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Pre-orders & Poems

Terrain 2020Guess what, friends?! We’re officially halfway to meeting our pre-order goal for Gina Hietpas’ forthcoming, debut poetry book, Terrain! Since we launched the pre-order campaign back in January, we’ve raised half our printing costs for the book! We are incredibly grateful for your show of support through pre-orders and social media love, and we’d like to say: Thank you, truly. This book would not be possible without your support, especially during this emotionally and financially taxing time.  

We still have a few months left to go before publication, which is now set for September 10, 2020, and we’re hoping you, dear readers, will continue to support Gina’s work (and the press) by pre-ordering a copy of the book if you haven’t already. If you have, please consider sharing the pre-order information with folks you think would enjoy it.

You can pre-order a copy of Terrain here.

In the meantime, here are a few poems from Terrain, by Gina Hietpas, to get you through  this Monday morning.


Coyote Speaks to Me

by Gina Hietpas

 

So you want to know this place? Be up at dawn,
when first light brushes the sky beyond the grove
of madrones you call the seven sisters.

Don’t whine. Learn by exposing yourself
to the dark and cold.
I sleep in the blackberry tangle edging the hayfield,
my thorn fortress warmed by southern light.

Every fall, glossy fruit hangs outside my door. Breakfast.
There’s the pioneer orchard, trees gnarled,
apples like knobs, but I tell you – nothing like a feast
of field mice and fallen apples.

It’s a quick lope along the fence to the ravine.
Good mousing by the cedar posts
bunched with grass and ragged leaves.
Listen. The water, eighty feet below,
roars with yesterday’s rain.

Stick with me!
I’ll show you persistence and the art of pounce.
Watch me shrug off disappointment.

In solitude you learn your story.
Only then can you riff on the moon.


I Take My Chances with a Seasonal Man

by Gina Hietpas

 

There was a time, your green shirt ripe
with herring roe was pungent comfort.

You, gone again for the salmon run.

Me, city bred, newly wed
plunged into cold water living:
prime the pump, lime the privy, sliver kindling.

I polish the cook stove’s blue porcelain door,
such a fine Wedgewood,
tidy the drawers of the kitchen hutch,

first date receipts, errant buttons, string too short to save,
a clutch of mismatched dice.
Shake for luck and roll.

Stuck, I scour the sour whiff of mushrooms,
grey decay crouched in corners.
I must not cower.

Alone. Trim the wicks, light the lamps.
Feed the fire. Listen to coyote chatter.


Riffing on the Moon

by Gina Hietpas

 

A full moon rides the scruffy sky.
Restless as incoming tide, I wander,
room to room, in raw pursuit of sleep.

Led by mosaic light, I step into the yard
to breathe frost and stars
and expanded space.

A coyote yips an opening chord.
The pack jubilates – howling tremolos,
braided barks, a high descant.

Across the valley another band accepts the challenge,
riffs with alto warbles, solo yelps,
a running keen.

Echoing pitches volley, a call and response
of boundaries and bonds.
As the canticle fades, final alpha barks

dissolve all illusion of aloneness.


IMG_1215Gina Hietpas is a self-taught poet, born and raised in Tacoma, Washington state. Nowadays, she lives outside Sequim, WA, 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. The opportunity to be a back-country ranger for several seasons shaped her connection to wilderness. Professionally she was a middle school teacher for twenty five years.  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.

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Now Offering: Poetry Workshop led by avery r. young

We’re pinching ourselves to make sure it’s really happening: avery r. young is headed back to Tacoma, and he’s holding a workshop with Blue Cactus Press, followed by a reading and book signing at King’s Books.

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Yup, definitely hapening. We’re excited to announce that on April 5th, Blue Cactus Press is welcoming writer, performer, educator and activist avery r. young to Tacoma in celebration of his new poetry book, neckbone. avery will kick things off by leading a small poetry workshop at 2pm at Defiance Square (a.k.a. Blue Cactus Press’ office in Tacoma).

Please note that workshop space is limited to 15 participants 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). Trust us, this will be the best $25 you ever spend.

BCP will also reserve two seats for youth poets, free of charge. Youth interested in participating must email bluecactuspress(at)gmail.com with the following information: first and last name, age, school currently attending, and a short statement explaining how participating in the workshop will benefit their artistic craft. We’ll email youth to formally offer workshop seats after reviewing submissions.

Adults can sign up for the workshop by filling out the form below AND submit payment via the “Pay Your Registration Fee” button below.

Pay Your Registration Fee

$25.00

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! 

In the meantime, check out one of avery r. young’s performances here. 


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.