’s Divine Comedy in front of the writer’s tomb. Read the full story here.

It’s back!

May 29, 2021

The park may look a little more like your computer monitor than usual, but don’t let that fool you: Poets in the Park is back for a rollicking weekend of readings, performances, workshops, and open mics. It’s all happening on Zoom next weekend, Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6, 2021, and it’s all FREE as long as you register.

Michael Dylan Welch has lined up an impressive schedule, with a pretty dazzling array of events and participants.

Have a look, sign up now, then prep your picnic and your poems and enjoy Poets in the Park right in your own back yard.

poetry today

May 23, 2021

Join Village Books and friends today, Sunday, May 23, 2021, at 4:00pm Pacific, for a virtual reading from recent work by Richard Widerkehr, Gayle Kaune, Susan Landgraf, and Thomas Mitchell. To listen, register here.

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