Please tune in to SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread for the third round (of five) on Saturday, January 16, 2021, 7:00pm Pacific, as poets Susan Alexander, Luther Allen, Bruce Beasley, Jennifer Bullis, and Dayna Patterson read and comment on their poems from this linked series of writings on spirituality.

Series info, poet bios, videos of previous rounds, and sign-in information are available on the SpeakEasy 27 page and on Facebook. Free on Zoom with password.

The final two rounds of the series are scheduled for Saturday, February 6, and Saturday, February 27, 2021.

Round 2, this Saturday

December 7, 2020

After a warming response to Round 1, SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread will offer Round 2 of this linked-poem series on Saturday, December 12, 2020, at 7:00pm Pacific. As with Round 1, Susan Alexander, Luther Allen, Bruce Beasley, Jennifer Bullis, and Dayna Patterson will each read one poem linked to the previous poem (or poems), discuss the linkage, and whatever else is on their mind. At the end of the reading there will be further discussion and questions from listeners.

The poets’ bios and a video link to Round 1 are available on the SpeakEasy 27 page (video link is at the very bottom).

Request a Zoom link for Round 2 by sending a note to othermindpress@gmail.com.

Mapping Literary Utah

November 9, 2020

We’ve mentioned various poetry-mapping projects, including Washington Poetry Routes, and here’s another worthwhile addition to the list: Mapping Literary Utah. Created by Paisley Rekdal, Utah’s fifth poet laureate, the archive includes poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction by hundreds of native-born Utahns, current residents, and writers who spent a significant period of their creative life in the state.

Among the writers is Dayna Patterson, who will be teaching a two-hour poetry workshop, “Exploring the Feminine Divine,” this Saturday, November 14, 2020, and will also be one of five featured poets the same evening for SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread.

In November 2019, Luther Allen invited four poets to join him in creating a series of linked poems on a spiritual theme for the next SpeakEasy. No one could have imagined either the scope of the project or the many challenges 2020 would set in the way.

The idea is quite simple: one person writes a poem; the second person writes a poem in response; the third person writes a poem in response to poem 2, etc. It had been a very successful approach in 2014, when SpeakEasy 14: String Theory presented un-themed linked poems by five poets.

In his invitation, Luther suggested that each poet would have about a week to respond to the poem they had received, and that SpeakEasy 27 would probably happen in April or May. All of the invited poets — Susan Alexander, Bruce Beasley, Jennifer Bullis, and Dayna Patterson — accepted the invitation and the writing commenced.

By the end of the first round of five poems, the word pandemic had surfaced. It soon became apparent that schedules could not be imposed on the shape, content, or duration of these poems. Nine months and 60 pages of poetry later, SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread stands as a poetic testament to a year quite unlike any other.

Over the coming months, the poets will read and comment on their poems in a series of free readings on Zoom. The first reading will be on Saturday, November 14, 2020, at 7:00pm Pacific. To participate, send an email to othermindpress@gmail.com. You will receive sign-in information by email.

celebrating Bertolino

October 4, 2019

TODAY, October 4, is Jim Bertolino’s birthday.

TOMORROW, October 5, 2019, you can help Jim celebrate at SpeakEasy 26: Reading Bertolino, an evening of poetry honoring this prolific and influential poet. It’s free, in Bellingham, at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room. Please join us!

Reading Bertolino

September 23, 2019

SpeakEasy 26: Reading Bertolino will be a lively evening of poetry written by James Bertolino and honoring this prolific and influential poet.

Jim’s poetry has been published internationally in hundreds of magazines, scores of anthologies, and dozens of books over the past 50+ years. He holds an MFA from Cornell University, has won numerous awards, and taught creative writing for more than 36 years. Jim’s first book was published in 1968, and his recent publications include Ravenous Bliss: New and Selected Love Poems (MoonPath Press, 2014) and Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry (World Enough Writers, 2018), which he edited. Bertolino’s poem “A Wedding Toast” was featured on Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry, on June 29, 2019.

This free, public event will be held at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room in Bellingham, Washington on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 7:00pm. Please join us.

this very afternoon!

July 20, 2019

Just a quick reminder about SpeakEasy 25: Pig Tales, A Passel of Poetry, this afternoon, Saturday, July 20, 2019, at 4:00pm at Alluvial Farms, 6825 Goodwin Road, Everson (allow about 30 minutes from downtown Bellingham). Guest poets David Lee and Paul Hunter will regale us with pig tales. Free! Bring a chair. Bring sun protection. Bring a cooler if you’re interested in pastured pork. See you there!

oink if you love poetry

July 11, 2019

If you love pigs, poetry, or both, you’ll definitely want to come on out to Everson, Washington, on Saturday, July 20, 2019, for SpeakEasy 25: Pig Tales, A Passel of Poetry.

SpeakEasy’s first outdoor gathering will feature two beloved poets: the “Pig Poet,” David Lee, and Seattle’s own Paul Hunter.

The reading will take place at 4:00pm in an open field at Alluvial Farms, at 6825 Goodwin Road, Everson, just across the street from the Cloud Mountain Farm Center. If you want to sit down, BRING A CHAIR, and please BRING SUN PROTECTION! Farm tours will be available (meet the pigs!) and pastured pork will be for sale (bring a cooler for your purchases).

More David Lee here. More Paul Hunter here. More SpeakEasy here.

books on wheels

May 22, 2019

Sometimes we like to highlight poetry or book-related projects that have no connection with the Cascadia region. Yet. Here’s one. Poetry to the People: A Book Truck Tour is combining the resources of the House of SpeakEasy (no relation to Bellingham’s SpeakEasy poetry series) and Narrative 4 to create a 10-day, 10-stop tour between New York City and New Orleans. A 27-foot-long box truck, thousands of books, hundreds of readers and stories.

Each stop will highlight engaging conversations hosted by community partners, featuring events and workshops with acclaimed writers and emerging teen talents. At every event, the truck will open up to give out free books and encourage browsing by readers of all ages.

Learn more about Poetry to the People on Kickstarter.

hear the whales singing

April 26, 2019

Next Friday, May 3, 2019, Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room will host a chorus of poetry in tribute to whales as SpeakEasy 24: For Love of Orcas celebrates the publication of a new anthology edited by Andrew Shattuck McBride and Jill McCabe Johnson to address the plight of the southern resident orcas, chinook salmon, and their extended ecosystem.

The evening’s readers/contributors include Luther Allen, James Bertolino, Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Canyon, Susan Chase-Foster, Seren Fargo, Jessica Gigot, Mary Elizabeth Gillilan, Carol Guess, Julie B. Hunter, Jill McCabe Johnson, J.I. Kleinberg, David M. Laws, Rob Lewis, Carole MacRury, Christen Mattix, Andrew Shattuck McBride, JS Nahani, Cynthia Neely, Paul E. Nelson, Sheila Nickerson, Nancy Pagh, Betty Scott, Carla Shafer, and Sheila Sondik,
with additional work by Ronda Piszk Broatch, Sam Hamill, Jim Milstead, and Alina Stefanescu

The event, which starts at 7:00pm, is free and copies of For Love of Orcas, as well as other books by participating poets, will be available for purchase and signing.

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