Readings During National Poetry Month

Hello! I get to join two amazing lineups of poets for April readings in the Seattle area. I plan to read some bird and horse poems, some Amanda Bubble poems, some mythological persona poems, and possibly a new prose poem about a goat named Derrick. Please come if you can!

April 6, I’ll be part of a Floating Bridge Press reading at the Fremont Library featuring Dennis Caswell and Michael Schmeltzer. Their manuscripts were among the finalists for last year’s Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and somehow my manuscript, Amanda Bubble Is Nearly on Fire, was also one of them. Dennis Caswell’s 2012 collection Phlogiston was published by Floating Bridge, and Michael Schmeltzer’s poetry manuscripts have had near brushes with winning a number of highly competitive awards. I’ve had the pleasure of reading with Michael twice this past year, and this month, I’ll get to read twice with Dennis!

…because on April 16, when I read at Edmonds Book Shop, the lineup again includes Dennis, along with Bethany Reid (one of my other favorite poets to read with and author of Sparrow, one of my favorite poetry books of 2012), Erika Michael, and David Horowitz, editor at Rose Alley Press and author of the brand-new collection Cathedral and Highrise. So much poetry to enjoy!

Here are the relevant particulars:

Monday, April 6: Floating Bridge Press reading at the Fremont Library, 731 N. 35th St., Seattle, 6:30 p.m. (here are directions and map)

Thursday, April 16: Poetry in Edmonds at Edmonds Book Shop, 111 5th Avenue South, Edmonds, WA, 6:30 p.m. (here are directions and map link)

Please help me to spread the word, and I hope to see you around during Poetry Month!

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You’re Invited! Poems and Stories about Animals at Good Shepherd Center, Seattle: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 7:00 p.m.

I get to be in a reading with Bethany Reid, Rick Clark, J. Glenn Evans, Douglas Schuder,
and David Horowitz. Please come! Here are the details:

BOW-MOO-MEOW: Poems and Stories about Animals
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Room 202, Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle (Wallingford)

Telephone: David D. Horowitz, 206-633-2725
E-mail: David, rosealleypress@juno.com
URL: www.rosealleypress.com

Paintings by Mary Lingen

Lake Hattie 11 by Mary Lingen

Lake Hattie 11 by Mary Lingen

Sometimes when I’ve been writing and writing until I can’t write another word, I spend some time with visual art, and I can start writing again. Isn’t it interesting how the nonverbal has power to fuel the verbal? Or, maybe it’s simply that beauty strengthens and motivates…

While browsing literary magazines to submit poems to recently, I was reading Shark Reef, a journal based in Washington State’s San Juan Islands, and became captivated by the stunning visual art featured in its issues. When I came across paintings there by Minnesota artist Mary Lingen, I had to see more, and clicked through to her pages at MNArtists.org. I’m excited to show you two of my favorites, from her Lake Hattie series, shared with Mary Lingen’s permission.

Isn’t it surprising, how bare winter branches can carry so much color?

Lake Hattie 10 by Mary Lingen

Lake Hattie 10 by Mary Lingen

To see more of Mary Lingen’s art and learn more about her work, explore her blog at http://marylingen.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/march-1-2014/. For visual and spiritual sustenance, I find myself returning to Mary’s paintings again and again.

Thank you for your marvelous work, Mary, and for permission to share some of it here!

Cheers,
Jennifer

Recap of Reading at SoulFood Poetry Night

Bethany Reid at SoulFood January 16, 2014

Bethany Reid at SoulFood
January 16, 2014

I had a wonderful time co-featuring with Bethany Reid at SoulFood Poetry Night last Thursday. Many thanks to series co-curators Michael Dylan Welch and Tanya McDonald, who created a wonderful atmosphere for sharing poetry. Thanks, too, to SoulFood Coffee House, home of Victoria the Espresso Machine. And much gratitude to Bethany, who provides the play-by-play and many kind words here. Have I told you how much I adore her collection, Sparrow?

Reading with Bethany Reid on Thursday, January 16, in Redmond

Winner of the Gell Poetry Prize 2012

Sparrow: Poems by Bethany Reid

I’m thankful for an abundance of opportunities to share poetry in the New Year. Next week, I get to participate in the SoulFood Poetry Night at Soul Food Coffee House in Redmond, Washington. I’ll be reading with Bethany Reid, whom I also had the privilege of interviewing for the Blog Hop last February. She’s author of the poetry collection  Sparrow, which won the Gell Prize in 2012.

The poems in Sparrow are gorgeous. Bethany writes about growing up on her family’s cattle farm, about her daughters and horses (I especially love her poems about horses)–and in language that’s precise, original, and felt by the body. I got to hear her read some of the poems in Bellingham last October, and her voice lends these poems an even-more pleasurable presence.

SoulFood Coffee House is located at 15748 Redmond Way; click here for map and directions. Our reading will start at 7:00, followed by an open mic at 8:00. Please join us if you can!

Kathryn Hunt and I Read at Village Books Saturday, January 11, 7:00 p.m., and You’re Invited!

Please join Kathryn Hunt and me for a poetry reading. We’ll be presenting our poems together at Village Books in Fairhaven (1200 11th St., Bellingham, WA) at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, January 11.

Our reading will be preceded at 4:00 by by a reading with two amazing Floating Bridge Press poets, Ann Gerike and Hannah Faith Notess. Between their reading and ours, there’ll be an hour and a half for conversation, book browsing, and dinner at one of the adjacent cafes. Come for a double-header of poetry double-headers!

Kathryn’s gorgeous collection, Long Way Through Ruin, has been sustaining me through a hectic holiday season. The lyrical meditations and lucid images in her poems are reviving me with a sense of peace. Each poem is akin to a palette of jewel-toned watercolors, bringing beauty and clarity as I read.

Here’s a video of Kathryn reading her luminous poem “Credo”:

CREDO

By Kathryn Hunt

I believe in the shining coins of rain
falling and falling on the garden, the fierce
good luck of that, the garden with its
sated roots, that scent. I believe in the hives
of rooms beneath the soil, insects toiling
in the dark among bones and the dust
of bones. The silvering clouds with their luster
of honey and despair, the young deer
watchful in tall grasses.

I believe in my mother who kept
two sons from war and the Purple Heart
she left in her drawer with her costume
jewelry. I believe in the hallelujah of time passing,
the strangeness of that. The way you
climb out of a dream and walk slowly
back to yourself, something beautiful there.
It moves among us like the wind moves
but is not the wind. It lives in our blood
like fear or love. I believe in the door
left open as the rain begins to fall,
and in the way, no matter what,
we’ll ever know.

* * *

I hope to see you there!

Cheers and Happy New Year,
Jennifer

Poetry Reading with Kathryn Hunt on January 11, 2014

From Blue Begonia Press

From Blue Begonia Press

Everyone, let me tell you about Kathryn Hunt. She’s a Port Townsend writer and filmmaker whose first collection of poems, Long Way Through Ruin, is out this fall from Blue Begonia Press.

I’m thrilled to get to do a reading with her at Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. If you can get yourself to the upper-left corner of the Lower 48, please come and say hello!

This beautiful video features Kathryn reading her poem “Credo,” as well as a mini-interview with Kathryn about her writing:

Have you ever heard a more gorgeous line than “The silvering clouds with their luster / of honey and despair”?

You can read “Credo,” plus three other of Kathryn’s poems from her collection, here.