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


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