Poet Spencer Reece will be reading from his forthcoming collection of poems,  The Road to Emmaus, at Richard Hugo House on Monday, March 25.  The title poem recently appeared in Best American Poetry 2012, edited by Mark Doty.

The evening  will include a screening of James Franco’s short film based on Reece’s poem, “The Clerk’s Tale.”  Spencer Reece will also discuss his work at Our Little Roses orphanage for girls in Honduras, where he is currently spending a Fulbright Year. James Franco is producing a documentary about Reece’s work with the girls writing and illustrating poetry.

This event is free and is supported by Poets & Writers, Humanities WA, and ArtsWA.






Seattle Public Library Haiku Contest

Children, teens and adults are invited to celebrate National Poetry Month and enter The Seattle Public Library’s first haiku contest. Write a haiku that celebrates the library in your life and submit it beginning Monday, March 4. Your haiku is due online before 5 p.m. Friday, March 15. Winning entries will appear on the Library website beginning April 1.

For more information, go to

Raymond Carver’s 75th Birthday Event


A downloadable poster for you to help publicize your Roethke/Carver event



The Raymond Carver Festival will be celebrating the legendary author and poet’s 75th birthday in a series of events this spring in Port Angeles.  You are invited to take part in your own community with programs for adults and children, schools, civic organizations, and libraries.

Please note the “Carver/Roethke” button that has been added to The Far Field banner, above.  There you will find resources to help you create a program around the poems of Washington’s own Raymond Carver, along with Theodore Roethke.  Poet Tess Gallagher (Carver’s widow and a student of Roethke) and poet Alice Derry have secured permissions for poems  by Carver and Roethke that you may download for reading, recitation, and discussion, and have designed lesson plans for high school students and elementary students.  There is even a beautiful poster that you can download to help you publicize your event.

Please help us spread the word about this marvelous opportunity!

Whidbey Island Poetry Slams

Submitted by Jim Freeman

We call them
Although they’re
For twenty years
Weaving poetry rugs

Held once monthly
In area pubs
And coffee shops
And classroom rubs

We pick words
At least three
To write in 20 minutes
One’s poetry

Read your poem
Feel the love
Know the comfort
No push or shove

Overcome fear
Overwhelm joy
Poetry slams
Your poetry toy

Mission: To provide a comfortable and welcome setting in which to write poetry.

Where: Pubs, coffeehouses, schools, local fun-raisers, any place where pencil, pen,and paper can gather.

When: As needed, but monthly, on any day, at any time. For twenty years, we have held slams in a two hour time frame, on Wednesday’s, between 6pm-9pm.

Who: Sponsors, if needed, can be as varied as the participants who support the fun; Anyone can have a poetry slam. At the dinner table, around the picnic table, anywhere where words can flow. Our sponsor for twenty years has been the Whidbey Island Arts Council. The WIAC support enables us to compensate the hosts, provide sound, and offer fun prizes and/or prize money to participants.

What & How:
A Poetry Slam, Whidbey Island style, involves the host inviting suggestions of three or more words from the audience, or judges. The suggested words are to be used as a common thread for a spontaneous, free-form creation by those in attendance. Within 20-25 minutes, the poems are written. Then the poems are shared aloud with one another. Competitions can be created, prizes given, or merely classroom instruction for all involved.

So, What’s the Point of a Poetry Slam? : Having had the pleasure of hosting the monthly Whidbey Island Arts Council sponsored poetry slams since 1993, I can share unequivocally that all attending, whether they participate in writing a poem on the spot or not, will have a fun time, will feel comfortable sharing their improvisational creation, and will leave with a positive reminder of the multitudinous joys of poetry.

For more specific information, please contact Jim Freeman by e-mail at or by calling 360-331-2617.


An Example Poem by Drew Kampion, 11/14/12

Poem Awe Dew

The immortals set sail,
a sundowner drifting out in scant wind
towards a gilded horizon.
Their aim – their wish, really –
to bring blessings to the edge of the world.

These immortals – this gathering –
replete with delectable opportunity:
Ulysses taking up a paddle
to do battle with Thor –
ping-pong on the aft deck.
Cyrus and Leandra in a casual game of chess
that quick became a thriller
when Hermes snatched the queen’s rook,
which brought Pele to her feet
to call the flagrant foul.

And so on, they drifted, as the sun
settled towards that crisp edge of horizon
and Hercules did pushups at the bar.

It was Jesus, finally, who prepared the celebratory nectar,
passed it to Gautama to sample,
and when he pronounced it a bit musty but drinkable,
shushed him with a “Ya-sure!”

“Mum’s the Word,” he spaketh
through chaste lips
just as Muhammed’s aardvark let out a squeal
to see the golden orb plunge suddenly
into the darkness of eclipse,
leaving the immortals helpless.


words: eclipse, thriller, awe, musty, sundowner, flagrant, delectable,
ping-pong, gilded, dew, poem, blessings, mum, aardvark, chaste, yasure




Jack Straw is accepting applications for the 2013 Jack Straw Writers Program until November 1.  This year’s literary curator is Stephanie Kallos, who will select twelve writers to create new work during the residency.  Selected participants will share their work through live readings, recorded interviews, a published anthology, and as podcasts on the Jack Straw website. Participants also receive professional training in voice and microphone technique, performance and delivery, and studio interviews. This program is open to writers of all genres willing to travel to the Seattle area for occasional performances and workshops.

Jack Straw Alums include Cheryl Strayed, Matt Briggs, Doug Nufer, Kelli Russell Agodon, Cody Walker, John Olson, Frances McCue, Molly Tenenbaum, Kevin Craft, Wendy Call, Priscilla Long, Bill Carty, Nassim Assefi, and many more.


The Floating Bridge Chapbook Competition opens for submissions on November 1 until February 15, 2013.  Poets may submit manuscripts of up to 24 pages electronically.  Only Washington State poets are eligible.  The winner’s book is published in an edition of 400 books.  The winner receives a reading in the Seattle area, $500 and fifteen copies of the book.  The 2012 winner is Jodie Marion for Another Exile on the 45th Parallel.  For submission guidelines, please visit the Floating Bridge Press website.


READING:  Jodie Marion will read from her award-winning chapbook, Another Exile on the 45th Parallel, and Dennis Caswell will read from his full-length collection, Phlogiston, at 7:00 at the U.W. branch of the University Bookstore on Tuesday, October 30.  Both books are new from Floating Bridge Press.


READING:  Tess Gallagher, Richard Kenney, Jim Bertolino, Laurie Lamon, and Brian Culhane will read at Elliott Bay Books on Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 pm to mark the publication of the first paper edition of the Plume Anthology.




Invitation to contribute to ListenHereNow – a listening map project

The City Meditation Crew is curating and creating a series of audio works, and images, to compose a listening map for digital and print distribution. The first map entries are focused upon water: its myriad forms, metaphoric possibilities, and imaginative associations. Audio works may be in any recorded audio form: essays, poetry, music, experimental audio, documentary sound…We are interested in audio works inspired by listening to urban and landscapes.

Check out the founding contributors’ work here:

City Meditation Crew will reside in Seattle in July to meet with anyone interested in contributing to the map. Anne Beffel, Associate Professor of Art at Syracuse University is serving as contact person for the City Meditation Crew workers, who prefer to remain highly visible but primarily nameless. Please contact Anne at City Meditation Crew previous projects may be viewed at:


 Poets, PowerPoint & a Delightful Misuse of Company Time 

What happens when a poetic imagination is given access to PowerPoint and far too much free time?

West of Lenin and Ripple Productions are excited to present an evening of poetic explorations in slideshow form with Poets, PowerPoint & a Delightful Misuse of Company Time on July 19, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at West of Lenin in Fremont. Tickets to this one-night-only event are $30 and proceeds benefit Humanities Washington.

The evening was conceived by West of Lenin proprietor and Humanities Washington trustee A.J. Epstein and Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken. Featured presenters include Flenniken, Keri Healey (local playwright recently shortlisted for The Stranger’s Genius Awards) Peter Pereira (family physician and Copper Canyon Press poet), Martha Silano (most recent collection is The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception), Molly Tenenbaum (author of The Cupboard Artist), Barbara Earl Thomas (writer and painter whose work has appeared at Seattle Art Museum),and Nico Vassilakis (of staring poetics). Each writer will present original work accompanied by a digital slideshow, melding visuals and words into PowerPoint poetics.


What: Poets, PowerPoint & a Delightful Misuse of Company Time [Details]
Where: West of Lenin, 203 N. 36th St., Seattle [Directions]
When: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 19
Cost: $30, tickets available from
Brown Paper Tickets





Rebecca Frevert’s Poetry Kiosk

Rebecca Frevert's poetry kiosk in Everett

Rebecca Frevert wrote to me recently about the poems she posts in her front parking strip. I asked her to write a brief story about how that started and what has developed since in her Everett, Washington neighborhood.  Here is her response.  –KF

Parking Strip Poets – Rebecca Frevert

Blame this crazy idea of poetry in a parking strip on Wordsworth’s I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud daffodils.  Spring 2008: my north Everett garden blowsy, snails and slugs on the move, layered gray clouds.  Then March finally arrives and those butter-cupped suns rise in their beds all over the neighborhood.  Pulling up shotweed and spreading compost, I imagined Wordsworth lounging on his couch, dreaming of his dancing daffodils.  And started dreaming my own vision, of somehow wedding my two passions, gardening and poetry, sharing both with neighbors.

North Everett is a walker’s paradise with wide sidewalks, century old beeches, plums, cherries, and its bookend destinations, Legion Park’s arboretum to the north and Grand Park overlooking Port Gardener Bay to the south.  Years ago, after a load of compost dumped on the parking strip burnt the grass to death, my seventy-year-old neighbor Emory and I dug up the sod and planted a flower bed.  He’s left earth now, but I’ve always called this little garden Emory’s Bed.  A perfect spot to catch the eye of the walkers who might stop a few minutes to read a poem.  The poetry stand is a simple design painted blue with a Plexiglas lid that keeps out the rain (but not the spiders who love to leave cocoons in its corners).

I agonized over the first poem.  I realized that what I chose to share with strangers and neighbors would be at times self-revelatory.  Would I focus on seasons, holidays, world events, politics, or simply share my favorite poems?  Should I censor or worry about offending sensibilities and gear my choices toward the pleasant and crowd-pleasing?  The primal, erotic Last Gods by Galway Kinnell didn’t make the cut.  Call me a coward, but do public decency laws prevail in a poetry stand?

The first poem I chose was I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, and later, with a warm June day, Dickinson’s Debauchee of Dew; when the first snow fell, Frost’s Stopping by Woods.  I’ve chosen famous classics by Keats and Blake.  Leonard Cohen, e.e.cummings, Gary Snyder, Rumi, Louise Gluck, Marge Piercy all take their turn.  After a neighbor mentioned they would like to take home a copy, I started including several copies under the original, which I slide into a plastic sheath for protection from rain and dew. Which copies get snatched up quickest is fascinating, with Mary Oliver’s The Journey the winner so far.  When the last copy is taken, someone inevitably takes the original and the kiosk may remain empty for a while when I’m too busy to search out another.  Neighbors inform me that they schedule their evening walks to pass by the poetry stand and are a tad disappointed if the poem is old stuff, or the stand is empty.

My offerings often are kid -oriented in April and May. I love seeing the kids from Whittier elementary school stopping to read as they walk home from school.  As I write this today, families are stopping by read about the Owl and the Pussycat as they walk home after the annual Easter egg hunt at our local park. Last Halloween, I taped green lit LED sticks to the lid and watched as the costumed princesses, Darth Vaders, hoboes and bumblebees left my front porch after collecting a treat and headed to the kiosk, huddled over, reading The Adventures of Isabel by Ogden Nash .

A sign on the stand encourages folks to contribute their own selections or compositions.  Last year, to my surprise and delight, a young poetess named Devany left three hand written poems she wrote herself:

               My aunt
She has lots of
She really likes blue
She has a baby
It drives me crazy
But she says love makes a true lady.

When our much loved family dog, Sunny, died suddenly in 2009, my son placed a poem about death and loss in the kiosk. A few days later we found bouquets of flowers placed on the ground around the stand with sympathy cards and notes from strangers who loved seeing Sunny strut his neighborhood over the years.  When a friend’s father died, she asked me to place Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas in the stand in his honor.

Bringing “poetry to the people” and people to poetic expression is such a gratifying experience.  I believe that poetry is our first language; we hear it from birth in the rhythms of ditties and lullabies as our parents soothed us to sleep.  I’ve wondered why we lose this love of language as we grow up, becoming intimidated and put off whenever the word “poetry” is attached to a reading.

In the past year, I’ve learned of other poetry lovers building kiosks, poetry poles or stands, mailboxes full of poems, even a “poem bench” in Seattle.  A neighbor in Everett built his own and then built one for a friend.  He also mentioned a sacred sanctuary he visited with poetry in stands along a labyrinth path.  Someday I hope to gather my choices together in a booklet with some of the stories of why a poem was chosen.

I imagine I’m becoming the neighborhood eccentric since I started this project.  This summer I’m going to start a poetry corner for kids on the bulletin board at our neighborhood park playground.  Who knows?  Perhaps a poem planted today will sprout our poets of tomorrow?


Rebecca Frevert has been a nurse midwife for over 30 years, working at Providence Midwifery Service in Everett.  “I fell in love with poetry when I heard Poe’s The Bells performed in middle school.   In 1966, when I saw the movie Dr. Zhivago, I wanted to be the poet Zhivago, not Laura or Tonya, a disturbing urge for a teenaged girl.  My husband and I have two sons, 20 and 23 yrs old, who both write amazing poetry and put mine to shame!  As Neruda wrote:  Poetry arrived in search of me.  I don’t know where it came from…..”


Everett Public Library hosts “Rhymes with Everett” tonight, a Favorite Poem Project event.  I hope to see you there.  –KF



Haiku in the Woods–FREE  WORKSHOP! 
Saturday, April 14, 2012, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (free)
Beaver Lake Lodge, 25201 SE 24th St, Sammamish, WA 98075

Celebrate National Poetry Month by learning to write & appreciate
haiku poetry with Michael Dylan Welch, vice president of the
Haiku Society of America. Please join us on April 14, 2012,
for this free presentation and guided nature walk to learn haiku
poetry. PowerPoint presentation, handouts, writing exercises,
and more — learn about kigo (season words), kireji (dividing the
poem into two juxtaposed parts), and shasei (images from the
five senses). Adults and families welcome, including teachers
interested in teaching haiku in their classrooms. Event
sponsored by the Sammamish Arts Commission and
Sammamish Walks. Please bring a sack lunch, notebook,
pen/pencil, and clothing for any weather (rain or shine). Free,
but reservations requested


Thursday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Edmonds Bookshop, 111 Fifth Avenue South, Edmonds, Five poets read:
Victoria Ford,  Holly Hughes, Jack McCarthy,  Joannie Stangeland, and Joan Swift.

Wednesday, May 30 at 7 p.m.
Room 202, Good Shepherd Center, 4649, Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle,
Five poets read: Sharon Hashimoto, Donald Kentop, Belle Randall, Michael Spence, and Richard Wakefield.
Contact David D. Horowitz,


Seattle Poetry Slam Presents:The 2012 GRAND SLAM
The Seattle Poetry Slam will hold its annual Grand Slam competition (an all ages event) at Town Hall on Friday, April 27that 7:30 pm.The Grand Slam will feature Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist Airea “Dee” Matthews.

The Seattle Poetry Slam’s 2012 Grand Slam is the culmination of a year of weekly  competitions at Re-bar in Downtown Seattle. The night’s winners will be awarded
spots on the 2012 Seattle National Poetry Slam Team: the four poets that will represent Seattle at the National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, NC against over 80 other teams from
across the nation and Canada. Seattle has a history of being one of the most well-respected teams having regularly ranked in the top sixteen in previous years taking the 2nd
place trophy in 2009 in the Group Perfomance competition .Featured Poet We are THRILLED to present our feature this year – Airea “Dee” Matthews. Dee is a two-time
Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist, a former Detroit Grand Slam Champion and a popular performance poet on the national touring scene. Named one of Detroit’s Best
Poets by CBS, she is pursuing her MFA in Poetry at the University of Michigan where she was recently awarded a Helen Zell Fellowship and the Michael R. Gutterman Prize
in Poetry.
WHERE:Town Hall 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 206-324-8000
COST:$10-$15 Tix available at
Note: This is an all ages event.
(360) 818-4000


Seattle Rock Orchestra: Poetry Apocalypse 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012, 8:00 – 10:00pm
Town Hall Great Hall; enter on 8th Avenue.

Seattle’s coolest orchestra and the city’s most beloved poets join forces for an epic evening of collaborative mayhem: First, poets Roberto Ascalon, Derrick Brown, Elaina M. Ellis, Karen Finneyfrock, Tara Hardy, Soulchilde/Okanomode, and Buddy Wakefield explore the heartaches and hopes of an uncertain world with an uncertain future, backed by an original orchestral score. Then, the Seattle Rock Orchestra performs an apocalypse-themed song-cycle based on the poets’ collective libretto, featuring soprano Annie Jantzer and tenor Soulchilde/Okanomode. Presented Seattle Rock Orchestra and TumbleMe Productions.
Advance tickets are $10-$18 at Brown Paper Tickets/$12-$18 at the door beginning at 7:30 pm. Call             206/427-3237       for more information.


Carolyne Wright announces Miracles for Breakfast: Writing like Elizabeth Bishop

A six-session course in which we read and discuss examples of one form per meeting, generate new work in that form and share initial drafts in class; then rework these at home and bring revisions for discussion to the next session.  Class starts on Sunday, 04/01/2012, meets 10:00am – 12:00pm.   For full information and/or to register online, please see:


A Face to Meet the Faces book launch,
Richard Hugo House, April 4th, at 7PM
Bellingham’s Village Books on April 5th, at 7PM
Readers include: Carol Guess; Elizabeth Austen; Elizabeth J. Colen; Jeremy Halinen; Kathleen Flenniken; Peter Ludwin; Matthew Nienow; Luke Johnson; Jeannine Gailey; Martha Silano; Susan Rich; Peter Pereira 


Washington State History Museum Talk, Exhibit Walk & Poetry Reading April 29

TACOMA—In honor of National Poetry Month, join 2010-11 Tacoma Poet Laureate Tammy Robacker and writer Maria Gudaitis with special guest poets, Tacoma Poet Laureate Josie Emmons Turner, Allen Braden, Elijah Muied and Hans Ostrom, as they read poems in response to “Hope in Hard Times: Washington During the Great Depression”—an exhibit at the Washington State History Museum. The event takes place Sunday, April 29, from 2 – 4 p.m.
Admission to the event is $6 per person. At 2 p.m., the public will be invited to enjoy an exhibition briefing, a gallery walk through of the show, a break with refreshments provided by Anthem Coffee and Tea, and admission to the special poetry reading at 3 p.m. in the Auditorium. All proceeds go to the Washington State History Museum, a non-profit organization located at 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 98402; 253.272.3500. Guests are also invited to join the poets at a post-event poetry party from 4 – 6 p.m. at Anthem Coffee and Tea (right next door to the Museum).


“Matters of the Spirit” A LIVING MAGAZINE FORMAT
Reading & CD release party: APRIL 20TH, FRIDAY, 7 P.M.
JACK STRAW STUDIO, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E.
(Corner of Roosevelt & 43rd) 
Contact Info: 206.941.2955
Readers include, among others:
Anna Balint: discussing/reading the work of poet, visual artist, social justice and environmental activist Rafael Jesus Gonzalez.
Jean Musser: poetry
Esther Altshul Helfgott (along with participants in her “Poeming the Silence” class): Essay, Memorial to poet Crysta Casey
M. Anne Sweet: poetry
Elizabeth Alexander: non-fiction, Ginny Banks: artist/essay, Jennifer Berney: non-fiction, Anita Feng: poetry, Thomas Hubbard: poetry, Carol Levin: poetry, Michael Magee: poetry, Tim Sherry: poetry, Ruth Whitney: poetry


826 Adult Writing Workshops

These adult writing workshops offer instruction, practice, and feedback in a variety of genres, plus some tips on the business of writing (pitching, publishing, and promoting your work) and feature local literary luminaries (Robert Horton, Jen Graves, Jonathan Evison, Elizabeth Austen)–as well as those on tour (Ruth Ozeki, Davy Rothbart, among others)–and all the profits go to support the youth programming at 826 Seattle.

Jane Alynn Readings:

April 4, 6:30-8:30pm – Match Coffee and Wine Bar, 15705 Main Street NE, Duvall, WA.
April 5, 7pm – Café Zippy’s, 2811 Wetmore Avenue, Everett, WA.


Kathleen Flenniken and Martha Collins:  April 2, 7:00 at Elliott Bay Book Store, Seattle.



Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. This contest is annual, Whatcom County only, all-ages, non-profit and currently (March 1-31) open for submissions. We have a DAILY blog on all-things-poetic, including extensive links and a page with a 12-month literary-events calendar for Washington state.

Esther Altshul Helfgott is teaching an ongoing class called “Poeming the Silence: A Women’s Writing Group.” Beginning & experienced writers welcome. The class uses poems to trigger writing in any form. Prior knowledge isn’t necessary. Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm.

Poetry is Everything posted by Chris Jarmick lists a wide variety of Seattle Metro poetry events.

The 2012 Crab Creek Review’s Poetry Prize is currently underway! Winning Prize: $200 and publication in our journal. Finalists will also be published in Crab Creek Review and all poems submitted to the contest are considered for publication as well.

On Friday March 30, the Lit. Crawl is underway.  Doug Nufer will be with the Pageboy posse, 7:30 at the Bluebird, 1205 E. Pike.

Nico Vassilakis is curating a night of Sound Poetry, Friday, March 23, 2012 7-9P at Vermillion, 1508 11th Av, as a prelude to the Cascadia Poetry Festival.
Sound poetry is a primarily early 20th century invention merging new typographic potentials with performative oral expression in the form of poetic phonemes and letter sounds. This ultimately gave way to the creation of visual and concrete poetry. The evening will promote both historical scores as well as exploring new possibilities. This event intends to support and present sound poetry from current practitioners living in the northwest.
puget SOUND POETRY at Vermillion’s art bar, March 23rd 7-9pm, including: Cristin Miller, Molly Mac Fedyk, Ezra Mark, Crag Hill, Nico Vassilakis, Joe Milutis
Four Hoarse Men:   Greg Bem, Jason Conger, Paul Nelson
Interrupture:             Doug Nufer, Bryant Mason, Curtis Bonney, Kreg Hasegawa

Sage Hill Press is accepting manuscripts for the 2012 Powder Horn Prize, a first book award. Entrants should not previously have published a full-length manuscript.
Entry fee: $20; Entry deadline: June 1, 2012.

Rhymes with Everett:  Everett Public Library celebrates National Poetry Month on April 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm.  Come read your favorite poem.

Shin Yu Pai and Port Townsend poet Mike O’Connor will be reading at Open Books on March 22, 7:30 PM.

The Cascadia Poetry Festival seeks to examine the culture of this region (see map) by gathering poets from the California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, British Columbia, the Alaska panhandle and Western Montana at SPLAB, in the most diverse zip code in the U.S., to learn, share ideas and techniques, begin to discover the qualities of this bioregion and the possibilities for deeper connection between the inhabitants from all parts of the region. All access Gold Pass $50. March 23 – 25. 
SPLAB Location: 3651 S. Edmunds, Seattle, WA 98118