January 17, 2023

Forget the roses and the chocolates (well, maybe not the chocolates): show your Valentine some love with poetry. To benefit the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, poet Jeffrey Morgan and paper artist Nancy Scagliotti will offer a Valentine & Poetry Workshop on Saturday, February 11, 2023, 1:00-3:00pm. $10 includes supplies. Families welcome. Register by sending an email to directorsrpp@gmail.com. The workshop will be held in person, in Mount Vernon, at a location TBD.

Want more love poetry? This one is after Valentine’s Day, but not too late for love. On Sunday, February 19, 2023, 11:00am-2:00pm, Oregon poet Christine Delea will offer Love is Strange, an online poetry workshop that will avoid “the moon-June-swoon lovey-dovey poems and look at poems that are grounded, more complex, and willing to tackle love in all its aspects.” This is a Pay-What-You-Can Event ($5 minimum), with ALL fees going to the Portland Chapter of For Goodness Cakes. Click here to register for Love is Strange.

Sunday in La Conner

July 24, 2022

poster with colorful tie-dyed background

Roll on down to La Conner today, Sunday, July 24, 2022, and join friends at the Skagit River Poetry Foundation’s Make Me Wanna Holler Music & Poetry picnic. Starting at 2:00pm with a musical set by Heron & Crow, the afternoon and early evening (til 7:00pm) will alternate between music and poetry, with featured poets and community open mic (sign up on the spot). It all happens at Pioneer Park, at the southwest corner of La Conner, on the Swinomish Channel right under the iconic Rainbow Bridge. It’s free, with food and bev available for purchase. Bring the family, bring camp chairs, and come share some summertime festivity.

For further details, listen to Margaret Bikman’s interview with Steven Dolmatz and Judy Kleinberg on KMRE.FM.

Join the Skagit River Poetry Foundation
for a summer celebration
Outdoor Picnic at Pioneer Park
La Conner, Washington
Sunday, July 24, 2022, 2:00-7:00pm
Heron & Crow, Erik Christensen Band, and Deep River Blues Band
Northwest poets plus audience open mic
Burgers, dogs, drinks, and ice cream
Family friendly
Bring a camp chair or blanket

Mark your calendar!
(and while you’re at it: make a note of
the Skagit River Poetry Festival, October 6-9, 2022)

Durable Grace

October 13, 2020

There’s no Skagit River Poetry Festival this year, but you can still join the Skagit River Poetry Foundation and former Washington State poet laureate Elizabeth Austen for Durable Grace: An evening with Terrance Hayes, on Sunday, October 25, 2020, at 5:00pm Pacific. The event is free (donations welcome and encouraged) and will stream live on the Skagit River Poetry Foundation website.

More on Terrance Hayes. More on Elizabeth Austen.

no fest

September 26, 2020

In case you missed the announcements, the Skagit River Poetry Festival (October 1-4, 2020) has been cancelled. Watch the Skagit River Poetry Foundation website for updates and read more about the Foundation’s Poets in the Schools program.

two poetry fundraisers

June 23, 2020

Two poetry organizations that are vital to Cascadia and to the wider world are holding virtual fundraising events and hope you will participate.

Tonight, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 6:00pm Pacific, the Skagit River Poetry Foundation presents Poemed and Uplifted, featuring poets Tony Curtis, Daemond Arrindell, Octavia Prosser, Olivia Elias, and Lucy Shainin. NOTE: “Due to a regional internet upload outage, we were unable to stream our live event. Thank you for your patience and I hope you will tune in on Sunday, June 28th at 6 PM for a re-broadcast of this event.”

Next Tuesday, June 30, at 5:00pm Pacific, Copper Canyon Press presents For the Future of Poetry, featuring Ellen Bass, Arthur Sze, and Jericho Brown, along with Editor-in-Chief Michael Wiegers.

Your generosity, in any amount, will be gratefully accepted.

This coming Friday, May 17, 2019, you’re invited to join the Skagit River Poetry Foundation at HOWL!

The spring fundraising event, at the Hillcrest Lodge in Mount Vernon, will feature hearty appetizers, open bar, cool jazz, and poetry celebrating the Beats, Peaks, and Fishtown poets. There will be silent and live auctions, raffles, and plenty of fun.

Advance tickets are available online, and tickets will also be available at the door. The event supports the Foundation’s mission to put poets in area schools and will jumpstart the 2020 festival. Can’t go? You can also make a donation on the ticket page.

Patricia Smith!

November 6, 2016

Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith doesn’t spell her name with an exclamation point, but she should. A powerful poet and a dynamic performer and instructor, Smith will offer a three-hour workshop and a public reading in La Conner on Sunday, November 20, 2016.

The workshop, “Stamping the Word with You,” will examine the elements that help you identify, define, and establish your creative signature. It runs from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the La Conner Middle School Library, 503 N. Sixth Street in La Conner. Cost is $120, and the workshop is limited to 15 participants. For registration, contact Molly McNulty at directorsrpp@gmail.com.

Smith’s public reading will begin at 2:00pm at the Museum of Northwest Art, with donations at the door to benefit The Skagit River Poetry Foundation, which brings poets into public-school classrooms throughout the region.

In her reading, Patricia Smith will discuss her new book, Incendiary Art, which examines the black experience in prose poems, sestinas, and sonnets. She will also explore the conception, trajectory, and difficulties of crafting a cohesive manuscript.

Patricia Smith is the author of six critically acknowledged volumes of poetry, including the National Book Award-finalist Blood Dazzler, a chronicle of the human and environmental cost of Hurricane Katrina, and the National Poetry Series winner Teahouse of the Almighty. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and in both Best American Poetry and Best American Essays.

poetry contest

September 14, 2015

Skagit River Poetry

The Skagit River Poetry Foundation has announced its second biennial Phyllis L. Ennes Poetry Contest, honoring the late, passionate arts supporter from Anacortes. The contest is open to all Pacific Northwest poets, of all ages, writing in all poetic forms. There are separate categories for adult and student submissions, with a $500 award to the first place adult winner and a $100 award to the first place student winner.

Winning poems will be published in the Skagit River Poetry Festival anthology, and winners will be included in the lineup of the ninth biennial festival, May 19-22, 2016, in La Conner. The contest judge will be esteemed Copper Canyon Press editor Michael Wiegers.

Interested poets can submit three previously unpublished poems in a single Word document to skagitcontest@gmail.com. Include your name, home address, email address, and phone number. There is a blind* reading fee of $15 for each three-poem submission. Checks can be made payable to the Skagit River Poetry Foundation. The address is P.O. Box 238, La Conner, WA 98257. The submission deadline is December 15, 2015. Winners will be announced in April 2016.

*Ed. note: blind reading suggests that the poet’s name and contact information should be included in the cover letter but NOT appear on the poem.

Skagit River Poetry FoundationBlimey, but St. Patrick’s Day seems a long way off. Still, if you’re wantin’ to grab tickets for this high-spirited performance and benefit for the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, you’d not delay, lads and lassies.

Expect laughter and lilting music of both the literary and instrumental variety when award-winning Oregon author Brian Doyle joins Ireland’s beloved Tony Curtis and the Seattle-area Celtic band The Fire Inside for a St. Patrick’s celebration at the Lincoln Theatre on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

Sponsoring the evening is the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, dedicated to enhancing literacy and the appreciation of writing throughout our Northwest communities. The foundation will host a pre-concert fund-raising reception and book signing, 5:30-7 p.m., at The Trumpeter Public House, 416 Myrtle Street in Mount Vernon, Washington.

Doyle, who describes himself as a “hirsute shambling shuffling mumbling grumbling muttering muddled maundering meandering male being,” will headline the main event, which starts at 7:30 at the Lincoln Theater, 712 First Street in Mount Vernon. Editor of Portland Magazine, the University of Portland’s award-winning quarterly, Doyle is well-known as a colorful, insightful essayist, poet, and short story writer.

Dublin’s beloved Tony Curtis, winner of Ireland’s National Poetry Prize and one of the most ​popular poets in his country, is a mesmerizing showman and poet. The lyrical writer and musical performer is the author of six warmly received collections of poetry, including The Well in the Rain: New and Selected Poems. His work as a Skagit River Poetry Foundation poet-in-residence has charmed young students throughout the Northwest.

Adding Celtic kick to the evening will be the popular band The Fire Inside. The group performs smoldering Celtic music with heel-clicking intensity, drawing from traditional and trend-setting influences. Instruments in play include fiddle, uilleann pipes, bodhran, whistles, guitar, concertina, mandolin, and vocals.

Reserved tickets for the main event are $30 general admission, $17 for students. Tickets for the fundraising reception, which includes appetizers and drinks, are $50, or $75 for both reception and main event. All tickets are available through the Lincoln Theatre. You can also call the ticket office at 360-336-8955.

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