Mark your calendar and grab your mask: the Greater Gig Harbor Poetry Series starts this Saturday and will run for three consecutive Saturdays at 3:00pm, in-person at the Harbor History Museum. The featured poets are:

Saturday, October 9, 2021, Chris Jarmick
Saturday, October 16, 2021, Jennifer Preston Chuschoff
Saturday, October 23, 2021, Robert Lashley

On Sunday, November 7, 2021, 2:00-5:00pm, Christina Vega will lead a free, all-ages Poetry Collaboration workshop at Ocean5 in Gig Harbor. Space is limited and registration is required.

Find out more about the poets on the GGHPS website.

call for poems

March 1, 2021

The 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is now open for submissions from Whatcom County, Washington, poets of all ages and experience. You can learn more about this year’s judges here and see the complete guidelines and submission details on the 2021 Contest page.

Also, a reminder for student poets: John S Green will offer a free Children’s Poetry Workshop, this Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 11:00am-12:15pm. Participation does not guarantee that your poem will be selected as a winner, but it’s sure to be fun. Advance registration is required.

The programming inspired by this year’s Whatcom READS title, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, includes a poetry reading by Robert Lashley, one of this year’s judges for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. The book is terrific, the reading, this evening, Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 7:00pm, is free, and sign-in information is here.

meet the judges: 2021

January 4, 2021

While the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest won’t open for submissions until March 2021 and the guidelines have not yet been updated, the judges have been selected and we are pleased to introduce them here.

A 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and nominee for a Stranger Genius Award, Robert Lashley has had work published in The Seattle Review of Books, NAILED, Poetry Northwest, McSweeney’s, and The Cascadia Review. His poetry was also featured in such anthologies as Many Trails to The Summit, Foot Bridge Above The Falls, Get Lit, Make It True, and It Was Written. His previous books include THE HOMEBOY SONGS (Small Doggies Press, 2014), and UP SOUTH (Small Doggies Press, 2017). His next book, THE GREEN RIVER VALLEY, will be published by Blue Cactus Press in 2021.
 
 
Elizabeth Vignali is the author of three chapbooks, the most recent of which is Endangered [Animal] (Floating Bridge Press 2019), and the poetry collection House of the Silverfish (Unsolicited Press 2021). Her work has appeared in Willow Springs, Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, Tinderbox, The Literary Review, and others. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she works as an optician, produces the Bellingham Kitchen Session reading series, and serves as poetry editor of Sweet Tree Review.

The 2021 Contest guidelines will be posted on the 2021 Contest page as soon as they are available. Meanwhile, please enjoy the Sunday postings of the 2020 winning poems…and, if you happen to live in Whatcom County, Washington, start planning your submission.

AltLib new home for poetry

February 20, 2018

Bellingham’s Alternative Library has moved around a few times, but it seems to have found a solid home base in an historic church near downtown and the Western campus at 519 E Maple Street. In addition to a robust lending library, it is a community space, hosting near-daily events, including concerts, film screenings, workshops, and readings.

And speaking of readings, check out the Radical Poets’ Showcase: Featuring ATL Slam on Friday, February 23, 2018, at 8:00pm. (Suggested $7 donation.)

Featured poets:

Nobody Likes Us But We’re Here Anyways
Nate Mask and Ryan J are Atlanta-based spoken word artists. They are tolerated in their local scene because their poems are somewhat entertaining, but nobody actually likes either of them. Their work touches on topics ranging from the struggle of deconstructing masculinity, learning to exist in a world that looks down on blackness, relationships, mental health, to driving in Atlanta traffic. Despite their differences in approach and personality, their dynamic as a team somehow works, as Ryan actually enjoys talking to people, and Nate always comes through in the clutch, and opens tough jars for Ryan.

Robert Lashley
A 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and nominee for a Stranger Genius Award, Robert Lashley has had poems published in Feminete, Seattle Review Of Books, NAILED, GRAMMA, and The Cascadia Review. His first full-length book, The Homeboy Songs, was published by Small Doggies press in 2014. His new book, Up South, was published in March 2017.

Dee Dee Chapman
Dee Dee Chapman received her BA in Creative Writing at Western Washington University in 2016. She has been published in The Noisy Water Review, Sweet Tree Review, and Wallpaper Magazine. In September 2014 she self-published her first chapbook, Colluvium, whose title poem received a 2017 Walk Award from the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. She’s the Editor of Nine Lives Later: a Dead Cat Anthology, released in November 2017.

shift your margins

September 7, 2017

Margin Shift: Friends in Poetry offers dynamic voices and important poetry on the third Thursday of each month at Common AREA Maintenance in Belltown. Doors and wine open at 6:30pm; poetry starts around 7-ish. Margin Shift is free to attend, though CAM does accept donations to help with food and wine costs. Here’s the lineup for Thursday, September 21, 2017:

A 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and nominee for a Stranger Genius Award, Robert Lashley has had poems published in Feminete, Seattle Review of Books, NAILED, GRAMMA, and The Cascadia Review. He has also had poems published in such anthologies as It Was Written, and Many Trails To The Summit. His first full-length book, The Homeboy Songs, was published by Small Doggies press in April 2014. His new book, Up South, was published in March of this year.

Fernando Pérez is a Chicano poet from Los Angeles. He holds an MFA in poetry from Arizona State University. He currently lives in Seattle and is an Assistant Professor of English at Bellevue College. His poetry has appeared in several journals, including The Acentos Review, Huizache, The Suburban Review, Hinchas de Poesía, Crab Orchard Review, and The Volta. His manuscript of poetry was recently selected as a finalist for both the Andrés Móntoya Poetry Prize and the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His first collection of poems, A Song of Dismantling, is forthcoming from The University of New Mexico Press in the fall of 2017.

Kamari Bright is a poet/writer whose works revolve around understanding and introspection. She has received nominations for her debut short film “Black Coffee,” written several published works, and earned grants through Artist Up and 4Culture.

David Brazil is a pastor and translator. His most recent book is Holy Ghost (City Lights, 2017). He lives in Oakland.

Sara Larsen is a poet living in Oakland. She is the author of Merry Hell (Atelos, 2016). Her previous book is All Revolutions Will Be Fabulous (Printing Press, 2014). She is also the author of chapbooks Riot Cops en route Troy and The Hallucinated, among others. From 2008-2011, she co-edited TRY magazine.

summer fun in Auburn

August 2, 2017

August in Auburn, Washington, means AuburnFest and this year’s all-ages event will include two entertainment stages, a beer garden, food vendors, craft and specialty vendors, community and non-profit vendors, a car show, a literary showcase & small press fair, as well as several free activities including bocce, face painting, two Artrageous hands-on art activities, an indoor playground, the discovery playground, a spray playground, and much more.

The Literary Showcase lineup includes:

  • 11:00am to 1:00pm Poetry Workshop: Write what you want, when you want to, and how you want to write it presented by Jack Straw Fellow and Artist Trust Fellow Robert Lashley
  • 1:05 to 2:10 Novelist Dennis Brooke presents: Storytelling Techniques to Influence the World — 3 Powerful Tools for Writing, Speaking, and Presenting
  • 3 to 4:55 Open Mic Poetry Contest with emcee Christopher J. Jarmick (non-contest open mic as time allows, contest winners announced at 6:00pm)
  • 5 to 5:55 Featured poets: Auburn Poet Laureate Marjorie Rommel; fisher poet Patrick Dixon; story-teller Sharon Nyree Williams
  • 6 to 6:55 Prize presentation for the Open Mic Poetry Contest winners, followed by featured poets haiku guru and photographer Michael Dylan Welch; photographer and poet Lorraine Healy; Stranger Genius Award nominee Robert Lashley
  • 7 to 8 Q&A: Discussion on the Writing Craft with panel: Robert Lashley, Dennis Brooke, Marjorie Rommel, Patrick Dixon, Sharon Nyree Williams, Lorraine Healy, and Michael Dylan Welch

It’s all happening at Les Gove Park, in Auburn, 11:00am to 8:00pm, on Saturday, August 12, 2017. See more, including book fair participants, poets and bios on the Striped Water Poets page.

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.

Chuckanut Writers Conference 2014
This is a guest post by Hannah Streetman
.

The Chuckanut Writers Conference is excited to announce the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest as its 2015 beneficiary.

The contest and the conference have stemmed from the same goal — to bring together the community in celebration of the written word. Over the years, they’ve inspired many writers into action.

This year, the conference has again assembled a diverse faculty of twenty-one established poets, authors, agents, and publishing experts to come to Whatcom Community College the weekend of June 26-27, 2015. The poets include Washington’s Inaugural Poet Laureate Sam Green, Sally Green, Denise Jolly, Robert Lashley, and Kate Lebo. You can read about the other brilliant fiction, nonfiction, and publishing faculty members here. Many of them have called Bellingham home at some point. Needless to say, they are proof of the creative talent this lush region yields.

For its fifth anniversary, the conference will kick off with a special poetry edition of the Chuckanut Radio Hour, featuring music from the Lady Crooners. Then there are author panels, pitch sessions, breakout sessions, studio plenary sessions, as well as three new Master Classes. These Master Classes will fill up quickly, so be sure to register early! On the last night, open mics will be held throughout Fairhaven to keep the spirit of the conference going.

The conference is designed to benefit writers of all stages, with an encouraging and relaxed atmosphere. And unlike the writing classes you may have taken in school, no one will grade your work or force you to share. If you register by May 28, the early bird rate knocks $40 off the cost of the conference!

Attendees leave with the practical knowledge to strengthen their work, inspiration to get writing, connections in the literary community, and lifelong friendships. We’re excited to support the contest and work together toward a community strengthened by poetry. We hope to see you there!

A Douglas fir, more than two feet
through, angled downslope,
having had to bend that way
for light.

Samuel Green
from “Falling a Tree 90° to the Lean”

. . . . .
Streetman - Hannah
Hannah Streetman is a lifelong reader who is entirely fascinated by the world of publishing. She’s working on her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from WWU with a couple more practical minors she keeps switching around. She enjoys oil painting, drinking coffee, and taking daytrips to nearby towns. She would love to spend her life reading and traveling.

poetrynight on the move

September 30, 2013

Robert Lashley photo by Cate ReedIn case you were distracted by summer, you might have missed the news that poetrynight has relocated to new digs, at least for the moment. Tonight, Monday, September 30, 2013, would be an opportune time to check out the new venue and hear the “Sweetest Angry Black Man You Will Ever Know,” Robert Lashley. A semi-finalist for the PEN/Rosenthal fellowship, Lashley often performs at Northwest spoken word venues and has helped Bellingham develop one of the nation’s finest open mic scenes. His poetry is widely published and his full length book, Songs My City Taught Me, was published by Radical Lunchbox Press in 2009.

All the proceeds and profits of this evening of poetry will be donated to Planned Parenthood following Robert Lashley’s performance.

Find poetrynight and Robert Lashley and friends at Caffé Adagio coffeehouse, located at 1435 Railroad Avenue in downtown Bellingham. Doors and sign up for the reading are at 6:45pm, the show begins at 7:00pm.

poetrynight is a program of Whatcom Poetry Series, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
. . . . .
photo by Cate Reed

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