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.
See you there.
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.
Poetry in the Park! Tahoma Audubon Society will connect people with nature through its 3nd Annual Poetry in the Park event and new poetry sign installations in local parks.