Window on Rena Priest

August 2, 2021

There’s a nice article by Frances Badgett on Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest in the new issue of Window, the magazine of Western Washington University. Have a look at “Ending the Plague with Poetry.”

. . . . .
thanks to Nancy Pagh for the lead

Celebrate the Salish Sea next Thursday, June 10, 2021, with Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest, scholar and author Elin Kelsey, and author, naturalist, and tour guide David B. Williams, in an online program presented by the Salish Sea Institute in partnership with the WWU Alumni Association. It’s free with registration and begins at 4:00pm Pacific.

library news

April 6, 2021

In addition to National Poetry Month, this is National Library Week, we thought we’d highlight some library-linked poetry news, and, in particular, poetry for young people.

To begin, check out the Seattle Public Library list of recent books of poetry for kids.

From Western Washington University, the Children & Teen Poetry Collection (Poetry CHaT) has a busy lineup of good news. They will be highlighting the Oral History Collection throughout the month, beginning on April 4, 2021, with Naomi Shihab Nye. Other featured poets are Nikki Grimes (April 7), Sara Holbrook/Michael Salinger (April 10), Kwame Alexander (April 13), Marilyn Singer (April 16), Joyce Sidman (April 20), Rebecca Kai Dotlich (April 23), Janet Wong (April 26), and Melissa Sweet (April 29). Look for details on Facebook throughout the month.

In more PoetryCHaT news, the much-celebrated poet and author of children’s poetry books, Jack Prelutsky, has donated his Children’s Antiquarian Poetry Collection worth over $30,000 to PoetryCHaT, with an additional $8,000 for cataloging expenses. This is a treasure trove of children’s poetry, with items that date back to the 1700s, and an enormous resource for scholars. Cataloging of the Jack and Carolynn Prelutksy Manuscript and Rare Book Collection is underway, with a gala to follow as conditions allow.

literary journal webinar

March 4, 2021

If you’ve ever been curious about the daily functions of a literary journal and how the staff creates relationships with writers, tune in to the free webinar, Curating and Presenting Lasting Literature: WWU’s Bellingham Review.

Offered through a partnership with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Lecture Series and the WWU Alumni, the webinar begins at Noon on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Moderated by Marc Geisler, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, featured speakers are Susanne Paola Antonetta, faculty editor-in chief, Jai Dulani, previous assistant managing editor and MFA graduate, and Stephen Haines, managing editor and MFA candidate.

Registration is required.

More about the Bellingham Review here.

. . . . .
Thanks to Sheila Sondik for the heads up

We’ve mentioned the Western Washington University Children’s Literature Conference before. Now in its 18th year and typically attracting more than 600 participants, the Conference has assumed a new shape for 2021 to contend with travel and gathering restrictions.

It begins with a free, month-long virtual exhibit of work by the writers and illustrators of children’s literature. With a theme of Art as Protest / Art in the Time of COVID, the collection is varied and rich, offering a look into the creative range of the 20-plus exhibitors. It will remain on view through Sunday, February 28, 2021.

The exhibit also invites written and visual responses from the community. These will be displayed online. To submit work (or a link to existing work), complete the Community Exhibit Submission form.

On Saturday, February 27, the CLC will offer morning and afternoon conversations around themes and ideas that emerge from the Virtual Exhibit. There will be no formal presentations. Everyone is welcome; registration is free but required.

The Millions shows up pretty regularly on our What to Read Now postings. But in addition to reviewing books, art, and culture, they also keep track of trends. Each month, The Millions compiles a list of the top-ten sellers on Amazon. As you might expect, the list is pretty heavily loaded with fiction, so we were delighted to find Tell It Slant on the June 2020 list.

Written by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola, both prolific writers and professors of English at Western Washington University (Bellingham, Washington), Tell It Slant is a bookshelf essential for writers of every stripe. While the focus of the book is creative nonfiction, the resources it offers are easily applied to poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and other literary forms. Originally published as a textbook in 2003, Tell It Slant is now in its third edition and available from McGraw-Hill or an independent bookstore (with curbside pickup) near you.

Congratulations to Brenda and Suzanne!

Western C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Activities, Resources, Education, Support) is a resource for community connection to maintain a sense of belonging and bring people together. A variety of interactive online programs are available.

Today, Tuesday, June 9, 2020, at 4:00pm Pacific, Dayna Patterson will interview Jami Macarty, author of The Minuses (Colorado State University) and three chapbooks of poetry, former Executive Director of Tucson Poetry Festival, instructor of poetry and poetics at Simon Fraser University, and co-founder and editor of the online poetry journal The Maynard.

The program is free on Zoom, but advance registration is required. Just follow this link to register.

poets, historically

December 16, 2019

Four of the 11 articles in the 2019 Journal of the Whatcom County Historical Society discuss poets with local ties.

Marielle Stockton, an English literature student at Western Washington University, wrote “To Lie There Forever, on the Silver Crest of the World.” The article details Washington Poet Laureate Ella Higginson’s memorial poems written in response to three deadly local tragedies — a shipwreck, a mining accident, and an avalanche.

Dean Kahn, a retired Bellingham Herald staff member, contributed profiles on the following three poets:

  • Charles Edward Butler, a librarian at Western who wrote a memorial poem about the same 1939 avalanche, which killed six people associated with the college.
  • Naomi Reimer, who published a collection of poems about her extended family’s Mennonite odyssey.
  • Elizabeth Watts Henley, the daughter of a prominent Bellingham family who became well known in Oregon poetry circles despite a lifetime of personal challenges.

Copies of the annual publication are available for $10 at Village Books and online at WCHS.

. . . . .
Thanks to Dean Kahn for the update!

Day of Remembrance

February 15, 2019

Award winning poet Mia Ayumi Malhotra will be a special guest at Western Washington University in Bellingham on the Day of Remembrance. She will read from her new book, Isako Isako (Alice James, 2018), which speaks to the generational impact of the Japanese American internment.

Isako Isako is a powerful testament to poetry’s capacity for alchemizing history, memoir, and the lyric: the poems here intimately address the landscapes of war and the reverberations of violence through bodies and bloodlines. Malhotra’s visionary debut collection spans generations, countries, and loves, weaving the story of a mother survivor with reflections on the limits and reaches of memory. Sandalwood cities, desert gardens, dragon skin, and peach pits emerge from a shadowed past, details that ‘elude / even as they’re remembered.’” Brynn Saito, author of Power Made Us Swoon

This special event is free and will be held at 4:30pm on campus in Old Main 483.

Joshua Beckman at WWU

February 9, 2019


Poet Joshua Beckman will discuss two of his two recent books, Three Talks and The Lives of the Poems (Wave Books, 2018), on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at 6:00pm, at Western Washington University (Bond Hall, room 105), as part of the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry. The event is free.

Joshua Beckman is the author of many other books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is editor-in-chief at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry
in Translation Award. He also co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015). He lives in Seattle and New York.

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