Washington State Poet Laureate

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Poetry for All: Prompt 3

Here’s the third in my “Poetry for All” series of video poetry prompts. This one features “Desire, Like a Hungry Lion” by Dorothy Trogdon from her collection Tall Woman Looking (Blue Begonia Press).

Prompt 3: Desire

Desire, Like a Hungry Lion

                                                                  For RB

A hungry lion is loose in the streets of May.

How difficult it is for you to know what you require
at any passage of your life
               yet something sees and knows and waits

until you open your door and go forward to meet it,
to offer what has been taking shape within you.

Hold out the tempting crumbs in the palm of your hand
and quietly wait until you feel the touch of the velvet muzzle.

Look well at the fur and claw of wildness, your brother.
The stars need darkness or you would not know them.

—Dorothy Trogdon

You can hear Dorothy Trogdon reading her poem at KUOW.org.

See other prompts.

Feel free to share this, and I hope you’ll leave me a comment to tell me know how it goes.

Poem credits:

Dorothy Trogdon, “Desire, Like a Hungry Lion” from Tall Woman Looking. Copyright © 2012 by Dorothy Trogdon. Used with the permission of the author and Blue Begonia Press.

My thanks to the featured poets for permission to use their poems, and to Sheila Farr and John Helde for essential technical help.


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Poetry for All: Prompt 2

Here’s the second in my series of video poetry prompts. This one includes a poem by Peter Pereira, from his collection What’s Written on the Body. These are intended for the poetry-curious, beginning writers, and anyone who’d like company at the desk. Please feel free to share this, and I hope you’ll leave me a comment to let me know how it goes, OK?

Prompt 2: A Visitation

This prompt features Peter Pereira’s poem “Twenty Years after His Passing, My Father Appears to Us in Chicago, at Bobby Chinn’s Crab & Oyster House, in the Guise of Our Waiter, Ramon” from What’s Written on the Body (Copper Canyon Press).

See other prompts.

Poem credits:

Peter Pereira, “Twenty Years after His Passing, My Father Appears to Us in Chicago, at Bobby Chinn’s Crab & Oyster House, in the Guise of Our Waiter, Ramon” from What’s Written on the Body. Copyright © 2007 by Peter Pereira. Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

My thanks to the featured poets for permission to use their poems, and to Sheila Farr and John Helde for essential technical help.


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National Poetry Month: Poetry for All

Just in time for National Poetry Month, I’m launching a short series of online poetry prompts. These videos are mini versions of the free poetry writing workshops I’m giving all around Washington state. Each combines a model poem with a writing activity, and is intended to be useful to the poetry-curious and beginning writers alike. Here’s the first one.

Prompt 1: A Memorable Meal

Prompt 1 features Li-Young Lee’s “Eating Together,” from Rose (BOA Editions), and was inspired by the indispensable The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World by Brenda Miller and Holly J. Hughes.

This series is a bit of an experiment, so I hope you’ll post comments about how this works for you.

Poem credits:

Li-Young Lee, “Eating Together” from Rose. Copyright © 1986 by Li-Young Lee. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

HUGE thanks to the featured poets for permission to use their poems, and to Sheila Farr and John Helde for essential technical help.


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Idaho’s Writer-in-Residence, Diane Raptosh: Elliott Bay Books, March 14

Diane_Photo3

Poet Diane Raptosh: “everyone I’ll have to live without / I must help to find a place within”

 

I’m delighted to welcome Diane Raptosh, a poet who is currently serving as Idaho’s Writer-in-Residence, to Seattle. We’ll be reading together at Elliott Bay Books on Sat., March 14 at 7p.  To whet your appetite, here’s an untitled poem from her most recent collection, American Amnesiac:

The self is a thousand localities

like a small nation—assembly required: borders and roads,

 

armies, farms, small and large pieces of parchment. I stand by

all the territories I have ever been, even as I can’t

 

remember them. I am a locum—ear to the emperor penguin, a banner ad

blinking to the hoi polloi. Since I’ve become John Doe, I swear

 

I can feel most objects with sixty digits

instead of five. This makes me think

 

of Lisette. Makes me miss her left collar bone. Her hips’ wingtips.

A train moans from a far hummock.

 

Which reminds me that everyone I’ll have to live without

I must help to find a place within. Which is an act

 

of granite will. A strain. A ditty.

An exercise in utmost beautility.

 

from American Amnesiac, by Diane Raptosh

                             (Etruscan Press, 2013)

 

Watch Diane’s TEDxBoise talk: Poetry, Democracy and the Hope of Sounds.


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Reading with Rick Barot at the Federal Way Library, March 2 at 7p

This Monday, March 2, I’ll have the pleasure of reading with Rick Barot at the Federal Way Library at 7p.

Rick Barot

Here’s a brief excerpt from his marvelous poem “Tarp,” (you can hear him read the whole thing online at poetryfoundation.org.)

I could go on
this way until the end of the page, even though
what I have in my mind isn’t the thing
itself, but the category of   belief that sees the thing
as a shelter for what is beneath it.

Rick is the author of three collections of poems; the most recent is CHORD, which will be published by Sarabande Books this July. He’s also the poetry editor of New England Review. Read more about Rick and his work.


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Late February/early March readings and workshops

Here are a few of the places you’ll find me in the next few weeks. Please feel free to share this information with friends in the area who might be interested in joining me for a reading or workshop. See my whole schedule.

Feb. 23:  “Poetry for All” generative writing workshop, Poulsbo Library, 2:30 to 4:30p. Call the library at 360-779-2915 to register.

Feb. 23: Reading with Michelle Peñaloza at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, 7p.

Feb. 27: Reading at Cathlamet Public Library, 2p

Feb. 27: Guest speaker at the “Bundle Up and Write,” retreat at the Tokeland Hotel. 7p. $10.

March 2: Reading with Rick Barot at the Federal Way Library, 7p.

March 4: Poetry Northwest reading at Phinney Books, 7:30p. With Suzanne Bottelli, Jessica Gigot, Laura Shoemaker and Kary Wayson.

March 14: Reading with Diane Raptosh, Idaho Writer-in-Residence, at Elliott Bay Books. 7p.

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