Congratulations!

July 22, 2017

Congratulations to Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System, which have been selected to serve as the host site for the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye.

May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master’s degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers for children — better known as the “Dick and Jane” series. The annual lecture series was created in her honor.

The lecture will be held in the spring of 2018 and will be announced here as soon as a date is confirmed.

Read the announcement here.

We are happy to see that in the UK, “The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Arts, Health and Wellbeing said doctors should be encouraged to refer patients to art classes and poetry workshops.”

Read the article in The Telegraph and this testimonial about the health benefits of poetry, in The Guardian.

Click to see more poetry prescription stories in The Poetry Department.

WA129 featured poems

July 18, 2017

Humanities Washington has launched a feature series, posting selected poems from WA129, the anthology compiled by Poet Laureate Tod Marshall. The first three poets are Sherman Alexie, Mary Eliza Crane, and Claudia Castro Luna. Visit Part I of the series and subscribe to stay in the loop on Humanities Washington goings-on.

. . . . .
Cascades train track. Photo: Alex Robert

Reverie*

July 16, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Marie Marchand

Poems come to me in the dark
when my eyes are healed
when I do not distinguish
my body from the air.
          In a dream the poems come.

When I awake the words fall
from my skin and I forget
the misty-eyed soliloquies
I’d composed like Keats
          though I remember him.

I always remember John Keats
who led me through the forest
to the Emerald inside the rock
our true love carved in stone.
Holding his hand I traipsed in the wake
of his tousled amber hair.
          He wrote odes among the trees for me.

When you believe in reincarnation
anything is possible.
Love can be written
          centuries apart.

. . . . .
Marie Marchand has been a poet full of passion for 30 years. Her love for John Keats, which she imagines to be reciprocal, is what inspired her winning poem “Reverie.” She tries to make the world a better place by doing small things like stopping the resumption of below-ground testing at the Nevada Desert Test Site. She is the board chair of the local affiliate of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and works for the Bellingham City Council. She has a Masters Degree from The Iliff School of Theology. Her poetry often explores and intersects with faith. She and her 16-year-old son have lived in Bellingham for 12 years. Her poetry blog is MarieMarchandPoet.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Marie Marchand. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

last chance

July 14, 2017

PLEASE NOTE: Registration for the August Poetry Postcard Fest CLOSES on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at 12:01am. If you want to play, now’s the time! All the details and a link to the registration page here.

APPF is great. In addition to connecting with poets all over the world and keeping your mailbox busier than usual, you end the month with a chapbook’s worth of draft poems!

on poetry

July 12, 2017

“It was at that age
that poetry came in search of me.”
Pablo Neruda
(July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973)

. . . . .
quote from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

on poetry

July 5, 2017

“The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.”
Jean Cocteau
(July 5, 1889 –
October 11, 1963)

. . . . .
Raymond Voinquel, “Jean Cocteau drawing” (1942), photograph

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