An update on The Far Field:

I will continue to post poets on The Far Field for the next week or two while Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen plans her new website and prepares to launch.  Keep reading! Elizabeth will give us some details soon about what to expect.  And don’t worry, The Far Field isn’t going anywhere. This site will remain online as a resource and a record of poetry in Washington, 2012 – 2014.


Floating Bridge Press is accepting submissions for their annual Poetry Chapbook Award until March 1, 2014.  The competition is open to residents of Washington State only. The winner receives book publication, a $500 Prize, 15 copies of the chapbook, and a Seattle-area reading. In addition to the chapbook, Floating Bridge Press publishes an annual journal, Floating Bridge Review. All individual poems submitted will be considered for publication in Floating Bridge Review, regardless of whether they are previously published.  Read the complete chapbook guidelines here, under “Submissions.”

Jack Straw announces the 2014 Jack Straw Writers, who will work this year with curator Felicia Gonzalez: Laurel Albina, Claudia Castro Luna, Margot Kahn, Loreen Lilyn Lee, Susan Meyers, John Mullen, Michelle Peñaloza, Gigi Rosenberg, Raúl Sánchez, Anastacia Tolbert, Jane Wong, and Kristen Millares Young.  Congratulations to all!


Submissions are due November 8, 2013

My appointment as Washington State Poet Laureate will conclude in February 2014. They’ve been the most gratifying two years of my working life.  My most wonderful sponsoring organizations, Humanities Washington and Arts WA, have just announced they are accepting applications for 2014 – 2016 Poet Laureate.

Please help me get the world out to interested and qualified poets in our state?  And quickly, as the deadline for submission is November 8! We have only just started to explore the possibilities of this role in our state’s poetry community. With each successive laureate we can stretch and redefine the position and expand public interest. Do you have a vision and meet the qualifications? Please consider applying! I am happy to answer any questions you have about the position: feel free to drop me a line at  Kathleen Flenniken




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!




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.




The Washington State Book Awards have been announced:

Poetry Winner:

Woodnote by Christine Deavel, of Wallingford in Seattle (Bear Star Press)

Poetry Finalists:

Every Dress a Decision by Elizabeth Austen, of West Seattle (Blue Begonia Press)

What Have You Done to Our Ears to Make Us Hear Echoes? by Arlene Kim, of Belltown in Seattle (Milkweed Editions)

Underdog by Katrina Roberts, of Walla Walla (University of Washington Press)

The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception by Martha Silano, of Mount Baker in Seattle (Saturnalia Books)

Congratulations to all!


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







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.