new, for now

January 28, 2020

In case you were distracted by the snow and missed the announcement, Bellingham’s Alternative Library has a new, if temporary, home.

The Alternative Library offers a curated public book collection and is host to a wide array of events, including concerts, film screenings, workshops, and readings.

As they continue to search for a permanent location and raise funds to support the move and ongoing activities, the Alternative Library can be found at 1309 Billy Frank Jr Street, west of Ellis, just north of Holly at the edge of Downtown Bellingham.

Your favorite ongoing events, such as poetrynight, may have relocated along with the alt.lib, so double-check venues before you go.

bounce tonight!

August 12, 2019

poetrynightBoynton Bouncers is here! Tonight! At the Alternative Library in Bellingham. The list of readers so far includes Amber Ashbjornsen, Nancy Canyon, Lynna Fuller, Shannon Laws, Carol McMillan, Rachel Mehl, Deborah Royal, Jim Schmotzer, and J.L. Wright.

You can still sign up by sending an email with your name, phone, and poem title(s) to or you can just show up and read or be part of the audience. Hosted by poetrynight, it’s free.

Remembering Dobbie

August 1, 2019

Dobbie Reese Norris
was a poet, philosopher, writer, and raconteur.
He left too soon, on May 15, 2019, but his voice will continue to echo in the many communities where he reached poetry audiences.

You are invited to join in a celebration in his honor on
Sunday, August 11, 2019
4:00-6:00 p.m.
at the studio above Wink Wink Boutique
1305 Commercial Street, Bellingham, Washington
You are welcome to read one of Dobbie’s poems
or share your poem or story about Dobbie

A former Words’ Worth curator for the Seattle City Council, Dobbie Reese Norris was a founding member of the Floating Mountain Poets, the originator, host of, and contributor to Third Tuesdays Poets & Writers in the Bitter Lake community, and was a juror and poetry performer for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. Most recently he was a regular at some of the region’s most enduring poetry performance series, including the Seattle Poetry Slam, Everett Poetry Night, and poetrynight in Bellingham.

Join the poets as we remember Dobbie Reese Norris.

call for bouncers

July 2, 2019


Have you submitted a poem to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest only to be disappointed by rejection? Well, if so, here’s your chance to show your stuff. The contest committee is teaming up with poetrynight to present Boynton Bouncers.

Boynton Bouncers will be held at the Bellingham Alternative Library on Monday, August 12, 2019, at 7:00pm.

  • Rejected-by-Boynton poems from any contest year, 2006-2019, are eligible.
  • Poets must read their own poems; if their work has been turned away in multiple years, they may read more than one poem.
  • Poets can just show up and read, or, to assure a spot in the lineup, send an email with your name, phone, and poem title(s) to
  • The event is free and the public is invited.

If this is successful, it could become an annual event.

venue change

March 24, 2018


Bellingham’s every-Monday-night-for-a-really-long-time open mic, poetrynight, has announced the following:

A policy change regarding conference room usage at the library means that as of April 1, poetrynight will no longer be able to meet at the Downtown BPL Monday nights at 8.

Rather than be sad though, we wanted to celebrate the last few years we’ve had here.

We’re doing potluck treats and hosting our usual open mic. So bring a snack and a poem or three.

We’ll also be announcing our plans for relocation during the month of April.

Join the poetrynight crowd for the last library meet on Monday, March 26, 2018 and watch the poetrynight blog for venue updates.

poetrynight and Piper

It’s Monday, June 6, 2016, so that means it’s poetrynight night and Paul S. Piper features. Paul will be reading poetry from three past books, plus new poems from a book due out in late June or July. That book is entitled and Light and will be published by Good Deed Rain Press.

Join the audience and join in the open mic at the Bellingham Public Library. Doors open and sign-ups begin at 7:45pm. Poetry begins at 8:00pm sharp!

Alaska Flying Poets

Every two years, poetrynight invites poets who “have made substantial contributions to their poetry communities” to apply for the Ken Warfel Fellowship. Applications are open until Friday, July 1, 2016. Read the guidelines and the Call for Entries. Participate (as an audience member and in the open mic) in poetrynight on Mondays at the Bellingham Public Library. Like poetrynight on Facebook.

Ken Warfel, for whom the fellowship is named, was (among other achievements) one of the original five Alaska Flying Poets, “a group of five professors from the [Iowa Writer’s] Workshop who flew a small airplane around Alaska and the Midwest to talk to high school students about the value of learning to write well.” He was the author of three books of poetry: Fow! and Other Fingerprints, The Sunnyside Vinegar Works and A Fine Hotel. See Ken Warfel’s obituary.
. . . . .
photo: Alaska Flying Poets, 1964, from left: Donald Kaufmann, Kenneth Warfel, Robert King, Edmund Skellings, Laurence Wyatt

tonight in Bellingham!

April 25, 2016


Every day is a busy day for the Washington State Poet Laureate, Tod Marshall, so Bellingham is particularly pleased that he is here as the featured reader for poetrynight, tonight, Monday, April 25, 2016, at the Mount Baker Theatre, in the Encore Room. There will also be an open mic. Doors open and sign-up at 7:30pm. Poetry begins at 8:00pm sharp! See you there!

Carolyne Wright, times two

January 14, 2016

Carolyne WrightBellingham poets and poetry fans will be treated to a double dose of good words when Carolyne Wright visits for a pair of readings on Sunday, January 17, and Monday, January 18, 2016.

On Sunday, Carolyne Wright (lead editor) will be joined by Ana Maria Spagna, Miranda Pearson and Christine Holbert (publisher) to read from Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace, a “ground-breaking anthology of poems by 120 women in over 60 occupations, giving voice to working women world-wide.” The reading and book signing at Village Books will begin at 4:00pm.

On Monday, Carolyne Wright will be the featured poet at Bellingham’s weekly poetrynight. This special event will be held in the Encore Room of the Mount Baker Theatre and will include an open mic. Sign-ups start at 7:45pm, poetry starts at 8:00pm sharp.

Since its founding in 1995, poetrynight has provided opportunities for new and established writers — local, regional and national — to share their work before a friendly and enthusiastic audience in coffee shops and classrooms, basements and concert halls across Whatcom and Skagit counties. Poetrynight can be found every Monday evening in the lower-level meeting room of the Bellingham Public Library (after hours, enter through the back of the building) and welcomes new and returning readers and listeners.
. . . . .

celebrate with Sara!

November 20, 2014

Sara Brickman - Ken Warfel Fellowship

You’re invited to party with the poets as poetrynight celebrates this year’s Ken Warfel Fellowship winnner, Sara Brickman (author, performance artist, educator and the 2011 Seattle Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion). There will be poetry from Sara herself, and from the last Warfel Fellowship winner, Mark Anderson, plus music and food.

This free, all-ages event takes place this Saturday, November 22, 2014, at 6:00pm in the Crystal Ballroom at The Leopold, in Bellingham. And… there will be an after-party at Brandywine Kitchen starting at 8:45pm!

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