On the second Thursday of every month, Angst Gallery in Vancouver, Washington, opens its doors to poetry. Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna of Printed Matter Vancouver, Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic offers an evening of featured readers, open mic, plus food and libations provided by Niche Wine Bar.
As a part of her tenure as Washington State Poet Laureate, Claudia Castro Luna has created Washington Poetic Routes, “a digital poetry-mapping project that explores Washington’s rich geographical terrain, both in terms of landscape and in terms of the human relationships that unfold across the State.”
At the Washington Poetic Routes website, each clickable red dot on the map marks a site-specific poem. I’m honored that my poem, dropping down the west side of the cascades (see below), is included at Stevens Pass.
As an unexpected bonus, Claudia Castro Luna just notified me that my poem will be one of eight selected from the WPR project to be made into a broadside. The selected poems will be hand-printed by a team of eight printers at the Seattle School of Visual Concepts, each printer working with one poem. The poems will then be assembled into 50 portfolios that will go to Humanities Washington, which supports the Washington State Poet Laureate program and is covering production costs. The broadsides should be complete in early 2020.
dropping down the west side of the cascades
this is it.
the smell of green
of damp rot, of slugs and ferns
and staggering grand trees.
the smell of festering tidal flats
the burst of orcas through
a rain-matted sea.
the smell of gulls and sea lions
salmon and cedar longhouses.
of pulp mills and seattle traffic
shrouded and mysterious islands
and miles and miles and miles
of raw ocean.
SpeakEasy 26: Reading Bertolino presents an evening of poetry written by James Bertolino. Jim’s poetry has been published internationally in hundreds of magazines, scores of anthologies, and dozens of books over the past 50+ years. He holds an MFA from Cornell University, has won numerous awards, and taught creative writing for more than 36 years. Jim’s first book was published in 1968, and his recent publications include Ravenous Bliss: New and Selected Love Poems (MoonPath Press, 2014) and Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry (World Enough Writers, 2018), which he edited. Bertolino’s poem “A Wedding Toast” was featured on Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry, on June 29, 2019.
The free, public event will be held at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 7:00pm. Please join us as we honor this prolific and influential poet.