I can't believe how quickly Saturday arrived with it's CarTalk and Weekend Edition, but here we are in the middle of the day with my family all taking naps around the house. Lazy last days of summer, I love them.
But I wanted to report on a few poetry events I participated last week--
1) Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award Reading at Richard Hugo House-- My friend Nancy Pagh (author of the great No Sweeter Fat) poetry book was the winner of this year's FB prize for her chapbook AFTER. What makes AFTER so incredible is that every poem in the chapbook is *after* another one.
The way Nancy put it at the reading that she had taught Sharon Olds in class that day and her students had a remarkable discussion about a poem. When she came home that night she said something like, "Sharon Olds could write a poem like that, but I can't. Maybe Sharon Olds could help me write my poem..." She said these poems were written when she was in a difficult place, but with "help" from these other poets--Neruda, Dickinson, Piercy, Eliot, and others--she was able to write her way through it.
It was probably one of the most inspiring readings I've ever been to. Nancy had 5 of us in the audience stand up and read one of the poems that she wrote a poem *after.* I read Emily Dickinson's "From great pain, a formal feeling comes..." But we also heard Prufrock, an original poem from Peter Pereira, Neruda. I left with that magical energy I sometimes feel after a good poetry reading, that "this is the path I want to be on and these are the people I want to be with" feeling.
Her new chapbook AFTER is available through the FB website right now. Check it out here.
It is a limited edition chapbook, so get yours before they sell out. And I'm guessing they will!
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2) Another friend, Martha Silano came over by ferry to visit me last week and help bring some good poetry juju to the Poetry Barn. We wrote for a couple hours then went into town for lunch and walked to the beach to eat and talk.
I think I ended up with a couple poems I hope to revise and work on. Martha always has the best ideas for poetry exercises. Once in a friend's studio, we glued poems together from science articles we cut up.
Anyway, the weather has been perfect here in the NW and we wrote with a perfect late-summer breeze and barn doors open.
3) Floating Bridge Great Art Party-- There's a rumor that this may not happen next year, but I so hope it does. For $100, everyone leaves with a great piece of art and Floating Bridge Press has a terrific fundraiser that helps keep them alive in the art community.
My friend A, who was 4th or 6th from the last number chosen last year, was chosen 3rd! this year and got her first choice. (YEAH!) I was chosen 7th and even though my husband was 14th from the end, we still got two pieces of art in our top ten picks. And A's husband, who was chosen last got his 1st pick as well!
It's such a reminder: art, beauty, and poetry is so subjective!
Here are the two artworks we chose--
the blue glass by Michael Church
and Sugar Bowl by Laura Ward
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I'm off to a reading tomorrow sponsored by the UW Press and I hope to report on that Monday.
Cheers to a good weekend.