readers get ready

July 22, 2021

It’s almost August and that means it’s time once again for The Sealey Challenge. It started as a personal project in 2017 when poet Nicole Sealey decided to challenge herself to read a book of poems each day for the month of August.

There is no prize waiting at the end; instead, participants are left with the knowledge of 31 fresh voices, a sense of belonging to a discovered community, and — hopefully — a newfound (or renewed) love of poetry.” Laura Buccieri, Lithub

There’s no charge to participate. Visit your favorite independent bookseller (or perhaps your own overstuffed shelf of un-read books) and select 31 books, chapbooks, or poetry zines. Read one each day. Share photos of your books tagged #TheSealeyChallenge on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(And by the way, if you fall in love with what you’re reading, why not write a review on Goodreads or one of those other book sites?)

Are you up for the challenge?

We’ve mentioned Joe Nolting and Kids Need Books before, so we were exceptionally pleased to see that Joe is back, bringing books to the kids who need them most. Here you see him in the small laundry room of a large low-income apartment complex, where he admits one fully-masked family at a time to browse, select, and take home the books they’ve chosen.

To find out more, read “Rain Showers and Shower Gifts” on the KNB site. And if you’re able, support Joe’s work for literacy with donations of funds or items from the Wish List.

Word Vancouver

September 14, 2020

The first “Word On The Street Vancouver” festival was held in 1995. Rebranded as Word Vancouver in 2013, the festival celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. With that history, and the recent experience of scores of online readings, panel discussions, workshops, and other gatherings, Word Vancouver is ready for the 2020 all-virtual festival, Saturday, September 19, through Sunday, September 27. Word Vancouver is free, with donations gratefully accepted. See the Word Vancouver schedule here.

on poetry

September 7, 2020

“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.”
Edith Sitwell
(September 7, 1887 – December 9, 1964)

. . . . .

give this to your boss

July 31, 2020

If you’ve been wanting to get copies of your poems in the company newsletter or your book in the executive suite, check out this article in Fast Company. In “Why CEOS need to read poetry — yes, poetry — to lead in the post-COVID world,” Clare Morgan and Massimo Portincaso make a case for the unique abilities of poetry to navigate uncertainty:

“…this gear change, from (perhaps) a data-driven, algorithm-inspired reliance on what has been, to the challenging freedoms of what-if? What then?, is unlikely to be achieved overnight and without the intercession of some potent catalyst. That catalyst, we humbly submit, is poetry.”

Sounds like it’s time to add a poem or two to your Zoom meetings!

kids STILL need books

July 17, 2020

Back in February (doesn’t that seem like a very long time ago?) we published a guest post by Joe Nolting about the wonderful Kids Need Books program. Even with all the social challenges of our time, KNB has been distributing books to families who want them. Kids still need books and Joe and his team are figuring out ways to distribute them safely.

If you’re cleaning out bookshelves, please consider sharing books with people who need them. Read Joe’s latest post on KNB’s essential work and how you can help.

on poetry

June 7, 2020

“Reading is important — read between the lines. Don’t swallow everything.”
Gwendolyn Brooks
(June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000)

. . . . .

Today in Portland

November 17, 2019

Today, Sunday, November 17, 2019, at 4:00pm, Lilla Lit presents its annual Fall Reading in the Manor House at Leach Botanical Garden. The all-Oregon lineup features Becca Clarren, Michelle DuBarry, John Larison, Jessica Mehta, Natalie Serber, and Leni Zumas, plus guest intros from Brian Benson and Jennifer Perrine.

Named for botanist Lilla Leach who with her husband, John, created the house and garden that is today Leach Botanical Garden, Lilla Lit is a quarterly literary reading series featuring poetry, fiction, and nonfiction on the evening’s theme. The fall theme, BRAVE, honors what it takes to be a writer, what it takes to have a voice at all, and the courageous works of literature that continue to show the way. See the Lilla Lit website for more information and 2020 dates.


June 14, 2019

Sunday, June 16, is Bloomsday, a commemoration of the life and words of James Joyce, celebrated with readings from Ulysses.

In Seattle, the Wild Geese Players will present a staged reading of Chapter 10, “Wandering Rocks,” adapted from the 1922 edition of Ulysses.

The group’s 22nd annual Bloomsday reading will be held on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at 2:00pm in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Central Library.

They will also be reading excerpts from the book at 6:00pm today, Friday, June 14, at Folio Seattle.

books on wheels

May 22, 2019

Sometimes we like to highlight poetry or book-related projects that have no connection with the Cascadia region. Yet. Here’s one. Poetry to the People: A Book Truck Tour is combining the resources of the House of SpeakEasy (no relation to Bellingham’s SpeakEasy poetry series) and Narrative 4 to create a 10-day, 10-stop tour between New York City and New Orleans. A 27-foot-long box truck, thousands of books, hundreds of readers and stories.

Each stop will highlight engaging conversations hosted by community partners, featuring events and workshops with acclaimed writers and emerging teen talents. At every event, the truck will open up to give out free books and encourage browsing by readers of all ages.

Learn more about Poetry to the People on Kickstarter.

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