It’s been over 2 1/2 years since we’ve hosted a live, in-person SpeakEasy poetry reading. We feel like it’s time to rise from the electronic bonds of the Zoom world and see the actual (masked) faces and vaccinated bodies of our friends. It’s still a ways off – Sunday, September 18, 2022 – and we realize that the pandemic could go crazy in any direction, but we are planning as if this will actually happen.

SpeakEasy 29 will feature the Olympia poet Bill Yake and Michael Daley’s Empty Bowl Press along with a carefully curated selection of additional poets.

I started reading Yake’s Waymaking by Moonlight about a year ago and was stunned by the quality and depth of his writing. I will say without hesitation that if you only buy one book of poetry this year, it should be this book, and it should take its place next to books on your shelf by Gary Snyder, Pattiann Rogers, and in many ways, Mary Oliver. Some collected words about his poetry: “poems of the natural world and the curious ways of humankind,” “deep ecological insight,” “unbridled lyric celebration,” “astonishing feat of language and human imagination.” And it turns out, Bill is a real person and has done real work as an ecologist and is willing to spend his own gas money to come to Bellingham to read for us.

Empty Bowl Press has published Bill Yake and other important works of poetry for many years and we’re honored to have their presence at the reading.

We’ll have additional details in the coming weeks, but meanwhile, please mark your calendar and plan to join us for SpeakEasy 29 in the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham on Sunday, September 18, 4:00pm.

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