SpeakEasy is an occasional poetry series that emphasizes themed, audience-friendly presentations of quality poetry by Cascadia-region writers. It is produced in Bellingham, Washington, by Luther Allen, author of The View from Lummi Island.
SpeakEasy 21: Poets Talk Poetry will feature seven distinguished poets reflecting on their own work, their inspirations, 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.
Bruce Beasley is a professor of English at Western Washington University and the author of eight collections of poems, including most recently All Soul Parts Returned (BOA Editions, 2017). His books have won the Colorado Prize (selected by Charles Wright), the Ohio State University Press/Journal Award, and the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series Award. More at https://brucebeasley.net.
Ramona. L. Elke is a poet, playwright, and a student of belly dance who pays her bills with her skills as a history teacher/substance use counselor/poetry teacher to defiant adolescents in a small-town British Columbia high school. She has been practicing her poetry writing since the tender age of six years, when she was first published as the runner up in a Mother’s Day poem contest. Her poetry has been published the 2016 and 2017 Poetry Marathon Anthology and her chapbook, The Reluctant Daughter, is available on Amazon.com.
Jory Mickelson is a writer, educator, and retreat facilitator whose work has appeared in Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, Vinyl Poetry, The Florida Review, Superstition Review, The Collagist, The Los Angeles Review, and other journals in the United States and the UK. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and is Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry. His most recent chapbook, Slow Depth, was published by Argus House Press. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. More at http://jorymickelson.com.
Kevin Murphy has released two CDs of his poetry, Between Onions and Oxygen and The Bird of Pure Midnight, and a book, A Beautiful Chaos Demands Energy. He is the “poet-in-residence” of the Chuckanut Radio Hour and for 20 years, has performed poetry in the Pacific Northwest and beyond as a member of the New Old Time Chautauqua. He teaches poetry writing through the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project and the Whatcom Community College Community Ed program. Kevin was awarded a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award in 2017. His poetry tends to be comic, surreal, and exuberant, and he frequently accompanies himself on guitar and percussion. He is working on a book of new, selected, and previously undetected poems.
Nancy Pagh has authored three poetry collections (No Sweeter Fat, After, and Once Removed). Her writer’s guide, Write Moves, was published by Broadview Press in 2016. She was the D. H. Lawrence Fellow at the Taos Summer Writers Conference, received an Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship, and placed second (of over 4,000) in the Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest. Nancy lives in Bellingham and teaches at Western Washington University. More at https://nancypagh.com.
Dayna Patterson was raised in Utah and came to live in Washington by way of Ireland, Quebec, New Mexico, and Texas. She earned her MFA at Western, where she served as managing editor of Bellingham Review. She is the poetry editor for Exponent II Magazine and the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hotel Amerika, Sugar House Review, Western Humanities Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and Zone 3. More at https://daynapatterson.com.
Rena Priest is a poet, teacher, and concerned citizen. Her first book, Patriarchy Blues, was released on MoonPath Press in May of 2017. She has recently been a Sustainable Arts Fellow at Mineral School, and her poem “Quiet Children” was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize. She also recently had her first publication of a fiction piece in Nine Lives Later: A dead cat anthology, which was released in November. She is presently working on a fresh batch of poems and new fiction. She is a Lummi tribal member, and holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. More at https://www.renapriest.com.
Please join SpeakEasy 20 for an engaging reading of linked and recent work by Canadian poets Susan Alexander, Linda Thompson, Richard Osler, Barbara Pelman, and Terry Ann Carter. Three of the featured poets will also offer poetry workshops earlier in the day. See the poet bios and workshop descriptions on the SpeakEasy 20 page.
In this time of post-truth and false news, SpeakEasy 19 presents heartfelt words of clarity and wisdom.
Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room, Bellingham. Admission is free.
Piano improvisations by Andrea Rackl.
Tanner Abernathy ▪ Luther Allen ▪ Jim Bertolino ▪ Barbara Bloom
Nancy Canyon ▪ Susan Chase-Foster ▪ Thom Davis ▪ Victoria Doerper
Jaiden Dokken ▪ R.L. Elke ▪ Mary Elizabeth Gillilan ▪ Steve Hood ▪ David Imburgia
Alexander Joseph ▪ J.I. Kleinberg ▪ Shannon P. Laws ▪ Rob Lewis
Andrew Shattuck McBride ▪ Carol McMillan ▪ Rainbow Wohali Medicine-Walker
Rachel Mehl ▪ Peter Edward Messinger ▪ Kate Miller ▪ Jim Milstead ▪ Kevin Murphy
Timothy Pilgrim ▪ C.J. Prince ▪ John James Reid ▪ Paul Sarvasy ▪ Jim Schmotzer
Luci Shaw ▪ Aaron Silverberg ▪ Sheila Sondik ▪ Candace Lee Street ▪ Stan Tag
Gary Wade ▪ Leslie Wharton ▪ Richard Widerkehr
The Poetry Marathon challenges participants to write (and post) 24 poems in 24 hours (or 12 in 12 hours). Originated and organized by Caitlin Thomson Jans and Jacob Jans, writers and web publishers living in Cascadia, The Poetry Marathon is entirely free. In 2016, more than 500 poets worldwide participated in the full or half marathon. SpeakEasy 18 will present a number of participating poets from the region reading selections from their marathon output. Poets include Jessica Ankeny, Ramona Elke, Janel Erchinger-Davis, Jacob Jans, J.I. Kleinberg, Nancy Pagh, Silvester Phua, Paul Sarvasy, Harvey Schwartz, Sheila Sondik, Caitlin Thomson, Jeanne Yeasting, and Tobe Zalinger. The event is free and copies of the 2016 Poetry Marathon Anthology will be available for purchase.
SpeakEasy 17: Noisy Water – Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ~ 7:00pm ~ at the Mount Baker Theatre, Encore Room
104 N Commercial Street, Bellingham, Washington
The reading is free; copies of Noisy Water will be available for sale.
POETS/READERS: Susanne Paola Antonetta | Bruce Beasley | Angela Belcaster |
Nancy Canyon | Thom Davis | Susan J. Erickson | Paul Fisher | Carol Guess |
Steve Hood | Shannon P. Laws | Chuck Luckmann | Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor |
Carlos Martinez | Jack McCarthy (read by Carol McCarthy) | Simon McGuire |
Carol McMillan | Kate Miller | Jeffrey Morgan | John Morgan (read by Jeffrey Morgan) | Keith Moul | Joe Nolting | Christopher Patton | Timothy Pilgrim | Rena Priest |
Erica Reed | Boris D. Schleinkofer | Luci Shaw | Elizabeth Vignali
SpeakEasy 16: Fresh Minds, New Words
Poets/readers: Anya Rick | Charlotte Hasbrouck | Chuck Robinson | Cicely Bergsma
Daniel Garcia | Durban McCarty | Elisha Foster | Emily Welsh | Eric Carr
Finnigan Cooper | Grace Hooper | Grace Hughes | Jessica Gillis
Kaya Sherwood-Bally | Kevin Murphy | Klara Schwarz | Laurel Leigh | Lois Holub
Lucy Guerra | Marielle Selig | Pamela Porter | Rena Priest | Rowan McConnell
Sarah Wallace | Savanna Wolverton | Serenity McAlister | Skip Williams
Solstice Black | Thomas Boyle
See more on the SpeakEasy 16 page.
SpeakEasy 15: Poems & Prayers for the New Year
Poets: Angela Belcaster | Betty Scott | Caitlin Thomson | Carol McMillan
Carolyn McCarthy | Chuck Luckmann | CJ Prince | David Drummond | David M. Laws
Diane Cordrey | Harvey Schwartz | Jim Milstead | Jim Schmotzer | Joe Nolting
J.I. Kleinberg | Kari Galbraith | Kate Miller | Lane Morgan | Lois Holub
Luther Allen | Malcolm Kenyon | Margot Lewis | Mary Gillilan | Mo Dole
Nancy Canyon | Nancy Pagh | Paul Fisher | Peter Messinger | Phyllis Boernke
Steve Hood | Susan J. Erickson | Tim Pilgrim
SpeakEasy 13: Love Uncensored
In honor of Valentine’s Day, local couples read poems — their own and their favorites — on love and all its entanglements.
Click here to view or download a PDF of the SpeakEasy 13: Love Uncensored PowerPoint.
SpeakEasy 12 was recorded by R.A. Hull, A Backup Experience. See the program and listen to the recordings on the SpeakEasy 12 page.
SpeakEasy 4 ~ August 6, 2010 ~ Mindport Exhibits
Featured poets: Nancy Canyon, Rena Priest, Scott Stodola, Sue Johnson and Paul Sarvasy
SpeakEasy 2 ~ November 6, 2009 ~ Mindport Exhibits
Featured poets: James Bertolino, Anita K. Boyle, J.I. Kleinberg, Rick Merrill and Carla Shafer