one contest closes…

March 31, 2021

Today is the last day for Whatcom County residents to submit poems to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. But fear not, there’s another contest hot on its heels (no matter where you live).

The Skagit County Historical Museum invites writers of all ages to submit work to its first Essay and Poetry Writing Contest. The theme is “The Great Hunt for Magic Skagit Stories” and the contest is open through the month of April 2021.

Find a link to the complete guidelines (PDF) on the Skagit County Historical Museum page and send in your essays or poems about the Skagit past or present.

East Whatcom County community radio station KAVZ-LP, broadcasting 24 hours a day from beautiful downtown Van Zandt, is seeking writers and poets to submit poetry, prose, non-fiction, and plays to be broadcast and stream on the World Wide Web on the program South Fork Speaks. Recordings of 25 to 30 minutes may include the work of one or more writers, but “Be aware of your copyrights or they may be lost to you forever.” All the details are on the South Fork Speaks page.

. . . . .
Thanks to Whatcom Writers & Publishers for the heads-up

A Flutter of BirdsA Flutter of Birds Passing through Heaven: a Tribute to Robert Sund, edited by Allen Frost and Paul Piper, has just been published and is available from Amazon for $20. Local bookstores will stock it soon.

This book, a tribute to the Skagit poet Robert Sund, contains poetry, reminiscences, art, anecdotes, essays, photographs and more from over 35 contributors, and includes work by such luminaries as Robert Bly, Gary Snyder and our own Jim Bertolino.

Robert Sund was considered to be the informal poet laureate of Washington State for a number of years, and was truly a great poet of place. Keep an ear out (and watch the Calendar) for readings that will accompany the launch.

Read a review of A Flutter of Birds in the New York Journal of Books.

Skagit poetry walk

May 9, 2016

Skagit photo by Scott Terrell

Without much fanfare, the Mount Vernon, Washington, City Library has installed 30 poems along three Skagit trails: the Trumpeter Trail, near Mount Vernon High School, and the Viewpoint and Nature Trails on Little Mountain. The words of local poets, including students and three former Washington poets laureate, are represented in Poetry in Nature. See more in the Skagit Valley Herald and walk the trails while the poems are on display, during the month of May.
. . . . .
Trumpeter Trail photo by Scott Terrell for Skagit Valley Herald

Skagit River Poetry Foundation

Every even-numbered year, since 2000, the Skagit River Poetry Festival has attracted a stellar lineup of renowned poets and an equally stellar audience to the small community of La Conner, Washington. But in between festivals, the organizational and poetic muscle behind the festival is not idle.

Each year, the Skagit River Poetry Foundation’s (SRPF) Poets in Schools program puts professional, published poets into 200 classrooms to serve in five-day residencies that reach 10,000 students. The program currently serves seven rural school districts in Skagit, Whatcom and Island counties.

This year, to continue its commitment to “lifelong literacy and cultural diversity through the writing, reading, performing, and teaching of poetry,” SRPF is seeking federal non-profit 501(c)(3) status, which will help the organization to seek and gain wider financial support. A gift of $105 supports “the critical role of poetry in literacy development for 30 children in our regional schools.” SRPF has set a goal of raising $35,000 by September 2013 to support Poets in Schools for the next term.

But that’s not all. The Skagit River Poetry Foundation has announced a new Phyllis L. Ennes Poetry Contest open to all Pacific Northwest poets, from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. Poet Ellen Bass will judge the contest and the deadline is October 15, 2013.

For additional details on the Contest, Poets in Schools and the Skagit River Poetry Festival, visit the SRPF website.

poetry reading…

January 22, 2013

La Conner Civic Garden ClubRekindling a Tradition; Resuming a Conversation

On Sunday, February 3, 2013, the Ish River Poets’ Circle hosts the return of the “old guard.” Poets Tim McNulty, Finn Wilcox and Michael Daley have read together for 30 years. Holly Hughes has been associated with the group for the past ten years. Join them for poem swapping between good friends in the best tradition of Robert Sund’s poets’ circles of the 1980s.

3-5 p.m.
La Conner Civic Garden Club
622 South Second Street, La Conner
Suggested donation: $5

This is the last Poets’ Circle for this season. Gatherings will resume with the return of the dark months in November 2013. The Ish River Poets’ Circle is produced in collaboration with Skagit River Poetry Project and Robert Sund Poet’s House Trust.
Information: Ron Shrigley, 360-391-3225


January 6, 2013

La Conner Civic Garden Club

If you’re not planning to re-up your writer’s resolutions at Village Books this afternoon, drive on down to La Conner (watch for snow geese and white swans in the Skagit Valley fields along the way) for the Ish River Poets’ Circle. Presented in collaboration with Skagit River Poetry Project and The Robert Sund Poet’s House Trust, these winter poetry gatherings continue conversations begun by Robert Sund and friends 30 years ago in the dark months of the 1980s. With each gathering, the audience grows in this warm and literature-rich, poetry-friendly community.

Today’s Poets’ Circle, the third in this winter’s series of four, features readings and music by B.C. poets Rachel Rose, Renee Saklikar, Raoul Fernandes and Jen Currin. Held at 3:00pm at the Civic Garden Club, 622 S. Second St., La Conner. Suggested donation $5.

poetry reading today…

December 9, 2012

The Ish River Poets’ Circle

Sunday, December 9, 2012 ~ 3:00pm
The Ish River Poets’ Circle

Featured poets
Luther Allen, Jane Alynn, J.I. Kleinberg and Bob Rose

Civic Garden Club
622 S. Second Street ~ La Conner, Washington
Suggested donation $5
Please join us!


December 10, 2011

WinterStompJust yesterday, we were musing about the white birds in the winter fields, and now here’s a chance to muse further…It’s the WinterStomp Farms and Food Poetry Contest, presented by the Skagit Valley Food Co-op and Skagit River Poetry Festival.

WinterStomp invites poets to submit original, unpublished work in one of two categories: Winter/Migration or Farms at Rest. Deadline January 17. Guidelines here. (Note to Whatcom County poets: sounds like a perfect warmup for the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest!)

WinterStomp will be held Saturday, February 4, 2012, and along with art, libations, music and other activities, winning poets will read their poems from the stage of the Lincoln Theatre.

More about WinterStomp here, or follow WinterStomp on Facebook.

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