Listen to the Poem!

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).

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. They were 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. 

Christina Butcher at Deep Waters’ Monthly Reading & Open Mic

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)