"Poems About Place" this Saturday in Bellingham

Six Northwest Washington poets will read their “poems about place” at Village Books on Saturday, January 16 at 7 p.m. The event, co-sponsored by North Cascades Institute, is free, open to the public and aims to raise awareness and support for the 2010 Skagit River Poetry Festival. In the lineup are Washington State Poet Laureate Sam Green, Jim Bertolino, Michael Daly, Oliver de la Paz, Nancy Pagh, and Jeremy Voigt.
The Village Books reading will be followed by a private reception for the poets with food and beverages courtesy of Bellingham’s new organic Sprout Catering. Tickets are $25 per person and all proceeds will benefit Skagit River Poetry Festival. For tickets and more information, contact Kris Ekstrand Molesworth at (360) 708-6626 or kris.bayview@gmail.com.
The Skagit River Poetry Festival, which aims to “push poetry off the page and into the lives of rural audiences,” will take place May 20-21 in venues throughout La Conner. It will feature former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser and National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie and will include readings, panel discussions and workshops by more than 25 poets. The three-day festival has been called “one of the jewels in our poetry crown” by poet Jane Hirshfield. To learn about program and schedule updates visit www/skagitriverpoetry.org.
Profile of the poets:

James Bertolino’s tenth volume of poems is Finding Water, Holding Stone (Cherry Grove Collections 2009).  His poetry has been recognized by the Book-of-the-Month Club Poetry Fellowship, the Discovery Award, a Hart Crane publication award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Quarterly Review of Literature book awards, and the 2007 Jeanne Lohmann Prize for Washington State poets. Such magazines as Ploughshares, Poetry, Notre Dame Review, Indiana Review, Partisan Review, Florida Quarterly, Beloit Poetry Journal, Raven Chronicles, StringTown and Crab Creek Review have printed his poems. He lives in Bellingham.
Michael Daley has an MFA from the University of Wshington. In 1983 Gary Snyder called his first collection of poetry, The Straits, “Superb, elegant poetically and fresh with the Northwest world.” His chapbooks include Horace: Eleven Odes (Brooding Heron Press) and Rosehip Plum Cherry (Woodworks). His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Hudson Review, Alaskan Quarterly Review, Raven Chronicles, Seattle Review, and Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. In 2007 he published Way Out There: Lyrical Essays with Pleasure Boat Studio of New York. In 2008 To Curve came out from Word Press in Cincinnati, and next month Pleasure Boat will release Moonlight in the Redemptive Forest, including a CD of the poems with music arranged and performed by Brad Killion who will join Daley at the event.
Sam Green, Washington State’s first poet laureate, is 30-year veteran of Washington’s Poetry-in-the-Schools program and has taught in literally hundreds of classrooms. He has also taught at Southern Utah University, Western Wyoming Community College and has served five terms as Distinguished Visiting Northwest Writer at Seattle University. His poems have appeared in hundreds of journals, including Poetry Northwest, Poetry, Poetry NOW, Poetry East, Southern Poetry Review and Prairie Schooner. Among his ten collections of poems are Vertebrae: Poems 1978-1994 (Eastern Washington University Press) and The Grace of Necessity (Carnegie-Mellon University Press). He is, with his wife, Sally, co-editor of Brooding Heron Press, which specializes in publication of fine letterpress editions of poetry.
Oliver de la Paz, Bellingham, teaches creative writing at Western Washington University. His work has appeared in journals such as Quarterly West, The Asian Pacific American Journal, North American Review and elsewhere. He is the author of Requiem for the Orchard and his book of prose and verse, Names Above Houses (Southern Illinois University Press) was a winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series. His second book, Furious Lullaby, was the editor’s selection for 2007.
Nancy Pagh’s first book of poems, No Sweeter Fat (Autumn House Press 2007) won the publisher’s book award and her chapbook After won the 2008 Floating Bridge Press prize. Her work appears in numerous publications, including Prairie Schooner, Rattle, Poetry Northwest, Crab Creek Review, The Bellingham Review, Fourth River and O magazine.  She is a recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship and was the 2008 D. H. Lawrence Fellow at the Taos Summer Writers Conference. She lives in Bellingham where she teaches at Western Washington University.
Jeremy Voigt Jeremy Voigt has a MFA from Bennington College. His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Willow Springs, Georgetown Review, Washington Square, REED Magazine,Talking River Review, Pontoon 10, Poet Lore, and RHINO. His chapbook Neither Rising nor Falling was published by Finishing Line Press in 2009. He has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. His reviews and essays have appeared online in Arbutus, where he is a contributing editor, Litlist and Rattle. He has taught at the Port Townsend Writer’s Conference, where he also currently serves on the advisory board. He teaches English in western Washington.
We hope to see some of our poetry-loving friends at Village Books this Saturday evening!

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