Sheila Bender




You are folding the clothes of a child
and thinking about this afternoon and the month after next
when the ghost of your husband carries the ghost of your girl,
“She’s fallen 6 feet from the porch rail to the sidewalk,”
and the child sleeps in his arms breath shallow as at birth.

Touch her skin and you feel it collapse like a parachute.
Watch her eyes flicker open, they are murky, do not reflect
even the clouds up there waiting to come together,
and now the future waits,
all of you suddenly pinched behind the neck.

In the next minutes she will respond to her name.
You can see in her waking
there are clouds in her eyes
and you remember her saying this morning
her friends believed god lived in the sky
but she knew she would have seen him up there
riding the clouds and anyway she’d heard on television
that god had a purple head.

The hours in intensive care you will watch
clouds sheet the sky like hospital linen
and hear the chirp of heart monitors like crickets
out of place in the night.

This night you are a stage mother pushing
your child to perform for neurologists and nurses
in the reciting of names, her own, her brother’s, her dog’s,
in the telling of how many fingers
and the matching of her finger to theirs.

After this only waiting is left.
Hours unfold out of themselves like a telescope
and you watch the sky turn the lightest shade of purple.

Then you pray to her god and to all
the grape popsicles in the freezer, to her purple crayon,
to the foxglove and alyssum in the yard,
to all purple things that they may keep their color,
retrieve it from her bruised forehead, ear, stem of her brain.


“Folding” is from Behind Us The Way Grows Wider, due out in a month or two from Pixelita Press, Port Townsend, WA, and first appeared in Poetry Northwest and then in Love From the Coastal Route.

Sheila Bender is a nationally known author, poet, writing instructor and mentor. She has published six books on writing and numerous books of poetry. Sheila is the founder of Writing it Real, a very successful writing instructional program, and her latest venture is working with Pixelita Press for an eBook series for iPad that includes instruction via interactive writing prompts using photography. Discover more of Sheila’s work at Writing it Real.

Karen Finneyfrock

Like You Said it Would


The kids at school claim fevers,
hand their laughs to spring, new
and generous, dropping its pollinated
water all over me, sweating pink
salt into my eyes. Go ahead,
spring, pee on my grass.

Let boys come to school without deodorant.
Let boiler rooms cook painted windows
into brick. Let me go to bed cozy and wake up freezing,
spring, do these things. Let men fill my boxes with mail.
Let them pineapple after me. Let them circle my building
in the evening humming throaty come out of your house
tonight, Karen songs. Let them offer beds of tulips, draw
close with toothbrushes tapping at my fire escape.
Let each pull a hair from his head and hold it
between his fingers. Let us see which one
the wind carries in.


Karen Finneyfrock is a poet, novelist and teaching artist in Seattle, WA. Her second book of poems, Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, was released on Write Bloody press in 2010. Her young adult novel, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, is due from Viking Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Group USA in 2012. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House in Seattle and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. In 2010, Karen traveled to Nepal as a Cultural Envoy through the US Department of State to perform and teach poetry and in 2011, she did a reading tour in Germany sponsored by the US Embassy.



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.