Puget Sound Poetry Connection is proud to announce the distinguished writer for our February 14th open mic will be Shannon O'Donnell.
Shannon O'Donnell is an author who discovers stories in out of the way places. Sometimes poetry is the only way to describe them. After adventures in the classrooms of two different high schools, she moved on to work in Catholic parishes in Tacoma. Then she went to prison. She has been behind bars for twenty years. Currently serving time at the King County Jail as the Catholic chaplain, she also visits migrant detainees at the detention center in Tacoma.
Shannon is the author of Save the Bones, a memoir about her mother and Alzheimer's, written when "everything was a catastrophe and no one was talking about the funny stuff." Her latest book, Finding Grace Within, is full of the stories told by women and men who are waiting for court, for sentencing, for a release date. It's not a coincidence that time spent behind bars is marked by the word "sentence." There are so many of them.
Puget Sound Poetry Connection announces the distinguished poet for January is Mare Heron Hake.
Mare Heron Hake is a local published poet and editor, living and working in Lakewood. Her degrees include B.A.s from the University of Washington in both Creative Writing and in Literature, along with an MFA from NILA. She is the Poetry Editor, as well as co-Owner and co-Publisher, of Tahoma Literary Review, an independent literary magazine with international readership published thrice annually. Mare is also a co-founder and organizer of the Red House Writers, a biannual educational weekend. When not editing, writing poetry, or organizing, she reads across genres, tries to jog, and loves her complicated family including an older dog named Pinecone. Mare’s most recent work can be found in Gyroscope Review, Raven Chronicles, and Terrain.Org.
Please come and join us on Friday, January 10th for a night of wonderful poetry.
Puget Sound Poetry Connection Announces the Featured Poet for December-- Distinguished Poet: Kay Mullen Friday, December 13th
Kay Mullen worked most her adult life as a teacher of grade school children. After earning her Masters of Education from Seattle University, she became an elementary school counselor. Following her work in schools, she became a certified mental health counselor.
Kay later earned an MFA from Pacific Lutheran University with a focus on poetry. She received a First Place in the Washington State William Stafford Award and was a Best of the Net nominee as well as a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee.
Her poems have appeared in many journals including Shark Reef, Crab Creek Review, Raven Chronicles and American Life in Poetry. Anthologies include Beginnings: What Makes a Woman, edited by Jill McCabe Johnson, and Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose About Alzheimer's Disease, edited by Holly Hughes.
Puget Sound Poetry Connection Announces the Featured Poet for November (Friday, Nov.8th): Bob Toohey, Federal Way, WA
Bob Toohey is a poet, essayist, and blogger (Falling Forward – Into the Hidden Ground of Life) living in Federal Way, WA. Bob is married with five children and six grandchildren.
A graduate with majors in both English and Biology from the University of Alabama, Bob has won the “Write On the Sound” regional writing contest for both poetry and essay, and his poetry has been selected for inclusion in the WA 129 anthology.
Bob has been a featured poet in regional poetry open mic groups.
Bob is regular spiritual retreat facilitator, a national featured speaker for employee workplace safety, and is an avid mountaineer and long-distance runner. Bob was a finisher in the 2019 running of the Boston Marathon.
Puget Sound Poetry Connection Announces the October Distinguished Writer
On Friday, Oct 11th, the Puget Sound Poetry Connection is pleased pleased to host Jennifer Boyden as our featured poet of the month.
Jennifer Boyden is the author of two books of poetry, The Declarable Future (awarded The Four Lakes Prize in Poetry) and The Mouths of Grazing Things (winner of The Brittingham Prize in Poetry), both with University of Wisconsin Press, as well as the novel The Chief of Rally Tree which was awarded the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature. Prior, Jennifer was a PEN Northwest Wilderness Writing Resident, which allows one writer to live and write for a year in unparalleled solitude in a remote region of the Rogue River in southern Oregon. Her work appears in multiple journals, including Basalt Magazine, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Gettysburg Review, among others.
Jennifer serves on the faculties of Spring Street International School and Eastern Oregon University's low-residency MFA program. She lives on San Juan Island in Washington state with her husband, daughter, and carrot-loving donkeys.
Wonderful evening of shared poetry, featuring Robert Hasselblad along with the Puget Sound Poetry Connection Poets. Keep writing Poets!
PUGET SOUND POETRY CONNECTION
DISTINGUISHED WRITER SERIES
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13, doors open at 7 pm
READER – ROBERT HASSELBLAD
Robert Hasselblad began writing poetry while a student at Pacific Lutheran University. He has been tinkering with language and imagery ever since. Recently retired from 43 years in the lumber industry, he lives in Tacoma and is a member of Puget Sound Poetry Connection as well as Striped Water Poets.
Robert has been published in many literary journals and anthologies. Current poems either appear or are forthcoming in riverbabble, Door is a Jar, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Big Windows Review, Avalon Literary Review, K’in and Saxifrage
PSPC Upcoming Readers
Sep 13 Robert Hasselblad
Oct 11 Jennifer Boyden
Nov 8 Bob Toohey
Dec 13 Kay Mullen
Jan 10 Mare Hake
Feb 14 Shannon O’Donnell
Mar 13 David Horowitz
Apr 10 Pat Dixon
May 8 Robert Ericksen
Jun 12 Pat West
Oct 9 Susan Landgraf
PUGET SOUND POETRY CONNECTION DISTINGUISHED WRITER SERIES
FRIDAY August 9th
FEATURED READER – C. W. Buckley
A fourth generation West Coast native, C.W. Buckley lives and works in Seattle with his family. Corporate by day, Catholic by faith, he graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology before earning an M.A. in Religion after spending two years as a chaplain resident at the Stanford and Packard Children’s Hospitals. His writing explores geek culture, conscience, faith, and fatherhood. Reading regularly at the Easy Speak open mic in that city’s northeast, his work appears in Camas: The Nature of the West, Image Journal, Catamaran Literary Reader, Timberline Review, Raven Chronicles Journal, Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature,
PUGET SOUND POETRY CONNECTION DISTINGUISHED WRITER SERIES
FRIDAY JULY 12
FEATURED READER – BENJAMIN OLSON
Our July distinguished writer for will be Benjamin Olson of Tacoma.
Ben has been writing and performing poetry since 2015, which he admits was a late start in life. “I have no regrets. My performance development was aided by open mics and poetry slams”. He has read with Old Growth Poetry Collective of Olympia, and also with Olympia Poetry Network.
His life has found focus in the out of doors. “At age eight I learned to row in Budd Inlet, before I could ride a bike (I came to that later, at age 12).” He participated in Cub Scouts, Webelos, and Boy Scouts, and worked as Survey Party Chief for over 18 years.
“Publication has not been my priority,” he says. “I thrive on the ‘living poetry’ as felt at live venues. At some point I’ll push a bit more for publication, especially as I’ve compiled three chapbooks to print.”
To Ben a good poem is an expression of three elements:
A. The strength of a poem is how well it answers its own question or tells its own story.
B. The beauty of a poem is in its metaphors/ lyrical form/ flow.
C. The power of a poem is in how effectively we share a human experience through it.
Reading at Immanuel Presbyterian
901 N J Street Tacoma WA 98103
Doors open at 7 PM
Reading in Basement Fellowship Room – Enter from Parking Lot
An open mic follows the featured reader. All are welcome to sign up.
POEMS OF LOCATION & DISLOCATION: LEAVING & FINDING HOME
Poet and storyteller Merna Ann Hecht who founded and co-directs the Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry Project is offering a poetry class which will grapple with dominant narratives about who belongs and who is excluded. Participants will read poetry that addresses exile, immigration and forced migration by diverse poets of different ages and ethnicities including poems from Merna's recent work with asylum seekers in Athens. Class material also includes poems from a new anthology titled, Making Mirrors: Writing/Righting by and for Refugees. Participants will create their own poems to address their personal and political experiences of displacement and yearning for home.
The class will meet for four sessions on Wednesdays from 10 am to 12 pm on July 10, 17, 24 and 31. To register online click on hugohouse.org or register by phone at 206 322-7030. In person registration is at Hugo House, 1634 Eleventh Ave. on Capitol Hill. General tuition is $240 and member tuition is $216. Scholarships are available. If you or anyone you know is a non-English speaker please contact Merna at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will arrange for translators as possible.
Puget Sound Poetry Connection was honored in May to have Katherine (Kat) Van Eddy from Tacoma, WA as our distinguished writer. It was a wonderful night of poetry, networking, and fun.
We had a wonderful time at our March reading, hosted by Glena Cook , featuring distinguished poet Benjamin Schmitt reading from his latest work "Soundtrack to a Fleeting Masculinity.
After Benjamin read from his work for 30 minutes, ten poets read their poems, with the theme of "Valentines Day'.
Our host Glena Cook took the prize for best valentines poem--a difficult, but also unanimous decision.
We were glad to see poets both new and veteran displaying their talents.
Come join us at our next open mic poetry meeting on Friday, April 12th.
Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna visits Tacoma's Poetry Connection as their January Distinguished Writer.
On Friday January 11th, 2019, The Puget Sound Poetry Connection's Distinguished Poet's series kicked off in spectacular fashion. Current WA State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna led us in an intimate reading of her beautiful, profound, and sometimes jarring poetry.
Given current politics and societal focus on immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from Central America, her poetry resonates especially well. Born in El Salvador, she came as a child with family to the United States in 1981 to escape the civil war in her home country. Her ability to address the concerns and lives of individuals moving across borders into unknown and uncertain futures informs her beautiful poetry.
For those who observe the season of Epiphany, last Sunday’s gospel scripture recounted the Slaughter of the Innocents. In a similar remembrance, Claudia’s epic poetry collection Killing Marias gives voice to women and girls murdered in Juarez Mexico. One reviewer writes “each poem is a rosary bead (that) reveals a crack of light.”
Stay tuned for notices of our ongoing distinguished poets series held monthly at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Tacoma.