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Inspired by the Poetry Coalition programming for March 2019, the theme for SpeakEasy 23 is Poetry & Democracy, with work by regional poets and a special guest appearance by Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna. Please mark your calendar for Saturday, March 2, 2019, and join us at 7:00pm, at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room in Bellingham, Washington.

What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy

The question “What is it, then, between us?” is an excerpt from the poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” by Walt Whitman. In addition to Whitman being recognized as a poet whose work forged a new kind of American poetry, which both expresses democratic ideals and contains painful truths about our country’s origin, throughout 2019, many libraries, museums, schools, and cultural organizations will be marking the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth, which took place on May 31, 1819.

In light of Whitman’s bicentennial and his influence on American life and literature, Poetry Coalition members aim to demonstrate how poetry can positively provoke questions in their communities about timely and pressing issues, spark increased empathy and understanding, encourage civic and grassroots engagement, and contribute to public debate and dialogue.

SpeakEasy 23 is pleased to add local voices to the conversation. Please see the SpeakEasy page for a complete list of poets.


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reflection on a winter’s eve

things are quiet on the mountain tonight. 

cold, some snow. 

stillness almost without breath. 

hold that in your bones, words

to remember.

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SpeakEasy 22

SpeakEasy 22: Animal Beast Creature welcomes eight outstanding poets — Jennifer Bullis, Elizabeth Colen, Paul Hunter, Jeffrey Morgan, Bethany Reid, Kimberly Roe, Ely Shipley, and Sheila Sondik — who will populate the room with the power of animals: persona, myth, spirit, science, and a deep wildness. Please join us for another memorable SpeakEasy on Saturday, October 20, 2018, 7:00pm, at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room.

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Read Luther Allen’s poem “Sinking” in Refugium, Poems for the Pacific (Caitlin Press, 2018).

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SpeakEasy 21: Poets Talk Poetry

SpeakEasy 21: Poets Talk Poetry will feature seven distinguished poets reflecting on their own work, their inspiration, and the importance of poetry in their lives. The poets are Bruce Beasley, Ramona Elke, Jory Mickelson, Kevin Murphy, Nancy Pagh, Dayna Patterson, and Rena Priest.

Please join us on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at 7:00pm, in the Encore Room of the Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham, Washington. The event is free and the poets’ books will be for sale.

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SpeakEasy 20!

We’ve added a SpeakEasy 20 page introducing the poets and the three workshops. Have a look and please join us on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

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August 5

          softly wrinkled
oyster clouds
          smelling of slow and tender sex
serene corrugated shirr
          against grey rose void

                    suspending planets

                                                  like pearls

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