SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread engaged five poets in what turned out to be a nine-month poetic conversation. The resulting series of linked poems was presented in five Zoom readings.

To complete SpeakEasy 27, audience members were invited to submit their own poems inspired by and directly linked to specific ideas or language in the 25-poem series. Round 6, on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific, will feature response poems by Sarah Brownsberger, Lauren Camp, Nancy Canyon, Bev Darnall, J.I. Kleinberg, Eric Kosarot, Rachel Mehl, Peter Messinger, Jory Mickelson, Don Mitchell, Kevin Murphy, Bethany Reid, Sheila Rosen, Paul Sarvasy, Betty Scott, Carla Shafer, Sheila Sondik, Allie Spikes, and Nik Warren.

Additional information and video of the previous readings is available on the Other Mind Press SpeakEasy 27 page. The reading is free on Zoom (Zoom link available from the participating poets or by sending an email to othermindpress AT gmail.com). Please join us!

Poem Booth time again!

January 7, 2020

The Bellingham Poem Booth once again invites submissions from Whatcom County, Washington, residents. The winning poem is displayed for three months on the Forest Street side of the downtown Bellingham Co-op. Winning and runner-up poems are posted on the Poem Booth blog. The deadline is midnight, Saturday, February 15, 2020 and the guidelines are here.

The Poem Booth, which has been ably guided by a handful of volunteers since its inception, now has a new team: John S. Green, Rachel Mehl, Rena Preist, Sheila Sondik, and Elizabeth Vignali.

poetry workshops!

March 7, 2015

Fairhaven Library

On Saturday, March 21, 2015, two stellar poets will each offer a two-hour poetry workshop to benefit the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest.

10am – Noon
Ellie Rogers will teach In Other Words: Diction and Wordplay in Poetry
In a poem, every word matters. Poets choose words not only for their meaning(s), but also for their associations, the way they look on the page, the way they feel in the mouth and sound to the ear. In this workshop, we’ll focus on a poem’s basic unit. We’ll read poems that revel in the specificity and physicality of words, we’ll revise one in-process poem through guided wordplay, and we’ll develop individual lexicons from which we’ll launch new work. Please bring 1-2 in-process poems as well as paper and a writing utensil.

1:00 – 3:00pm
Rachel Mehl will teach The Contemporary Sonnet
Do you think the sonnet has gone the way of wig powder and wooden teeth? Have you always wanted to write a sonnet? Do you write classic sonnets and want to try something new? Either way this workshop is for you. Using examples of contemporary sonnets by living writers, such as Kim Addinizio and Tod Marshall, we will discover how this classic form has evolved and is used in the present day. Prompts and inspiration will be provided. Expect to leave the workshop with two brand new sonnets written by you, as well as inspiration and ideas to keep writing them.

Workshops are held on the lower level of the Fairhaven Library in Bellingham, Washington. Registration is required and all fees benefit the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: $30 for one workshop or $50 for both workshops offered the same day, paid by check or cash at the workshop.

Register by sending an email to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com indicating the workshop(s) you wish to take and including your name and a phone number. Please bring writing materials. For instructor bios, see the Workshops page.

September!

August 29, 2013

Cirque reading at Village Books

If you’re hungry for words, September promises to deliver. Thursday, September 5, 2013, brings together a number of voices from the literary journal Cirque for a reading at Village Books. The lineup includes Deborah Bernard, Bob Hicks, Rachel Mehl, Kate Miller, Sheila Nickerson, Anne Carse Nolting and Joe Nolting. (You may recognize some of these names as past Sue Boynton Poetry Contest winners.) The reading, in the Readings Gallery, is free and copies of Cirque will be available for purchase.

To warm up for the Cirque reading, which starts at 7pm, you may want to attend the VB Writes…Poetry Writing Group, which welcomes drop-ins, is also free and starts at 5:30pm on the Village Books mezzanine.

Watch this space for news of other worthwhile upcoming events, and also see the CALENDAR page, updated almost daily.

Rachel Mehl - BTVSubmissions to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest don’t open until March 1, but if you’re thinking about sending in a poem, or even if you’re not thinking about it yet, the contest committee is offering a little encouragement: a FREE workshop on Saturday, February 9, 2013, 1-3pm, in the Fireplace Room at the Fairhaven Public Library.

The workshop, Writing Boynton Contest Poems, taught by poet Rachel Mehl, will use examples from past contests and other poems to inspire and encourage submissions to this year’s contest, and to help people understand the contest guidelines. The workshop is open to all ages and all abilities of poets and will focus on writing short, free-verse poems. Participants will come away with a working draft of a poem.

While the workshop is free (donations welcome), pre-registration is strongly encouraged to assure adequate space and materials for all participants. To register, send an e-mail to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com and include your name and a phone number in case of last-minute changes. Please bring writing materials to the workshop.

Rachel Mehl earned an MFA from the University of Oregon, where she taught poetry for two years. Her poems have been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Portland Review, Poet Lore and Willow Springs. Her poem “Bellingham” was a 2011 Boynton Walk Award winner and you can watch her read it here. Rachel lives in Bellingham and is a member of the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest committee. She is not a contest judge and has no influence over the judges’ decisions or their choice of winning poems.

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