POSTPONED: Poetry Reading ft. avery r. young



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.

On April 5, nationally recognized poet and performer avery r. young will hold a poetry reading and book signing at King’s Books at 5pm. Former Tacoma Poet Laureate Kellie Richardson will open the event with her stunning poetry, followed by a reading and book signing by avery. The reading is FREE and open to the public.

If you’ve never seen avery perform, you will be blown away by his presence and the power of his poetry. 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! You can check out one of avery r. young’s performances here. 

Those interested in workshopping with avery prior to the reading can do so by registering for a small poetry workshop led by the poet 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).

Register for the workshop and get more information about it 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.

SOUL Food Poetry Night

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.

About the Readers:

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.

Winter Garden Poetry Series

This Winter, Lakewold Gardens is partnering with Write 253 to host a Poetry Series featuring local poets reading their work in the Wagner House at Lakewold Gardens! Each event has two featured poets with a youth poet opening. At the end the poets will stick around for a Q&A. On February 16, publisher and poet Christina Butcher, former Tacoma Poet Laureate Kellie Richardson, and poet James Santana will all read at the gardens. This reading will also be recorded and shared on the Prickly Pear Podcast. Please see the full lineup of poets and perfomances below:

Jan 19 — Abby Murray (Tacoma Poet Laureate) and Mare Hake (Tahoma Literary Review)

Jan 26 — William Kupinse and Natalie Scenters- Zapico (Professors at Puget Sound)

Feb 16 — Christina Butcher (Blue Cactus Press) and Kellie Richardson (Former Tacoma Poet Laureate)

Feb 23 — Kristen Orlando (SAMi Humanities Teacher) and Kevin Miller (Local Published Poet)

*Books / the event poster (freshly pressed in a limited edition run by the Write253 Pop Up Print Shop at the Washington State History Museum) will be for sale.

⫸ The suggested donation is 10 dollars per event. ⫷