SpeakEasy 20

SpeakEasy 20 is exceptionally pleased to welcome five powerful Canadian poets for a evening reading preceded by three poetry workshops. See below for the poets’ bios and the workshop descriptions. And please join us for a day of poetry, Saturday, December 2, 2017.

The reading, which is free, will be held at 7:00 pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, Encore Room, 104 North Commercial Street, Bellingham, WA 98225. The poets will read a series of linked poems and other recent work.

The workshops will be held at a downtown Bellingham location. The fee is $15 per workshop, payable by cash at the workshop. To register, send an email to othermindpress@gmail.com indicating which workshop(s) you’d like to take. Please include your phone number. Participants should bring writing materials. Lunch is available nearby or you may bring your lunch and eat on site.

Introducing the poets:

Susan Alexander is the winner of the 2017 Whistler Poet’s Pause Competition, 2016 Short Grain poetry prize and the 2015 Vancouver Writers’ Festival Contest. Her poems have appeared in SubTerrain, Arc, CV2, Grain, Room, The Feathertale Review, In/Words, Crux, The Antigonish Review and PRISM International. Described as a “fearless…plainspoken utterance of truth,” her debut collection of poems, The Dance Floor Tilts, was published by Thistledown Press in October 2017.

Terry Ann Carter loves Japhy Ryder, Constant Comment tea, and Japanese literary forms. She is the president of Haiku Canada and founder of Haiku Arbutus (Victoria Haiku Study Group). Her five collections of poetry and five chapbooks of haiku can be found in knapsacks around the world. www.terryanncarter.com

For Richard Osler, poetry is one rockin’ way to bust open a life! Nothing in his previous careers as a business journalist with the Financial Post (one of Canada’s major national newspapers), on-air business columnist with CBC’s nationally broadcast Morningside radio program and specialty money manager prepared him for the unexpected ways poems we write can know more than we do and become paths to healing. Richard, a resident of Vancouver Island, B.C., facilitates poetry writing retreats throughout Western Canada and the U.S. and weekly poetry workshops at The Cedars, an addiction recovery center. His poems have been short-listed for prizes in the U.S. and Canada and his full-length poetry collection, Hyaena Season, was published in 2016. His poetry blog, posted continuously since 2010, is on his website: www.recoveringwords.com.

Barbara Pelman is a retired English teacher who divides her time between her home in Victoria and her family in Sweden. She has three books of poetry: One Stone (Ekstasis Editions 2005), Borrowed Rooms (Ronsdale Press 2008), Narrow Bridge (Ronsdale 2017), and a chapbook, Aubade Amalfi (Rubicon Press 2016). Her poems have been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Refugium: Poems for the Pacific and Poems from Planet Earth as well as the Leaf Press anthologies edited by Patrick Lane. She conducts poetry workshops in her home and in schools.

Linda K. Thompson grew up in the Pemberton Valley of BC. She has lived for many years on Vancouver Island where she loves the summer heat and doesn’t mind the winter rain. Her poem “Botany for Beginners” received Honourable Mention from the Malahat Review ‘Far Horizons’ and “Gloria” received Honourable Mention from the Troubadour International contest out of London, England. Her chapbook Four Small People in Sturdy Shoes is making its way in the world. www.lindakthompson.com


9:15 to 11:30 am
Barbara Pelman

There is something wonderfully paradoxical about form: its constraints offer an unexpected freedom. By working within the rules of that particular form (14 lines, or 17 syllables, or alternating lines), the poet is offered a way out of the usual comfort zone, and can stretch and turn in different directions. In this workshop, we will explore a few form poems: the glosa and demi-glosa, the sestina, and the pantoum, with a quick nod at sonnets and haibuns. There will be an opportunity to read fine poems and to try out the different forms in a welcoming environment.

12:45 to 3:00 pm
Haiku and Small Book Making
Terry Ann Carter

Join poet and paper artist Terry Ann Carter to learn the essential “techniques” for composing haiku, and then make some small book structures for their safekeeping. Terry Ann will demonstrate a contemporary palm leaf book, a folded tag book, and a few matchbox minis. All papers and matchboxes are provided; participants may wish to bring a pencil, scissors, glue stick, and personal papery ephemera. http://www.terryanncarter.com

3:00 to 5:15 pm
Show and Tell – A Generative Poetry Retreat
Richard Osler

Stephen Dunn, an American poet, whose poems and essays I so admire, says he grew up with William Carlos Williams’ No ideas but in things as gospel but found that only in the act of writing, of discovering what I wanted to do or say in a poem, that I realized Williams’ admonition was too narrow and exclusive. In this generative poetry retreat, a retreat from the world’s hurly burley, even if for a few hours, I invite you to be inspired by poems that show and tell! No primary school show and tell but the great poetic tellings that grow out of the showings of concrete details and metaphors in a poem. Then, your chance to find the show and tell poem waiting inside you to show up with no telling what might come up out your poetic imagination!