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Local Poets Read

For me, the fun part is just being at home and writing in my sweatpants. And then being like, “I wrote a poem and I like it.” There’s nothing that compares to that. Nothing. Not The New Yorker, not The New York Times. I feel like that’s something that sometimes gets lost in our culture, where everything’s about building a brand before you even have an established creative process. Please, don’t be a poet unless the number one thing you like to do is write poems. And read poems.

ADA LIMÓN

If you’re a poet looking for more poets to read (or listen to) — here are three offerings by local poets today.  All events are free, or for a token donation.


John L. Wright, Thursday, April 29th, 2021    6:30 – 7:30PM EST / 3:30 – 4:30 PST

The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association is delighted to present a live poetry reading with Physician and Poet John L. Wright. His poetry explores humanity’s relationship and place among the fauna and flora of the natural world. Singer-Songwriter Linda Sussman will perform her original songs live. Join us in celebrating Poetry Month on Zoom! Register for this event here.


Kim Stafford, Sy Hoahwah, and Kathleen Flenniken, April 29, 2021 6:30 – 7:45 pm.

Books in Common NW Series–a reading and conversation with Kim Stafford (Singer Come from Afar, Red Hen Press), Sy Hoahwah (Ancestral Demon,University of New Mexico Press) and Kathleen Flenniken, jointly sponsored by three great Northwest book sellers — Paulina Springs Books (Oregon) , Madison Books (Washington) and Country Bookshelf (Montana). 6:30 – 7:45 pm PDT.  Free. Follow the link to find the registration. And notice that this is a series, airing every Thursday.


And finally, this from Tacoma Public Library:

Thursday, April 29, 2021
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm PDT
Online event

Join local poet Kevin Miller as he reads from his new book, VanishVanish is the winner of the Wandering Aengus Book Award and Kevin Miller’s fourth book of poetry. WAP Poetry Editor Tina Schumann says of the poems, “Kevin Miller’s collection Vanish exists in the quiet certitude of lives lived moment to moment, hour by hour and generation to generation. These poems illustrate that it is the varied stuff of this life that makes us whole—farmhouses, sparrows and mackerel, smoke from a cigarette, candles in a window, a question asked over dinner—illuminating each small gesture and ache as they vanish into time, but permeate the living and the land they occupy.” Kevin has received grants from Artist Trust, Tacoma Arts Commission, and was a member of the Jack Straw Writers Program. He was a Fulbright Teacher in Denmark and taught in the public schools of Washington State for thirty-nine years. He lives in Tacoma.

John L. Wright

THE LOVELINESS OF THIS WORLD, John L. WrightFinishing Line Press, PO Box 1626, Georgetown KY 40324, 2020, 36 pages, $13.00 paper, https://www.finishinglinepress.com/.

It is always a pleasure to recommend a local poet. Wright lives in Edmonds and until 1988 was a physician at Swedish Medical Center. I’m so glad he made his way in retirement to poetry, or that poetry made its way to him.

Among many poems taking a fond look at people and dogs he has known  (and many, lost), The Loveliness of this World also catalogs Wright’s walks through a northwest landscape. After I walked at Japanese Gulch in Mukilteo this afternoon, I sat in my car and read this prose poem:

Walking in the Woods without an iPhone

–the red crest of pileated woodpeckers their drumming the whinnying flight of the flicker its white rump the call of the owl the eagle and the quail the basket bark of cedar the insipid taste of salmonberries the wild huckleberry’s tartness licorice fern rooted in the bark of big-leaf maple the purplish blush of alder its hanging catkins the Indian plum its white blossoms the leathery leaves of salal the yellow flowers of Oregon grape the fragrance of evergreen after rain.

Yes, I thought, exactly so

Let me add that this poem is not representative of the collection–many beautiful, more conventional poems I could have chosen–but I love the joyful and playful compression of this.