remembering Ella

February 11, 2018

We’ve written before about Ella Rhoads Higginson, the first Poet Laureate of Washington State. Now, Laura Laffrado, WWU professor and author of Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature, has initiated a campaign to celebrate this important figure in Washington State poetry with the creation of a bronze bust to be placed in the Reading Room in Wilson Library. Robert McDermott, whose sculpture of Dirty Dan Harris on Fairhaven Green will be familiar to many, has been chosen as the artist.

To learn more or to contribute to the campaign, visit the Western Washington University VikingFunder Ella Higginson project page.

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planning ahead

January 20, 2018

We mentioned back in July that Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System had been selected to host the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye. Since National Poetry Month is likely to be busy, we’re giving you advance notice of the confirmed date for this event, which is FREE and open to the public: Saturday, April 28, 2018, 7:00pm, at the Performing Arts Center, Western Washington University, Bellingham. Her lecture is entitled, “Refreshments Will Be Served: Our Lives of Reading & Writing,” and while the event is free, advance registration is required at WCLS. Read more about the poet and the lecture on the PoetryChat website.

Congratulations!

July 22, 2017

Congratulations to Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System, which have been selected to serve as the host site for the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye.

May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master’s degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers for children — better known as the “Dick and Jane” series. The annual lecture series was created in her honor.

The lecture will be held in the spring of 2018 and will be announced here as soon as a date is confirmed.

Read the announcement here.

coming right up!

February 4, 2017

WWU Children's Literature Conference

The 14th Annual Western Washington University (WWU) Children’s Literature Conference will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017, 8:00am to 3:30pm on the WWU campus, Performing Arts Center. Registration is limited, but still open. The conference will feature four award-winning authors and illustrators as speakers: Laurie Halse Anderson, Matt Phelan, Christian Robinson, and Rita Williams-Garcia. For information on the conference, speakers, schedule and registration, visit the WWUCLC website and the event page on Facebook.

Gloria Burgess at WWU

This evening — Tuesday, October 4, 2016 — at Western Washington University in Bellingham, award-winning poet, performer and distinguished scholar Gloria Burgess will explore the “heritage of spirituals and poetry from the African-American tradition in a spirited sojourn through words and music.”

Presented by Humanities Washington and co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Western Washington University Departments of English, Liberal Studies, and Music, the presentation will be held on campus at the WWU Performing Arts Center and is free and open to the public.

Additional details from Humanities Washington.

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Photo: Quinn Dombrowski

on poetry

September 8, 2016

Jack Prelutsky“I’m never bored.”
Jack Prelutsky
(b. September 8, 1940)

Today being the birthday of Jack Prelustsky, this seems an auspicious occasion to invite you to join the poet at a special free talk and musical poetry performance on Saturday, October 1, 2016, 4:30pm, in the Wilson Library Reading Room at Western Washington University, Bellingham.

If you grew up enjoying Prelutsky’s humorous and imaginative verse, this is a great opportunity to enjoy his words anew and discover how deeply music is entwined with his poetry. These days, Jack is more likely to appear on a concert stage than in a library or bookstore.

While Jack has been making words rhyme for over 45 years, he began as a folk singer in coffeehouses with aspirations of becoming an operatic tenor. By chance, he took his first poems, descriptions of fanciful creatures, to Susan Hirschman, editor at Macmillan. She suggested that he write about real animals, and with her encouragement, Jack’s first book, A Gopher in the Garden, was published in 1967. Since then he has published more than 70 books of poetry. In 2006, the Poetry Foundation designated Jack Prelutsky as the nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate.

This special all-ages event is being offered by WWU Western Libraries PoetryCHaT, part of the Children’s Literature Interdisciplinary Collection.
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photo

Poetry Camp!

June 3, 2016

Vardell and Wong

Attention teachers, librarians, writers, parents and poetry lovers! Registration is now open for Poetry Camp (for grown-ups!) — a day about sharing, teaching, and understanding poetry!

On Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 9:30am to 3:30pm at Western Washington University in Bellingham, poetry scholar Sylvia Vardell (above left), poet Janet Wong (above right) and more than thirty poets from The Poetry Friday Anthology series will speak or perform poetry at the conference. Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall will also participate and the day will culminate with a free public performance by guest of honor Jack Prelutsky.

This is an amazing deal. Registration is $60 early bird until June 30, 2016; $75 after July 1, 2016; Students $35. Registration includes a copy of Celebrations Poetry Friday Anthology (Teachers Edition in Spanish and English, a $30 value). Educators can get five clock hours for participation.

For complete details on schedule, workshops, presenters and registration, see the Poetry Camp page at PoetryCHaT.

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