on poetry

July 9, 2019


“I needed to go out and extend the margins of my world before I’d know anything worthy of a poem.”
Susan Rich
(b. July 9)

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photo
quote

Bye Bye, WordsWest

May 27, 2019

For five years (2014-2019), WordsWest has hosted literary events on the third Wednesday of the month, 7:00pm, at C & P Coffee Company in West Seattle. This is the final year of events for WordsWest and Wednesday, June 19, 2019, is the last event. You’re invited to celebrate with the poets at “Cake in the Garden,” featuring an incredible line-up of WordsWest writers from all five years, including Elizabeth Austen, Quenton Baker, Rick Barot, Claudia Castro Luna, Christine Deavel, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Rachel Kessler, J.W. Marshall, Greg November, Renee Simms, and Ann Teplick. WordsWest co-curator Harold Taw will offer a favorite poem and Open Books will be on hand to offer books for sale.

Thanks to WordsWest for five good years!

here they come!

January 3, 2018

Get ready. The Nasty Women Poets are headed your way. Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press) is a timely collection of poems that speaks not just to the current political climate and the man who is responsible for its title, but to the stereotypes and expectations women have faced dating back to Eve, and to the long history of women resisting those limitations.

In BELLINGHAM, four of these nasty women — Bellingham poets Jennifer Bullis, Susan J. Erickson, and Jessica Lee, and Seattle poet Carolyne Wright — will present a lively array of poems from Nasty Women Poets at Village Books in Fairhaven on Sunday, January 14, 2018, at 4:00pm.

In SEATTLE, contributors Kelli Russell Agodon, Jennifer Bullis, Susan J. Erickson, Susan Rich, Martha Silano, Judith Skillman, and Carolyne Wright will share some nastiness at Open Books on Friday, February 2, 2018, at 7:00pm.

In REDMOND, poets Jennifer Bullis, Martha Silano, Judith Skillman, and Carolyne Wright will be featured at SoulFood Poetry Night on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at 7:00pm.

The nasty women poets included here talk back to the men who created those limitations, honor foremothers who offered models of resistance and survival, rewrite myths, celebrate their own sexuality and bodies, and the girlhoods they survived. They sing, swear, swagger, and celebrate, and stake claim to life and art on their own terms.

The anthology, edited by Grace Bauer and Julie Kane, includes work from Kim Addonizio, Jan Beatty, Kelly Cherry, Annie Finch, Alice Friman, Allison Joseph, Marilyn Kallet, Melissa Kwasny, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Jessica Mehta, Lesléa Newman, Nuala O’Connor, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Melinda Palacio, Jennifer Perrine, Marge Piercy, Lucinda Roy, Maureen Seaton, Rochelle Spencer, A.E. Stallings, Stacey Waite, Diane Wakoski, Müesser Yeniay, and a fabulous coven of other women’s voices.

Other readings are scheduled nationwide (there are nasty women everywhere!) including Baltimore, Cambridge, Kalamazoo, San Francisco, and elsewhere. Watch for them — better yet, ask for them — at a bookstore near you.

Half-day retreat in Seattle

February 7, 2017

typewriter-flowers

Join Susan Rich and Kelli Russell Agodon at their ONE-DAY Generating New Work Writing Workshop in Downtown Seattle on Saturday, March 4, 2017. There will be a single extended class, “Generating New Work,” from 10 am to 2:30 pm, with a short break for lunch.

Together, we will write poems inspired by an array of new writing prompts. You will leave with at least 5-7 poem starts, most likely more! Spend focused time writing poems in a safe nurturing environment. Poets of ALL levels welcome from the beginning poet to the published author. Come spend the day with us: writing, laughing, and surprising yourself with what you can do in a short time — with creative guidance and just the right atmopshere.

You can find additional details on The Alchemist’s Kitchen and registration information here.

ALSO note that registration is now open for Susan and Kelli’s Poets on the Coast: A Weekend Writing Retreat for Women, September 8 – 10, 2017, in La Conner, Washington.

Finding inspiration

June 25, 2016

Oregon Territory map 1833

When it comes to maps, Inspiration is more than a ghost town in Arizona. Maps offer mystery, language, design, history and direction. As described in Leo Kent’s article, The poetry of maps,” cartography has long been a resource for poets.

For the cartophile, various authors analyze the connection between poetry and maps for the publication Cartographic Perspectives (search for poetry).

For more, read the poem “Old Territory. New Maps.” by Deborah A. Miranda or browse The Cartographer’s Tongue by Susan Rich.

If you’re looking for inspiring maps, the Washington State Archives and State Library offer their extensive holdings free online. Visit Legacy Washington to see a list of historical maps of various types from various time periods. (Note that a plug-in is required and may be installed from the site to view the maps in high resolution and to zoom, pan, adjust color, etc.)

Where will your poetry take you next?
. . . . .
Oregon Territory map

Early-bird tickets available!

February 13, 2016

Skagit River Poetry FestivalTickets are now on sale for the 2016 Skagit River Poetry Festival, May 19-22 in the historic town of La Conner, Washington. The four-day event features some of the most renowned and diverse names in poetry, including Naomi Shihab Nye, a celebrated Arab-American writer described as “international in scope and internal in focus.” She is four-time winner of the prestigious Pushcart Prize.

The 9th biennial festival opens with a literary bang on May 19, when spoken word poets take the stage in a program called “Wake Up. Speak Out,” challenging audiences with new poetic ideas and forms. Participants include Jeanann Verlee, who has represented New York City ten times at the National Poetry Slam; Jamaal May, Detroit poet and filmmaker; Daemond Arrindell, curator of the Seattle Poetry Slam; American-Bangladeshi poet, educator, editor, and spoken-word artist Tarfia Faizullah; and Seattle Grand Slam champion Matt Gano.

Over the next two days, the festival presents some of the most thoughtful and provocative voices in contemporary poetry, reflecting cultures from around the world. The lineup includes Aimee Nezhukumatathil, a poet born to a Filipina mother and Malayali Indian father; Natalie Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes and a former professional basketball player; Zen Buddhist priest and poet Norman Fischer; poet Lorna Dee Cervantes, a major voice in contemporary Chicana literature; and Koon Woon, born in a small Chinese village near Canton in 1949 and described as a “cross-cultural rebel.”

Top Northwest poets on the bill include Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellow Richard Kenney from Port Townsend; Canadian musician, philosopher, and award-winning poet Jan Zwicky; and Washington State’s new Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, a professor at Gonzaga University who is dedicated to bringing humanities to underserved populations. “Poetry matters — not just to poets, professors, and students — poetry matters to everyone,” he says.

Events include a Thursday night Soiree extravaganza, a mixer with festival artists that includes wine and delicious, locally sourced hors d’oeuvres. On Sunday, the final day of the festival, select poets will offer writing workshops to the public. The workshops will be posted on the Festival Workshops page and at Brown Paper Tickets in April.

Tickets for all other events are on sale now at www.brownpapertickets.com. Be sure to click through the dates and ticket offerings on the menu. Special discounts are available for students with ID and seniors over 65. Unless sold out, tickets will also be available at the door. Get your Early Bird ticket by March 1 and save $25.

The festival takes place in venues throughout La Conner. “The festival turns La Conner into a town filled with poetry, from its churches to its museums, its community center, and its bed and breakfasts,” says poet Susan Rich. “Where else can a person sleep, eat, live, and breathe poetry for a spring weekend?”

The festival, one of the largest celebrations of poetry on the West Coast, is put on by the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings poets into school classrooms year-round to promote literacy, an appreciation of language, and youth participation in culturally diverse communities. All proceeds benefit the foundation’s mission to support lifelong literacy and cultural diversity through the writing, reading, performing, and teaching of poetry in Northwest Washington schools and communities.

For more information, visit the festival website at (www.skagitriverpoetry.org), email skagitpoetry@gmail.com, or call 360-399-1550.

putting the treat in retreat

December 12, 2015

Poets on the Coast

Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich have just announced not one, but two upcoming writing retreats.

The first will be a Seattle Winter Retreat on Saturday, February 6, 2016, from 10am to 4pm. There will be two workshops: Generating New Poems (10am – 1pm) and From The Art of Revision (1:30pm – 4:00pm). Take one or both, or save on registration by bringing a friend.

The second will be Kelli and Susan’s annual writing retreat for women, Poets on the Coast, which will again be in La Conner, September 9-11, 2016.

Enrollment, which is now open, is limited for both retreats, so if you’re intrigued, don’t delay.

reading art

October 15, 2015

MoNAWe’ve mentioned Poets on the Coast: a Writing Retreat for Women before. Participants join Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich for sessions on creativity, generating work, publication, a Master Class workshop, and one-on-one mentoring. This year’s retreat included a visit to the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA), in La Conner, where participants wrote poems inspired by the paintings, photographs, mixed media pieces and installations on exhibit. The resulting poems are now posted on the MoNA site.

Poets on the Coast 2016 has already been scheduled and registration is open! Space is very limited. Sign up now and watch for updates on Facebook.

on poetry

July 9, 2015

Susan Rich“Some poems cost us more than the sum of their parts. We needed to live through the experience in order to make art of it in some future decade.”
Susan Rich
(b. July 9)
. . . . .
quote

poetry getaway

January 12, 2015

Poets on the CoastIt’s January. September seems an impossible leap, a thought that hasn’t even occured to you. But take a moment. Recall the long light of the Northwest summer. Remember how eager you feel at the first scent of autumn. Now imagine how many poems you could write if the season was launched with inspiring art, scenery and words — in particular, the words and wisdom of poets Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich.

For the fifth year — and the first time in La Conner, Washington — Kelli and Susan will offer their Poets on the Coast retreat for women September 11-13, 2015. Enrollment is very limited, plus the rates go up after February 15 (though it may be full by then anyway). If it sounds intriguing, find out more.

Not sure? Susan and Kelli will offer a “mini-retreat” in Seattle on Saturday, January 24, at which they’ll conduct two workshops: Generating New Poems! (10 am – 1 pm) and From Manuscript into Book: The Process Demystified (1:30 pm – 4:30 pm). Take one or both. Your writing will thank you.

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