de Gutes and Miller: memoir

September 30, 2017

This should be an exceptional evening at Village Books in Bellingham: Kate Carroll de Gutes and Brenda Miller read from their latest books, The Authenticity Experiment: Lessons from the Best & Worst Year of My Life (Two Sylvias Press) and An Earlier Life (Ovenbird Books), respectively. In each of these books, essays-as-memoir shine with personal and poetic grace. Join the audience on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 7:00pm.

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especially now

August 14, 2017

Matthew Zapruder added no question mark to the title of his book, Why Poetry. Perhaps he sees poetry as an answer, not something in need of explanation. This Wednesday, August 16, 2017, Zapruder will read from, discuss, and answer questions about Why Poetry at the Hotel Sorrento in Seattle. The event is free and begins at 7:00pm.

Buckingham in Bellingham

February 25, 2017

Polly Buckingham workshops

Polly Buckingham, poet, fiction writer, and founding editor/publisher of Stringtown Press, will be offering two workshops on Saturday, March 4, 2017.

At 10:00am, she will present The Surprise of Poetry: Concentration & Abandonment.

This workshop is intended to bring participants into that space where everything in language is up for grabs, into a greater state of uncertainty and unknowing. Garcia Lorca writes in his essay “Theory and Function of the Duende,” “Very often intellect is poetry’s enemy because it is too much given to imitation, because it lifts the poet to a throne of sharp edges and makes him oblivious of the fact that he may suddenly be devoured by ants, or a great arsenic lobster may fall on his head.” We will work on reaching a state of deep concentration and abandonment, that space from which the real surprises begin and with them the energy of poetry.

At 1:00pm, she will present Re-envisioning Fiction: Drafts Refocused, Reimagined

What happens after that first inspired draft of a story? This workshop will give authors ideas for refocusing, restructuring and further developing their drafts. We will run through a series of exercises that ask students to think about their drafts in ways that might not yet have considered. For example, what happens when you think about your story as a dream narrative or consider major world events that might be happening at the same time as your story? We will work on a series of writing prompts that allow students to flesh out scenes that might feel flat or dialogue that feels dull. If you have a draft, bring it along. But a draft is not necessary.

Both workshops will be held at St. James Presbyterian Church (upstairs), 910 14th Street, in Fairhaven. Sliding fee: one workshop $10 – 30 (you decide); both workshops: $15 – $45.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, email Carla Shafer at chuckanutsandstone@gmail.com, including your name and contact information along with the workshop(s) you wish to attend, or call 360-961-2320. Bring your registration fee on Saturday in cash or check along with writing materials.

These workshops offered by TALA – Teaching and Learning Arts and Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater.

In addition, Polly Buckingham will be reading from her latest book, The Expense of a View, on Friday, March 3, at 7:00pm at Village Books.

Got kids’ books?

February 3, 2017

kids' books

In case you missed it, there was a lovely article in the Bellingham Herald about Joe Nolting, a two-time Sue Boynton Poetry Contest winner, retired teacher and inspired distributor of books to kids who might not otherwise have them.

Kids Need Books! is a project of the Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County. On the Interfaith Coalition Facebook page, they ask for your help: Donate a gently used/good quality children’s book, or purchase a new one, for Kids Need Books (KNB) program, and invest in the life of a child! KNB distributes at two local elementary schools to low income children throughout the year. Drop off book at the Interfaith Coalition, 910 14th Street, Bellingham, Washington.

According to the Herald article, Nolting hopes to distribute ten thousand books this year. Good work, Joe!

approaching the poem

December 5, 2016

Poetry

If you’re looking for ideas about reading or discussing poetry — for yourself or for someone you’d like to encourage — “How to Read and Talk About Poetry” by Jessica Flynn is a good place to start. The author spoke with three poets and teachers: Rachel Brumbach (English teacher at McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania); Adrian Matejka (Ruth Lilly Professor/Poet-in-Residence at Indiana University; mostly recently the author of The Big Smoke); and Tyler Meier (executive director of the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona) and the resulting conversation is posted on the National Endowment for the Arts blog.

voices of May

April 29, 2016

Fridays at Jack Straw

The Jack Straw Writers Program was created in 1997 to introduce local writers to the medium of recorded audio, to develop their presentation skills for both live and recorded readings, to encourage the creation of new literary work, and to provide new venues for the writers and their work.”

The twelve 2016 Jack Straw Writers, selected by curator Karen Finneyfrock, will present their work in a series of three Friday evening readings in May at the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. Further details at Jack Straw and on Facebook.

Little Free Libraries

Perhaps you’ve noticed the little house-on-a-post as you’re driving through the neighborhood. Perhaps you’re a regular user. In an ongoing surge of community- and literary-mindedness, the Little Free Library program, started in 2009, continues to proliferate.

In Bellingham, Washington (and probably in other cities), you can find a Google map of official and unofficial LFLs or view the photo collection assembled on Facebook by the James Street Library. For more LFL information, visit the official Little Free Library site or the LFL Facebook page.

If you have books you don’t plan to read again, or “extra” copies of your poetry chapbook, why not drop them off? You never know where your next fan will come from.
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