Peruse upcoming readings, workshops, and literary events Blue Cactus Press and its conspirators are involved with below.
Join Blue Cactus Press in welcoming writer, performer, educator and activist avery r. young to Tacoma in celebration of his new poetry book, neckbone, on April 5, 2020.
We’re incredibly lucky to have avery join us here in Tacoma, and are excited to announce that while he’s here, he’ll lead a small poetry workshop at 2pm at Defiance Square (a.k.a. Blue Cactus Press’ office). Please note that workshop space is limited, and registration is required. Cost for the poetry workshop is $25 per participant (registration fees go directly towards compensating the artist for his time and energy). Get more information and register for the workshop here.
Following the workshop, avery will hold a poetry reading and book signing at King’s Books at 5pm on the same day (April 5). The reading is FREE and open to the public. If you’ve never seen avery perform, you will be blown away. Do not miss this opportunity to see a nationally recognized and bomb-ass poet, activist and performer lay it down on the mic right here in Tacoma, or to create poems with him at the workshop!
About avery r. young:
Interdisciplinary artist avery r. young is a 3Arts Award winning teaching-artist, composer and producer with work that spans the genres of music, performance, visual arts and literature. Examining and celebrating Black American history and culture, his work also focuses in the areas of social justice, equity, queer identity, misogyny and body consciousness. As a writer, this Cave Canem alum has work featured The Breakbeat Poets, Coon Bidness, to be left with the body and Make Magazine. He has also written curriculum and essay on arts education which appear in Teaching Artist Journal and A.I.M. Print. Dubbed “sunday mornin jook joint,” his performance and work in sound design merges spiritual and secular aesthetics with dramatic and comedic sensibilities. He has performed in the Hip Hop Theater Festival, Wordstock and Lollapalooza. Has recorded with house producers Anthony Nicholson, Charlie Dark and is featured on recordings such as, New World Reveal-A-Solution, Audio Truism, Catfish Haven’s Devastator and New Skool Poetiks. His new full-length release, booker t. soltreyne: a race rekkid, features songs and other sound designed created during his artist residency with the University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life initiative. It was during this residency that he worked worked on sound design and concrete poems called “cullud sign(s).” Through voice, sound, visual art and performance, young is constantly exploring the forms and spaces in which poetry can exist. Most recently, he is the vocalist on flutist Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening (FPE Records) and his poetry is featured in photographer 3Arts Awardee, Cecil McDonald Jr.’s debut book, In the Company of Black (Candor Arts) and his first book neckbone (Northwestern University Press) will be available June 2019. He is currently one of four directors for the Floating Museum and touring with his band avery r. young & de deacon board.
Please join Blue Cactus Press in celebration of three years of publishing under the belt, and another year already underway! On April 30, we’re welcoming poets and authors from our last year of publishing, as well as those whose work we’re featuring in the coming year.
Featured Readers include Robert Lashley, Gina Hietpas, Michael Haeflinger, Jonah Barrett, and more!
Following our featured readers, we’ll host a short open mic to celebrate art, community and damn fine literature.
About the Readers
Jonah Barrett is a filmmaker, writer, and multimedia artist. His writing can be found in Creative Colloquy, Everyday Genius, Lit.Cat, OlyArts, and the bestselling Portland anthologies City of Weird and Dispatches From Anarres. Jonah has directed and written three feature films, a dozen-ish short films, and four web series. He has worked as a literary magazine editor, journalist, marketing director, assistant director, script supervisor, and art conservator. Currently he works at a hundred year-old theater with a number of ghosts. His favorite genres are creature features and romantic comedies, and he has found they are pretty much the same.
Gina Hietpas is a self–taught poet, born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. Nowadays, she lives outside Sequim, Washington, on a small farm with her husband, a few cows and a passel of chickens. Her land is a habitat for elk, deer, coyotes and an occasional bear. It is, for the most part, a peaceful coexistence. Several seasons as a backcountry ranger for Olympic National Park shaped her deep connection to wilderness. She has worked professionally as the director of a non-profit and a middle school teacher. Now that she has retired, she focuses her efforts on writing. She has studied with Kelli Russell Agodon, Alice Derry, Holly Hughes, Susan Rich and Kim Stafford. Hietpas’ work has appeared in Minerva Rising, Tidepools, Spindrift and New Plains Review.
Originally from the Midwest, Michael Haeflinger is the author of two chapbooks, Love Poem for the Everyday (2011) and The Days Before (2014), both from Dog On A Chain Press. In 2016, he released Let’s Don’t Be Crazy, a spoken word and music album. He is the recipient of the Rutgers-Camden Award for Community Engagement (2013), The Amocat Award for Community Engagement (2017), and a Tacoma Arts Initiative Program Award (2015). He is the Executive Director for Write253, a literary arts organization in Tacoma, WA.
Robert Lashley is a writer and activist whose was a 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Truat Fellow, and a nominee for a Stranger Genius Award. He has had work published in The Seattle Review of Books, NAILED, Poetry Northwest, McSweeney’s, and The Cascadia Review. His poetry was also featured in such anthologies as Many Trails to The Summitt, Foot Bridge Above The Falls, Get Lit, Make It True, and It Was Written. His previous books include THE HOMEBOY SONGS (Small Doggies Press, 2014), and UP SOUTH (Small Doggies Press, 2017). In 2019, The Homeboy Songs was named by Entropy Magazine as one of the 25 most essential books to come out of the Seattle area.
Join Blue Cactus Press at SOUL Food Poetry Night for an evening of readings featuring Blue Cactus Press authors, followed by an open mic. Featured readers include Yousef Allouzi, Christina Butcher, Robert Lashley, Kellie Richardson and Michael Haeflinger. BCP will have books available for purchase and signing at the event.
Yousef Allouzi is an author and data analyst currently living in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a BS in Economics and a Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University.
Christina Butcher is a Chicana poet, publisher and veteran from New Mexico. She’s also a teaching artist with Write253 and a bookseller at King’s Books in Tacoma, WA.
Michael Haeflinger is a poet and author of two chapbooks, Love Poem for the Everyday (2011) and The Days Before (2014). He is the Executive Director for Write253, a literary arts organization in Tacoma, WA.
Robert Lashley is a writer and activist, as well as a 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Truat Fellow, and a nominee for a Stranger Genius Award.
Kellie Richardson is a writer, artist and educator from Tacoma, Washington. She served as the Tacoma Poet Laureate from 2017 – 2019, holding and curating spaces that centered Black, Brown, and LGBTQ voices.