Archive for January, 2015


NorthWest Poetry Update: Spotlight on Striped Water Auburn WA

January 26, 2015

A few years back when I started this blog, I thought I might

write sometimes about Poetry.  Share my history with it,

jot down some thoughts, share some of my adventures—

that sort of thing.



I began the blog during April’s NaPoWriMo sharing prompts,

making up some original prompts and exposing my first rough

writes to those prompts.  I’ll write more about the write

a-poem-a-day during April challenge soon.  It’s a good exercise

to be part of and I enjoy encouraging people to join in.



Later I started adding the Poetry in the NorthWest pages

publicizing various readings and open mics occurring mostly in

Western Washington.  This augments the emails I send out a few

times per month to approximately 600 subscribers letting them

know about numerous readings and sometimes special events and

workshops going on in Western and NorthWestern Washington

State.   I publicize reading and events that I’ve organized or am

directly  participating in of course, but I also include many, many

events I have absolutely nothing to do with that might be of

interest to those who are open to going to readings.  Most have

little to no cost involved, so you can feed your mind and muse

pretty cheap!



I really believe I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the country

that has so many poetry and literary related events, readings and

open mics going on.  There are things going on almost every day of

every week and often two or three gatherings within a 50 mile radius

happening on certain evenings.



Most of you reading thing already know this, but I want any new

readers to feel welcomed.



I’ve seen Poetry change lives for the better.  Attending readings will

help make you a better listener, present opportunities to make new

connections and begin new friendships.






A few days ago a topical poem I wrote and completed on January 9th

was published online HERE at Penhead Press.





There’s a wonderful group of writers in Auburn who have called

themselves The Striped Water Poets. (Auburn is

about 25 miles South of  Downtown Seattle).  I get a big kick out of

the fact that they have informal gatherings almost every Tuesday in a

meeting room located in the Auburn City Hall building.



They sit around a long conference table and share poems with each

other.  They get quick honest feedback from each other about the

poems they’ve written and often get suggestions and ideas on how

they might make the poems better.  The critiques are honest but gentle

and respectful.   I wish I had the time and lived closer so that I could be

a regular (I live about 35 miles away).  They are very nice to visitors and

newcomers to the group.  Just bring 8 to 10 copies of a poem you wrote

to share with everyone (you’ll get them back too.).



It doesn’t cost anything to attend and if you start showing up on a regular

basis, you will be considered a Striped Water Poet member and would

have to emphatically tell them Groucho Marx style, I refuse to join a club

that would have me as a member to avoid such a fate (though they might

refuse to let you quit the group without singing the national anthem of

Freedonia or at least naming 5 Marx Brothers. *



About three years ago they started a regular monthly reading at the

Station Bistro which features (usually) 2 featured Poet guest readers and

around an hour devoted to open mic readers (meaning you sign up on a list

and you get to read for three to five minutes).   Many of the best poets in the

Northwest have been featured there.   It’s good form to purchase something

to eat and drink during the reading, but you are not forced to do this.

The Station Bistro is an independently owned business that plays host to the

monthly event.  There’s no cover-charge so if you can get there, you won’t be

turned away.



The group also has created a poetry event every year during the Auburn Days

Festival that happens in Downtown Auburn every August.  Streets are closed off,

classic cars and vendors selling things mix with live music and even a parade.

And then inside the Auburn Theater on a special Sunday there’s a free workshop

in the morning, special readings in the early afternoon and a poetry contest with

lots of prizes in the late afternoon.  It’s a wonderful event!



A couple of years ago, Striped Water convinced Auburn to have a Poet Laureate.

Richard Brugger was the first one, and he was so beloved they held onto him for

a couple of years (don’t blame them a bit).  The new Auburn Poet Laureate is

Marjorie Rommel whose background includes journalism.  She’s a Striped Water

member too and for many years was responsible for making poetry happen

during the Canterbury Renaissance Fair held in nearby Kent for many years.

Striped Water is associated with several readings and events.




If you don’t already know about them or haven’t been to a reading or

gathering in Auburn, let me encourage you to check it out.  I know it is possible

that you might become a semi-regular at Auburn gathering and wind up an

honorary Striped Water Poet member yourself, but that’s a risk you’ll just

have to endure.


The Striped Water Poets Critique Circle

meets every Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Auburn City Hall

located at 25 West Main Street Auburn, WA.

You need to get there on time because after 7 p.m. the doors

to get into the building are locked. (Don’t worry, you can usually get out

when you want to.  There’s plenty of free street parking nearby).


Poety at the Station Bistro

happens the First Wednesday of every monthand begins at 7 p.m.


It’s hosted by SWP (you know who) and the Northwest Renaissance

with support from the Auburn Arts Commission and King County 4Culture.

The emcee is: Emilie Rommel Shimkus

Featured Poets and Open Mic!


The Station Bistro is located at: 110 2nd Street # 125

Auburn, WA 98003


Coming soon at Station Bistro in Auburn:


Wednesday, February 4 2015

Redmond Poet Laureate Michael Dylan Welch

Jennifer Bullis


Wednesday, March 4 2015

Michael Smeltzer

Morgan Sagdahl


Wednesday, April 1 2015

April Fools Day Poetry!

James Rodgers

Susan Rich


Thanks for reading.   Expect a new posting or two every week.

In April you’ll get a posting every day.


*Five Marx Brothers:  Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo

(their mother was known as Minnie—in case you need that info for

any reason I thought I’d share it.  You’ll have to watch Duck Soup to

hear the Hail Freedonia anthem).


Copyright© Christopher J. Jarmick 2015


JANUARY 2015 Northwest Poetry and Readings Updates

January 10, 2015

“A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent

then all that will be left are the soloists.

Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and

diminishes the song.”

– – ― Vera-Nazarian

2nd Wednesday Take a Poem From Your Heart Reading

at Park Place Books–Kirkland  USA


Wednesday  January 14, 2015

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  FREE


Our Featured Poets are:

Michael Spence


Sharon Hashimoto


Plus  OPEN MIC !!!




Michael Spence spent a hitch as a junior naval officer aboard the aircraft

carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), then returned to Seattle, where he

spent thirty years driving public-transit buses in the Seattle area. He has

4 poetry collections: The Spine (Purdue University Press, 1087),

Adam Chooses (Rose Alley Press, 1998),  Crush Depth (Truman State

University Press, 2009) and The Bus Driver s Threnody (2014) was a

finalist for The New Criterion Poetry Prize. In 1990, Spence was awarded

a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts,

and he has received half a dozen nominations for a Pushcart Prize.

His work has appeared in many magazines, including The American Scholar,

The Chariton Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Hopkins Review, The

Hudson Review, Literary Imagination, Measure, The New Criterion,

The New Republic, The North American Review, Poetry, Poetry Northeast,

The Sewanee Review, The Southern Review, Tampa Review, Tar River

Poetry, and The Yale Review.


Poet and writer Sharon Hashimoto was born and raised in Seattle. She

earned both her BA and MFA from the University of Washington. Her

first collection of poetry, The Crane Wife (2003), won a Nicholas

Roerich Poetry Prize. She has also published a chapbook of poems,

Reparations (1992). Her poetry and fiction have appeared widely in

journals such as the Rambler, Crab Orchard Review, and Shenandoah.

She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts,

the King County Arts Commission, and Artists Trust. Hashimoto teaches

writing at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington.



Park Place Books is one of the few remaining full sized new and used

independent bookstores on the East Side.Consider supporting their efforts

to stay in business in the near future.

They host many reading clubs and community events.


This poetry reading series began in 2007.


Park Place Books is  located in the Park Place Mall off 85th Street  in

Kirkland at 348 Parkplace Ctr Kirkland, WA 98033-6229


February 14thJack Remick and

Herb McClees


January 12, 2015  8 p.m. Seattle

Featured: Stephanie Kallos


Open Mic


8 p.m. (open mic signup)  Reading at 8:30

at the

Wedgwood Ale House & Cafe

8515 35th Ave NE Ste A, Seattle, Washington 98115

Stephanie Kallos spent twenty years in the theatre as an actress,

coach, and teacher of voice, speech, and accents before turning her

full time attention to writing. She is the author  of numerous works

of short fiction, essays, and three novels: BROKEN FOR YOU

(selected by Sue  Monk Kidd for “The Today Show” bookclub),

SING THEM HOME  (chosen by Entertainment Weekly  as one of the

Best Books of 2009), and LANGUAGE ARTS (forthcoming in June

2015). She is a proud member  of the Seattle7Writers and its offshoot

band, The Rejections. Stephanie lives  in North Seattle with her family

and is  at work on her fourth novel.


“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with

modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This

religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the

heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today.

I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of

satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against

tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become

a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other

ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”

Salman Rushdie (responding to the previous fire-bombing of Charlie Hebdo)


Some Listings from PoetsWest . . .


Tuesday, January 13 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Caffe Zingaro, 127 Mercer St., Seattle

All open mic venue co-hosted by Margaret Roncone and

Lainne Dexter. Sign-up not needed.



Tuesday, January 13 at 8:00 p.m.

Re-bar, 1114 Howell St. (Howell St. & Boren Ave.) Seattle

Seattle Slam features TBA. Open mic sign-up between 8-8:30.

Cover charge $5. 21+ with ID required at the door.



Wednesday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Park Place Books, Kirkland Park Place Mall, 348 Parkplace Ctr.,

Kirkland, WA

Take a Poem from Your Heart features Michael Spence and

Sharon Hashimoto. Open mic. Free. Host/MC Christopher J.

Jarmick.  Contact


Wednesday, January 14 at 8pm

Tougo, 1410 18th Avenue on Capitol Hill, Seattle

Rain City Slam. All ages, open mic, poetry slam. Admission $3.




Thursday, January 15 at 6:30 p.m. (PT) from KSER 90.7 FM

PoetsWest on The Road Home from Everett, WA. The broadcast is

available via streaming by going to

following the Listen Live links.



Thursday, January 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Cafe Zippy LLC, 2811 Wetmore Ave. in downtown Everett, WA

Everett Poetry Nite. All ages. Free admission. Sign up begins at 7pm.

Open mic 7:30-9pm. Contact Duane Kirby Jensen



Monday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Bai Pai lounge, 2316 NE 65th St. (Ravenna neighborhood), Seattle

Open mike poetry and music with all night happy hour prices on drink.

Contact Jed




Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm

The Creekside, 18200 Woodinville-Snohomish Rd NE, (Intersection of

Woodinville-Snohomish Rd NE and 140th Avenue NE), Woodinville, WA

PoetsWest @ The Creekside features Keith Moul. Open mic. Hosted by

Clark Crouch. Emceed by Terry Busch.




Wednesday, January 21 at 7 pm

Traditions Fair Trade Cafe, 5th and Water St., Olympia WA

The Olympic Poetry Network features TBA. Contact Joanne Clarkson





Next reading is February 4th.

Talena Lachelle Queen features!


Duvall Library

Meeting Room

15508 Main Street NE, Duvall, WA


We meet once a month, on first Wednesdays (check Upcoming Readers

for exceptions). Open mic starts at 7. Featured reader at 7:30. Duvall Library

is an all-ages venue. Bring your poetry, prose or even song, along with a friend

to hear you at the mic!




VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: If you live near Duvall, have an interest in poetry, and are looking for a low time commitment but fun opportunity, join us at our next board meeting! We are looking for people interested in hospitality, emcee duties, publicity and administration, though all skills are welcome. Our board meetings are open to all. Check back for our next meeting. Come on by and say hi!


The poet, Talena Lachelle Queen, earned her MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics from the University of Washington Bothell. She specializes in poetry that infuses music. She began her creative writing practice at five years old. She majored in Creative Writing at Rosa Parks School of Performing Arts in Paterson, New Jersey and she teaches writing at a variety of elementary schools and for nonprofit organizations.


Feature is  Matthew Brouwer


Matthew Brouwer is a performance poet and teaching artist residing in Bellingham, WA.  His work bridges the worlds of spoken word and literary poetry to create a style that can be both evocative and subtle, enlivening and profound.  He has performed throughout the west and been featured in regional literary, performance, and visual arts showcases such as Cirque,Phrasings, and Strands.  Matthew  leads workshops and retreats for teens and adults, coordinates the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project, and has facilitated Kintsugi: a writing circle for people suffering chronic medical conditions.  He is the author of five poetry chapbooks: Cannonball Island, Men Who Walk with Canes, and The Gospel According to Matthew (Parts I, II & III). Matthew Brouwer’s website is


Coming Soon:


April 1, 2015: Michael Dylan Welch


May 6, 2015: Raul Sanchez


June 3, 2015: Christopher J. Jarmick


July 1, 2015: Nancy Pagh



#jesuischarlie  “I am Charlie”