a week of readings

July 18, 2022

Thanks to Rick Barot, who just posted this lineup of terrific readings presented by the Rainier Writing Workshop residency. The events are free, and they take place in the Scan Center of the Anderson University Center, on the PLU campus in Tacoma. If you’re near Tacoma, go!

Poetry Picnic

May 25, 2022

The Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma Creates, Write253, and The Asian Pacific Cultural Center invite you to celebrate poetry and community at a Poetry Picnic on Saturday, June 11, 2022, 11:00am to 3:00pm in South Park, Tacoma, on the grounds of The Asian Pacific Cultural Center.

The free, all-ages event will feature drop-in activities, an open mic, live readings, book sales, book giveaways, letterpress printing, oral history recording booth, the Creative Colloquy book bike, a vegetarian food truck, and more.

stroll-by letterpress

October 9, 2020

Wayzgoose, Tacoma’s annual letterpress and book arts festival, is a community extravaganza probably best known for the huge steamroller prints that are produced each year. Like other literary events and sites, Wayzgoose is figuring out new ways to carry on in the midst of a pandemic.

The solution is Tacoma Wayzfaring Press, which invites you to view daily demos of letterpress printing in the front window of King’s Books. For five days, beginning Tuesday, October 13, 2020, letterpress artists will display their skills and offer their wares to the masked and distanced sidewalk audience from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The artists are:

Tuesday, October 13: Taylor Cox of Coxswain Press
Wednesday, October 14: Katie Dean
Thursday, October 15: Write 253
Friday, October 16: Jessica Spring of Springtide Press
Saturday, October 17: Gloria Joy Muhammad and Saiyare Refaei

The events are free. Learn more at King’s Books.

workshop your summer

June 11, 2019

Should you decide to get out of your hammock this summer, you might consider taking a poetry workshop or two. Registration for Hugo House summer classes and workshops is now open and early-bird pricing will be in effect through June 17, 2019.

And if you happen to be in or near Tacoma, have a look at the free workshops being offered by Tacoma’s new poet laureate, Abby Murray. One series will be held Wednesday evenings at the Eastside Community Center, and another series on Thursday evenings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced the selection of Abby E. Murray as Tacoma’s 2019-2021 Poet Laureate. Taking over from Kellie Richardson, Murray will “participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events to advance the literary arts in Tacoma.”

You can hear and meet Abby Murray when the Puget Sound Poetry Connection Distinguished Writer Series features her reading from her forthcoming book, Hail & Farewell (winner of the 2019 Perugia Press Prize), on Friday, June 14, 2019, at 7:00pm, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Tacoma. An open mic will follow her reading.

Postscript: this article on Abby Murray appeared in South Sound Magazine in January 2020.

letterpress

April 21, 2019

Wayzgoose is an annual community letterpress and book arts extravaganza. Meet local printers and view their wares, print your own keepsakes, make paper and bind books. A highlight of the weekend is steamroller printing, where local artists carve 3 x 3 foot sheets of linoleum and print on giant paper. It’s all happening at King’s Books in Tacoma next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, 2019, 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Attention Tacoma poets!

January 10, 2019

Do you have creative ideas, great people skills, plenty of energy, and a commitment to enlivening the poetry community? The City of Tacoma, Washington, is looking for a Poet Laureate for 2019-2021. Learn something about outgoing PL Kellie Richardson and see the guidelines and application online.

Paul Hunter in Tacoma

February 5, 2018

On Friday, February 9, 2018, the King’s Books Distinguished Writer Series presents a reading by Paul Hunter.

In addition to being an engaging reader and raconteur, Hunter is the author of seven full-length collections of poetry and three chapbooks. His first volume of farming poems, Breaking Ground (2004) was reviewed in the New York Times and received the 2004 Washington State Book Award. Subsequent volumes include Ripening (2007), Come the Harvest (2008), Stubble Field (2012), and, most recently Clownery: In lieu of a life spent in harness (2017), the autobiography of an artist and teacher resembling the author. (Read more about Hunter and Clownery in The New Yorker article by Stephanie Burt.)

Paul Hunter has published fine letterpress poetry under the imprint of Wood Works since 1994, including scores of books, broadsides, and pamphlets.

The King’s Books reading is free and will begin with an open mic.

Here comes the Cascadia Poetry Festival! Get thee to Tacoma! Events begin on Thursday evening, October 12, 2017, 7:00pm, at King’s Books and continue all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Washington State History Museum.

There will be a tribute to Tacoma native Richard Brautigan with his daughter, Ianthe Brautigan, as well as readings and/or workshops featuring Michael McClure, CAConrad, Patricia Smith, Bruce Weigl, Washington Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, Sharon Thesen, Lucia Misch, and Lorna Dee Cervantes, among others. A $25 Gold Pass gives you access to everything except workshops. See the complete schedule and performer bios as well as links to workshop descriptions and event registration.

books!

September 26, 2017

Very excited to finally have in hand the August Poetry Postcard Fest (APPF) anthology, 56 Days of August (Five Oaks Press).

Each August, hundreds of people from around the world write and mail a daily poem on a postcard — spontaneous, un-edited, and, more often than not, going to a complete stranger. 2016 was the tenth anniversary of APPF, and the anthology was assembled to honor the occasion. It includes poems and full-color images selected from the participants’ submissions. Your faithful blogger was honored to be invited to co-edit the collection with Paul Nelson and Ina Roy-Faderman.

A number of free book-launch-poetry-postcard events are scheduled and more are in the works:

Monday, October 9, 2017, 7:00pm
Bellingham, Washington
Poetry Postcards: a panel and conversation
at the Mount Baker Theatre, Encore Room
A conversation about the possibilities of postcard poetics with panelists Tallie Jones, Nancy Pagh, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, Ina Roy-Faderman, and Joanna Thomas, plus moderator Paul Nelson. They will show images, offer resources, read postcard poems, and may even lead exercises or offer prompts. As a bonus, there will be a postcard exchange: bring unused postcards (commercial or handmade) and take home an equal number contributed by others. (J.I. Kleinberg, coordinator) Click for PDF event flyer with panelist bios.

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 7:00pm
Tacoma, Washington
56 Days of August Book Launch
at King’s Books
Readings by contributing poets — just one of many events scheduled for the Cascadia Poetry Festival

Friday, October 27, 2017, 7:00pm
Portland, Oregon
56 Days of August Anthology: PDX Launch Event & Poetry Reading
at Mother Foucault’s Bookshop
Readings by contributing poets

56 Days of August will be for sale at each event and online. In addition, there’s a 56 Days of August Indiegogo campaign to cover a variety of costs. There are some swell perks — primarily signed copies of poetry books due out this winter. Have a look, buy a book, and please join us at one of these events.

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