July 31, 2014
“This is your genius: your own profound desire to write. Your love of words and language, your attempt to get to what poet Donald Hall called ‘the unsayable said.’”
(b. July 31, 1954)
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photo by Elizabeth Sanderson
July 30, 2014
If you have questions about writing, studying, submitting or publishing poetry or fiction, you can ask them and find answers at Poets & Writers Speakeasy. An active online forum, with archived posts dating to 1999 or earlier, the Speakeasy addresses these and scores of other topics. You must be logged in to participate in the forums and registration is free.
July 29, 2014
Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo has partnered with the City of Tacoma and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation to launch the Laureate Listening Project, an interactive audio anthology website where recorded oral poetry from regional poets will be mapped to provide a permanent record of the lives, ideas, concerns, and celebrations of a diverse community through the vehicle of poetry.
Smiraldo will work with various nonprofit and cultural organizations to encourage people from of all backgrounds to share their poetry about places and spaces in Tacoma and around the world. Audio recordings of these poems, centered on the “spirit of place” theme, will be edited and placed on a Google map website so users can search by a particular poet or location and listen to work inspired by the site. Some recordings will be accompanied by soundscapes and music created by composers and sound artists.
Individuals who are interested in sharing their short spoken works can contact Smiraldo at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and to schedule a recording session.
Smiraldo is also leading a team of poets as an artist in residence for the Race and Pedagogy National Conference at the University of Puget Sound, September 25-27, 2014. Poets and other artists will function as creative journalists to document ideas, challenges and solutions to address the topic of education in a dynamic and changing America. He plans to include audio pieces collected from conference participants in the Laureate Listening Project.
Funding for the Laureate Listening Project is made possible by a Spark Grant from The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Mapping capability is made possible by the City of Tacoma.
If you’re interested in poetry mapping, have a look at The Washington State Geospatial Poetry Anthology.
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photo of Lucas Smiraldo by Jesse Michener
July 28, 2014
July 27, 2014
By Amanda Chandler, 10th grade
2014 Walk Award
Bare feet kiss the luscious green grass.
Toes wiggle into the dark depths of the dirt.
The summer wind breathes
“come,” as it latches onto my soul
carrying me on its adventure.
I am one with the swallowtail butterfly
coated in golden hues.
I am one with the ancient catfish
who bubbles the language of life.
I am the happy outcast disregarding womanly manners.
No petty talk of Sunday school girls,
no Easter hats, no lacy gloves.
No patent leather Mary Janes.
Gone is the entitled façade
gone are the braids wound upon my head like a crown.
Out come freckles splattered on my face
by the master painter with his paint brush.
As I climb the tallest tree
I soar, glide, rise
on the updraft of the gale
July 26, 2014
Leiden is a Dutch university town on the Old Rhine, with a population of about 120,000. Along with windmills and picturesque river scenery, the small city has an impressive display of Wall Poems. Between 1992 and 2005, a private foundation facilitated the installation of 101 poems on the sides of Leiden’s buildings. The poets and poems are eclectic and international; the collection is still on view.
An English-language page on The Wall Poems of Leiden website offers a brief introduction as well as access to a visual inventory of the poems with images, translations, descriptive material (not always in English) and links.
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photo: Chanson d’automne by Paul Verlaine