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
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.
SPOTLIGHT ON AUBURN’S STRIPED WATER POETS
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
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
Wednesday, March 4 2015
Wednesday, April 1 2015
April Fools Day Poetry!
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