National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and Carolyne Wright has organized a fine group of local poets to celebrate on April 23rd from 6-8pm at legendary University Books in Seattle:

Join us for an epic celebration of verse and rhyme! With a lineup of over 20 local poets, we’re concluding the saga of National Poetry Month in lyrical style. Come laugh, cry, and delight in the poetry of Michele Bombardier, Erika Brumett, Thomas Brush, Joanne Clarkson, Lyn Coffin, Kevin Craft, Laura Da’, Tige DeCoster, Suzanne Edison, Kayt Hoch, Sarah Jones, Carol Levin, Jayne Marek, Robert McNamara, Paul Nelson, Sierra Nelson, Raúl Sánchez, Heidi Seaborn, Martha Silano, Judith Skillman, Lillo Way, and Carolyne Wright!

And the art of the poetry anthology is alive and well and your humble narrator has his hands in two more being released at the next Cascadia Poetry Festival, May 9-12, 2019, in Anacortes, WA.

Introduction by Cate Gable
Drinking at Sundown by Alexis Bernaut
Buvant Au Couchant by Alexis Bernaut
學柯 Study The Axe Handle by Ian Boyden
samimmemorial by Lyn Coffin
Getting to Know Sam (and two other poems) by Leszek Chudziński
Letter from Boston by Michael Daley
Blasphemy by Martín Espada
Milosz and Hamill by Cate Gable
Coast Chronicles: Loose in Paris with a Fugitive Poet by Cate Gable
Paris, July 1, 2016: Letter to Sam by Cate Gable
The Next Garden by Kim Goldberg
Temple of the Word: What Sam Hamill Asked of Poetry by Shaun T. Griffin
From Paragraphs from a Day-Book by Marilyn Hacker
Homenaje A Sam Hamill by José Kozer
Tribute to Sam Hamill Translated from the Spanish by Raúl Sánchez
A Devotional for Sam Hamill: Habitude by Stephen Kuusisto
Interview with Sam Hamill by Paul E Nelson
Old Friend by Paul E Nelson
Letter to Sam Hamill by Paul E Nelson
A Simple Gift by William O’Daly
Habitation by Thomas H. Pruiksma
The Calling by Heidi Seaborn
A Pair of Hanging Scrolls: Landscape and Couplet of Chinese Verse (late 18th century)
by Ike Taiga by Rebecca Seiferle
Nine Bows for a Brother Monk by Karma Tenzing Wangchuk……

The Samthology will be launched Saturday, May 11, 2019, at 7pm at the Croatian Cultural Center, 801 5th Street in Old Town Anacortes.

Claudia Castro Luna, a participating poet in the upcoming fest and one of the featured poets in the MmM anthology is the current Poet Laureate of Washington. She has just released her P.L. project:

Claudia Castro Luna launches
Washington Poetic Routes in time for Poetry Month celebrations

For Claudia Castro Luna, the Washington State Poet Laureate, the twisting lines of a map feel like the twisting lines of a poem. So she’s taken Washington State’s highways and roads and overlaid them with poetry.

The result is the new Washington Poetic Routes, an online poetry map of our state. Visitors click dots on the map to see a poem from a Washington State poet written about that location.

Launched this April as a celebration of National Poetry Month, the map is a living document of Washington State’s vibrant poetic culture. The map currently features 25 poems by both established and younger poets. Anyone can submit a poem for consideration via the website. Castro Luna hopes to include poems by a broad swath of Washington’s residents, from schoolchildren to adults, to long-time poets and first-time writers.

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One Year After Sam Hamill’s Death

Sam Hamill left this earthly plane on April 14, 2018, and plans are underway to recognize that anniversary in a private and low-key ceremony, along with sushi and saké after, just as Sam would have liked it.

Our Cascadia Poetry Festival dedicated to his memory is set for Anacortes May 9-12, 2019. Sam would have been 76 on the fest’s first night. His longtime collaborator Christopher Yohmei Blasdel will provide a shakuhachi invocation for the evening and the whole schedule is here: and Gold Passes, entry to all events save the master workshop, are $25.00. Click on the image for the link to registration.

Panels on Cascadian Zen and Translation as a Political Act promise to be lively.

The fest will also see the launch of two anthologies. One is a book of writing dedicated to and/or inspired by Sam called the Samthology. José Kozer, Marilyn Hacker and Martín Espada are among the notable poets included. The other anthology is Make it True meets Medusario, and is an anthology of Cascadian poets mingling with poets writing in the Neobarroco tradition, as was documents in the seminal anthology Medusario. All poems will be in Spanish AND English and is the kind of global focus that Sam had in his lifetime dedication to poetry.

In addition to the festival, another testament to Sam’s ongoing legacy is his inclusion in a new anthology published by Wandering Aengus Press entitled: For Love of Orcas. Of course Sam had a whale poem, he being so grounded in Cascadia and orcas such an important creature.

The launch of this new anthology is scheduled for Friday, May 3rd in the Encore Room of the Mount Baker Theater in Bellingham. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the event begins about 7pm.

And as if that were not enough to suggest Sam’s writing has some staying power, note his excellent blurb on the latest book by Chinese-American poet Zhang Er’s new book, translated by Joseph Donahue, entitled: First Mountain. (I have an interview scheduled with Zhang Er to discuss the new book and hope to post that here soon after it happens.) She got Sam’s blurb shortly before he died and with no word that he was struggling with his health, which she found pretty remarkable. Of her book Sam said:

“Zhang Er brings  us startling “burial ritual” poems from Chinese that are striking in their perspective and elegant in stye and presentation. They represent a poetic sensibility that is unique and often profound, and I can read them with great surprise and gratitude.”

– Sam Hamill
(editor of Poets Against the War)

The blurb that follows Sam’s is written by Ron Silliman and Sam would have gotten a good laugh out of that pairing.

Please consider seeing what many of Sam’s close poet friends say about him and his legacy at CPF-Anacortes, May 9-12, 2019. It will be a remarkable weekend.

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Zen, Bioregionalism & Poetry

Upcoming poetry events are for people who are interested in the intersection of poetry and Zen and poetry and bioregionalism.

Norman Schaefer

April 11, at 7:30pm, the Seattle University Eco-Sangha presents Norman Schaefer, who will read in WYCKOFF AUDITORIUM on the campus of Seattle University. Gary Snyder writes that many of Norman Schaefer’s poems “are physical, muscular, gritty, and full of fresh air. I know of nobody else who catches the feel of the high country rocks, trails, and winds with the immediacy that Norman does. Some are at night, cold, and hungry, but they are always quietly joyful. A story of his life and his practice of walking in the Sierra weaves through the poems. Norman has given much of his life to this mountain walking. Yet he is not a single-minded fanatic—just a dedicated person (in the old style) of the Way. And as it works out, a fine poet as well.” Norman Schaefer’s celebrated books of poetry include Fool’s Gold, The Sunny Top of California: Sierra Nevada Poems & a Story, and Wind in the Pines. Free and Open to the Public

Michael Daley

April 18, at 7:30pm, one of the first wave of poet/bioregionalists in Washington, Michael Daley reads at Seattle U, presented by the campus Eco-Sangha. Michael Daley was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and is a retired teacher. His collections of poetry are: The Straits, To Curve, Moonlight in the Redemptive Forest, and Of a Feather. He’s a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and holds an MFA from the University of Washington. His work has been awarded by Seattle Arts Commission, Artist Trust, The Fessenden Foundation, The National Endowment of the Humanities, Fulbright and the Robert Sund Poets House. He’s also published a book of essays, Way Out There; two books of translation, and several chapbooks. His poems, essays and stories have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, The North American Review, Rhino, Gargoyle, Prairie Schooner, Seattle Review, Raven Chronicles and elsewhere. His next collection, True Heresies, is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press in Boston. He lives near Deception Pass. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

May 9-12, 2019, SPLAB presents the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in Anacortes, WA. The fest is part of a long-term bioregional cultural investigation being led by SPLAB, and will feature a the launch of two anthologies, three workshops, a panel on Translation as a Political Act and a panel on Cascadian Zen facilitated by Seattle Eco-Sangha founder Jason Wirth as part of the event’s tribute to Sam Hamill. More information is HERE and Gold Passes for admission to all events are $25 and available at: Brown Paper Tickets.

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