on poetry

July 19, 2018

“Formerly I believed books were made like this: a poet came, lightly opened his lips, and the inspired fool burst into song — if you please! But it seems, before they can launch a song, poets must tramp for days with callused feet, and the sluggish fish of the imagination flounders softly in the slush of the heart. And while, with twittering rhymes, they boil a broth of loves and nightingales, the tongueless street merely writhes for lack of something to shout or say.”
Vladimir Mayakovsky
July 19, 1893 – April 14, 1930

. . . . .
portrait of Vladimir Mayakovsky by Aleksandr Rodchenko
quote from The Bedbug and Selected Poetry

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Arson*

July 15, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Donald Antenen

August, the fire started at the back
then took the awnings and the recesses
the boarded windows now empty and black
no quinceañera and wedding gowns
no girlish excitement of any kind
till today I’d put the fire out of mind
now workers gut the remains of what remains
five men in masks and gloves, hammers and chains
before this job, the praying sort didn’t pray
except at the end that the boss would pay
and pay well before they get deported
or the safety hazards get reported
the red dress in the window was last
to burn but when it did, it burnt quickly.

. . . . .
Donald Antenen lives in Fairhaven with his wife and daughter. He is the founder of Callimachus Books, a home library design company.

“Arson” is about a dress shop in Baltimore, Maryland.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Donald Antenen. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Airstream 2018

July 14, 2018

The fourth annual Airstream Poetry Festival is taking shape now and will be ready to, ahem, roll October 19 – 21, 2018, at the Sou’wester Historic Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Resort in Seaview, Washington. Tickets for the festival will go on sale in July, so keep an eye on Mother Foucault’s Bookshop online and on Facebook for the latest.

new season!

July 9, 2018

The Seattle Arts & Lectures 2018/2019 season events are now posted and available for subscription.

The Poetry Series will feature

  • Alice Walker – October 4, 2018
  • Danez Smith – November 26, 2018
  • Solmaz Sharif – February 11, 2019
  • Ilya Kaminsky – April 1, 2019
  • HERE: Poems for the Planet, featuring Kimiko Hahn & friends – April 25, 2019
  • Jericho Brown – May 21, 2019

These events often sell out, and Poetry is just one of the series on offer. Visit the SAL Subscriptions page for more information.


2018 Merit Award
By Leslie Wharton

Avoiding whirling eddies
recirculating worries
torrents of to-dos
swirling self-doubt
Poem swims.

She rests in calm water
next to fast current
watches for a word
flash of muse
enticing nymph
anything to nibble on.

Hidden in shadows
She maneuvers
beyond logjams
past traumas
political debris.

Poem rises
hardly edited
never spoken
barely noticed.
Concentric circles
ripple outwards.

. . . . .
Leslie Wharton is a caregiver for extraordinary elders, currently a retired philosophy professor. You can find her writing in Phoenix Rising: Stories of Remarkable Women, in the upcoming 2018 Red Wheelbarrow Writers anthology, and chapbooks around Bellingham. She is proud of organizing poets and speakers for Bellingham Women’s Marches.

Leslie caught the poem, Fish Is Plural for Fish, while fishing on the Wynoochee River. Despite the poem’s claims, it was heavily edited with help from a friend, Ann Morris.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Leslie Wharton. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

on poetry

July 7, 2018

“There’s a difference between writing about something and living through it.”
Margaret Walker
(July 7, 1915 – November 30, 1998)

. . . . .
photo

poetry underfoot

July 5, 2018

Spokane, Washington, has taken a slightly different approach to its sidewalk poetry project, I Am a Town. Instead of permanently impressing the words into the sidewalk, this temporary project, dreamed up by former Spokane poet laureate Laura Read, uses stencils and spray paint to add the poems to local sites. The 13 poems were chosen and excerpted from open submissions. See more about the project, a map of the sites, and the full text of the selected poems on the I Am A Town website.

. . . . .
poem by Fitz Fitzpatrick

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