poetry in person!

September 13, 2022

Another sign of hope for poetry in Cascadia: after two-and-a-half years, Soul Food Poetry Night returns to in-person programming this Thursday, September 15, 2022. Same place — SoulFood CoffeeHouse in Redmond, Washington — with a new start time — 6:00pm.

The evening’s featured poets will be Katerina Canyon and Kibibi Monié and, as always, there will be an open mic. Here’s a link to the Facebook event.

Join host Michael Dylan Welch and the SoulFood audience in welcoming these two dynamic poets for live, in-person poetry at last.

Poets in the Park

July 15, 2019

In a perfect storm of too-many-wonderful-things-going-on, here’s another option for Saturday, July 20, 2019: Poets in the Park returns to Anderson Park in Redmond, this year with an environmental theme, Celebrating the Land.

Events begin at 11:00am and continue non-stop (well, 5 minutes between performances) until 6:00pm on the park’s two stages and the cabin. With scores of poets participating, there will be a wide array of readings, workshops, exhibits, a book fair, and activities for one and all. Bring your own lunch. All events and activities are free.

Poets in the Park is sponsored by the Redmond Arts & Culture Commission, the Redmond Association of Spokenword, and 4Culture, directed by Michael Dylan Welch, and supported by loads of volunteers. Read all about it.

call for proposals

February 25, 2019

Would you like to present a poetry reading, workshop, installation, or other activity to a poetry-friendly audience? Then it’s time to make a proposal for the 2019 Poets in the Park.

The free annual event, to be held Saturday, July 20, 2019, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, at Anderson Park in Redmond will also include a no-commission book fair, vendors, craft activities, open-mic readings, and free ice cream, so mark your calendar.

If you have an activity to propose, please contact Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com as soon as possible. Readings should feature groups, organizations, journals, or anthologies, but if you have other unique ideas, those are welcome too.

Once again, it’s time for Poets in the Park, an all-day, all-ages celebration at Anderson Park in Redmond, Washington, Saturday, July 7, 2018, 11:00am to 6:00pm.

Guest poets include Claudia Castro Luna (Washington State poet laureate) and Melanie Noel (Redmond poet laureate) plus many groups of poets reading on stage, 55-minute workshops, a book fair, vendors, open-mic readings, and more. Chalk poetry, hula hoops, Haiku on Sticks, art/craft activities for kids and adults (sponsored by VALA Art Center and Jim Teeters), RASP poetry anthology poems on sticks, and more! Bring your lunch to enjoy on the lawn or in the café area. It’s all free!

Poets in the Park is directed by Michael Dylan Welch and sponsored by the Redmond Arts & Culture Commission, the Redmond Association of Spokenword, Humanities Washington, ArtsWA / Washington State Arts Commission, and Poets & Writers, with the help of generous volunteers.

Request For Proposals

March 31, 2018

Proposals Wanted for Poets in the Park

Poets in the Park is back! Mark your calendar for Saturday, July 7, 2018, for another Poets in the Park poetry festival at Anderson Park in Redmond, Washington, featuring Washington State poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna and many others. The Redmond Association of Spokenword, which sponsors the festival with support from the city of Redmond, has a bountiful day of events planned, with workshops, readings, performances, a book fair, open-mic readings, free ice cream, and more. Bring your lunch and join in this FREE event!

Want to participate? RASP is looking for proposals for readings (25-minute or 55-minute slots) and workshops (55-minute slots), plus vendors. Send your proposals as soon as possible to festival director Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com, with the following information pasted into your email (no attached files, please):

Reading Proposals

Readings by groups or organizations (if in doubt about what qualifies, just ask — a theme or anthology focus might work). Include this info:

  • Title of reading, group, or organization
  • Organizer’s name (who should also be willing to MC their reading segment, or let us know who will MC)
  • Names of possible readers (at least three)
  • Any audio-visual or other stage needs

Workshop Proposals

Workshops should focus on the craft of poetry and include generative and sharing/discussion activities. With your proposal, include a catchy title, the workshop facilitator’s name(s), and a sentence or two describing what participants can expect to learn from the workshop. RASP expects to be able to pay $100 per workshop.

Vendor Proposals

If you’d like to be a vendor or exhibitor with your press or organization (poetry or otherwise), please indicate your interest by sending the name of your organization and a sentence or two describing what you would like to display, sell, or promote. If you have your own vendor tent for outdoor display, please say if you can bring that, and mention any other needs. RASP can supply tables and chairs. It’s FREE to be a vendor.

Please send your proposals as soon as possible, along with any creative or wacky ideas or installations and any questions.


March 9, 2018

World Enough Writers has just released Ice Cream Poems edited by Patricia Fargnoli, so you have time to scoop up a copy for your summer reading. In fact, you can get a taste of what’s inside by tucking in at SoulFood Poetry Night this Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Redmond, Washington. The readers include Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Canyon, John Davis, Patty Kinney, Thom Schramm, Harvey Schwartz, Heidi Seaborn, Mary Ellen Talley, Julene Tripp Weaver, and Michael Dylan Welch. Plus you can bring your own delicious poems to share during the open mic. And yes, they’ll be serving ice cream!

More SoulFood Poetry Night here.

Poets in the Park

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP) this Saturday, July 15, 2017, as Anderson Park in Redmond, Washington, is filled with poetry at Poets in the Park.

There will be readings and performances on two stages, workshops in the workshop cabin, and activities, installations, and vendors throughout the park, plus a poetry book fair. The lineup includes Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, Redmond Poet Laureate Shin Yu Pai, and an illustrious assortment of poetic voices from around the region.

See the complete schedule on the Poets in the Park page, courtesy of Michael Dylan Welch, who founded and coordinates the annual event.

Poetry series

February 18, 2017

Poets Wanted: Dead or Alive

Join Michael Dylan Welch for another new series of FREE “Poets Wanted: Dead or Alive” presentations this year, starting soon at the Redmond Regional Library, 15990 NE 85th Street in Redmond, Washington. Here’s the line-up for 2017:

Tuesday, February 28, 6:30 pm
Issa: Japanese Haiku Poet

Tuesday, March 7, 6:30 pm
William Carlos Williams: American Poet

Tuesday, March 21, 6:30 pm
Denise Levertov: Seattle Poet

Tuesday, March 28, 6:30 pm
Dylan Thomas: British Poet

All presentations are free! Plus on March 1 (7:00 pm) Michael will be doing a Dr. Seuss presentation for children and families, also at the Redmond Library.

These presentations will feature biographical information, videos, poems, discussion, and more! You are also welcome to bring your own favorite poems by these authors to share, perform, and discuss.

going ekphrastic

October 10, 2016


As part of the continuing Ekphrastic Assimilations project, the Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP) will present a free, one-evening, four-part Ekphrastic Poetry Writing Workshop, curated by Michael Dylan Welch, with presenting poets Duane Kirby Jensen, J.I. Kleinberg, Jared Leising and Joannie Stangeland. Each of the four poets will introduce one approach to writing poetry in response to artwork. The participants will then have time to view the exhibit and use one (or more) of the suggested techniques to write a poem (or poems) and share their writing (if desired).

The workshops will be held this Friday, October 14, 2016, 6:30-9:00pm, at VALA Eastside Art Center, 7325 166th AVE NE, Redmond, Washington. No advance reservations are required. Just show up with your paper and pen. Should be fun! Please join us.

We have it on good authority that “the exhibit itself is spectacular.” To preview the artworks, visit the Ekphrastic Assimilations website and click on the images.

inspired by art

August 8, 2016

Ekphrastic Assimilations

Here’s an ambitious international/regional, art/poetry project that invites your participation. Ekphrastic Assimilations is “a months-long project culminating in an exhibition of painting, photography and mixed-media visual art by six Chinese and six Washington State artists…as well as poets from both locations.”

The artwork is posted on the Ekphrastic Assimilations website. You can click to see the images larger and you can click on a link to see the ekphrastic response. For example, here is a painting by LV De’an – 吕德安 with a response poem by Rick Barot.

In addition, you are invited to respond to the artwork and contribute poems (in the comments field). All images and poems will be exhibited at the VALA art center in Redmond, Washington, September 15 – October 30, 2016. There will be a number of related events, including opening and closing receptions, two Poetry Write-In Workshops, a Calligraphy Workshop, a Spoken Word Poetry Workshop, a Wordimage symposium, and the Ekphrastic Assimilations Conference and Reading. Events details (somewhat limited) here.

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