Oh, how we’ve missed these live, in-person gatherings and oh, how happy we are to see them emerging once again.

Tomorrow, Friday, April 29, 2022, at 7:00pm, Empty Bowl presents a reading by Jessica Gigot and Gary Thompson with musical accompaniment by Erik Christensen at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes.

Jack Straw Writers read

April 26, 2022

Mark your calendar for the first three Fridays in May, 7:00pm Pacific, when the 2022 Jack Straw Writers present their words in person at the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle, or streaming live via Jack Straw on Facebook or YouTube.

Program Curator Michael Schmeltzer hosts:

  • Friday, May 6, 7pm: Ally Ang, Katharine Strange, Jory Mickelson, and Danielle Hayden.
  • Friday, May 13, 7pm: Julie Feng, Helen Anderson, Jessica Gigot, and Emily Parzybok
  • Friday, May 20, 7pm: Vincent Rendoni, Erin Langner, Carrie Beyer, and Ruth Schemmel

Email jsp [AT] jackstraw.org to register for in-person attendance. $10 suggested donation.

early bird

March 19, 2022

The Orcas Island Literary Festival will be back in June and you can save $5 on Festival Passes now through March 30, 2022. This year’s fest will have both in-person and virtual options (one pass gets you both) for a lineup of panels, readings, and events. The Featured Artists will be announced on March 31 and the Festival will run Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, 2022.

I Got Lost in my Book*

January 31, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by Peyton Eberhardt, 6th grade

I got lost in my book. My dad calls me.
Not right now, I wanted to say. I’m lost.
Seated on the couch, I sip my warm tea.
Famine. Hunger. An ocean seldom crossed.
A war. A hero. I turn the pages
With excitement. All stories have an end.
Perhaps I’ll read a book about mages.
I’ll find a book that wants to be my friend.
I search and I search. I cannot find one.
Maybe The Lord of the Rings. The Book Thief.
The library closes soon. I’m not done
Finding my book. I want to yell in grief.
I found my soulmate in a time of need.
I check out the book and begin to read.

*Copyright © 2021 by Peyton Eberhardt. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Portland Book Festival

November 8, 2021

The Portland Book Festival begins today, Monday, November 8, 2021, and continues through Saturday, November 13. Programs will be largely online until Saturday. See the complete schedule of events and the impressive gathering of authors and presenters.

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)

. . . . .
photo

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!

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