Yes, I did get that from Write253’s Louder Than A Bomb Tacoma poetry slam, but listening to poetry and truly hearing the messages authors are conveying is more important than ever as our country continues to divide itself along political and racial lines. Despite our national division, I see poets, authors, musicians and artists trying to sew the gap back up with art. And I can honestly say I’m continually impressed not only the quality of their creative work, but with the strength of their messages, as well.
The impact of Tacoma’s local artistry hit me the hardest this afternoon at a post-workshop open mic hosted by Write253. The workshops and open mic were a part of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, which is happening all weekend (and includes a small press fair that yours truly will be peddling my wares at on Saturday afternoon).
Washington State History Museum
Write253’s Mike Haeflinger & Open-Mic Host
Poet Performing with Baby, like a Boss
Write253’s open mic was filled with young writers and musicians, all of whom blew me away with their performances. Students spoke with honesty and grit about alcoholism, violence, identity and race, community, friendship and politics, and they did so with a sense of abandon that I think many adults (myself included) struggle to achieve.
It was inspiring. Theywere inspiring. So I sat down to create something of my own, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. I went home and recorded a few poems as spoken word to share with you in the same way the young poets I heard this afternoon shared with me.
This fall and winter, I hope to record more poetry, to write new poems, and to share as much of it with you as I can. If I can swing it, I’ll record stories and poems by other local authors, as well. Listen in and let me know what you think.
More importantly, sit down and write. and share. and do it again and again and again.
The Small Press Fair is one of several components of the 2017 Cascadia Poetry Festival, which includes themed poetry readings by prominent authors of the Pacific Northwestm guided workshops and round table discussions from Oct. 12 – 15. We hope to see you there, whether you’re buying books or simply hoping to enjoy a poetry reading.
What: Blue Cactus Press Book Sale
When: noon – 5 p.m. Saturday, October 14
Where: Washington State History Museum
(1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma)
I know this is short notice, but if you’re free this Friday night please join me for an evening of poetry at Deep Waters‘ monthly gathering and open mic reading. I’m honored to be this month’s featured guest! Despite the nerve-wracking terror I feel before readings, I’m truly excited to share my work with the folks of Deep Waters. In addition to reading from my new poetry collection, Still Clutching Maps, I’ll also read newer works and chat about my inspiration for writing. I’ll have books available for sale at the event.
What: Deep Waters’ monthly reading & open mic, ft. Christina Butcher
When: September 15, 7 p.m
Where: Steilacoom Public Library
(2950 Steilacoom Blvd, Steilacoom, WA)
Join Tacoma authors Christina Butcher and Leah Mueller for an afternoon of book sales and readings in the summer sun! Butcher and Mueller will be at the Food for Thought booth at the Point Ruston Farmer’s Market on August 27. They’ll be selling books, chatting about local literature and poetry, and will hold short readings around noon.
What: Poetry Reading & Book Sales
When: August 27, 1 – 5 p.m.
Where: Point Ruston Farmer’s Market (5005 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98407)