March 10, 2014
The Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library has just announced the 2014 featured work: For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey by Richard Blanco (Beacon Press, 2013).
In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, presenting “One Today,” an original poem he wrote for the inauguration of Barack Obama, becoming the youngest, first Latino, first immigrant and first openly gay writer to hold the honor.
March 9, 2014
The handsome literary journal Rattle features poems on love in its latest issue, number 43. Congratulations to Richard Widerkehr, whose fine poem In the Presence of Absence is included in the collection. Richard Widerkehr was one of the poets who generously donated time to teach a workshop to benefit the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. More on the poet here.
March 8, 2014
Western Washington University Department of English and Canadian-American Studies Program are very pleased to present a reading by poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar.
On June 23, 1985, an airplane exploded off the Irish coast, killing everyone on board: 329 passengers and crew, including 82 children under the age of 13 as well as Renée Sarojini Saklikar’s aunt and uncle.
Renée’s poems explore the nature of personal loss situated in the midst of public trauma. What does it mean to lose loved ones in an act of murder? How does “terror” intersect with the terroir of a culture, appropriated, represented, claimed, disowned? What are the relationships between art, history and self? Her book of poems, children of air india (Harbour Publishing, 2013), is an exploration these questions.
Trained as a lawyer and called to the British Columbia Bar in 1991, Renée Sarojini Saklikar writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle about place, identity, language. In it are many things, including published material and works in progress about the places she has lived: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Northern Ontario, Northern Quebec, Montreal, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. It is a series of fragments always asking, when does the poem begin?
This free reading will be held Monday, March 10, 2014, at 4:00pm at WWU’s Wilson Library in the Library Presentation Room.
March 7, 2014
The nonprofit literary-arts organization Conversations Across Borders (CAB) has posted an impressive slate of workshops for 2014. Most are free, offered in a series of weekly sessions, but some are shorter intensives. Most are in Washington state, but one is in Kampala, Uganda, and another in Las Vegas, Nevada.
These 15-hour creative-writing workshops “are designed for beginning, emerging, and established writers, using our lives and our stories as fuel to create new work.”
To learn more, read the workshop descriptions and process, see the schedule of upcoming workshops, view comments from past participants and read stories and poetry from pairs of participants in CAB Projects.
March 6, 2014
We’ve written before about Poetry Out Loud, the national poetry recitation contest for high school students. Participants memorize poems, reciting and competing locally, with winners moving ahead to show their skills among ever-more-challenging competitors. The national champion in 2013 was Washington state resident Langston Ward.
On Saturday, March 8, 2014, 1:00-5:00pm, this year’s 13 Washington state finalists will will recite poetry in competition for the state title and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Poetry Out Loud national finals, April 30 (semifinals will take place on April 29).
The FREE event, open to the public, will be held at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts Theatre on the Square in Tacoma.
March 5, 2014
Here’s an opportunity for kids ages 5 to 14 with no geographical restrictions: The Washington Post (that’s the other Washington) KidsPost 2014 Poetry Contest. The deadline for entries is 5:00pm on Monday, March 24, 2014, and winning poems will be published in the April 27 edition of KidsPost and on kidspost.com.
Read the guidelines on The Washington Post KidsPost.
And don’t forget: The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is currently open for submissions from Whatcom County, Washington, residents of all ages. (See the 2014 Contest page for rules.)
March 4, 2014
Village Books has just added a tempting workshop to its schedule of March events: Worldbuilding 101 with Alma Alexander. Much-published novelist, anthologist, short story and non-fiction writer, Alma Alexander is well-prepared for her chosen career. She was born in a country that no longer exists on maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins and touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon.
Of her Thursday, March 20, 2014, workshop, the author says, “Just like a piece of jewelry has a shiny stone that is the focus of attention and a setting which keeps it safe and shows it off, so a story (a plot) is your jewel which requires a solid support in order to show its full potential. We’ll talk about building up a credible world, both in contemporary realistic and more fantastical settings in this workshop.”
The workshop will be held from 7:00 to 8:30pm in the Conference Room of the Village Inn, across from Village Books in Fairhaven. Enrollment is limited and advance registration is required. Registration is $15 per person. Register at the main counter of Village Books or by calling 360-671-2626.