Word Up

A week of poetry

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

In any given week, Bellingham plays host to a variety of events related to poetry—whether it’s readings by locally or nationally known scribes, open mics or a slew of contests related to the written word. This week is no different. Read on for a few suggestions about how you can get involved.

If you’re scrolling through this paragraph on the day of our newspaper’s publication, there’s still time to be in the audience when the winners of Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center’s annual peaceful poetry contest read their selections. The Youth Peace Poetry Reading starts at 7pm Wed., Dec. 6 at Village Books, and will feature 10 poems about peace and understanding written and read by Whatcom County youth, as well as four award-winning poems from this year’s contest. If you need a distraction from the latest news cycle or just want to feel hopeful about the dreams of the next generation, come support the students—and be entertained as well. More info: http://www.whatcomdrc.org

Wednesday is also the day those in charge of the Poem Booth will begin their latest Kickstarter campaign. Last December, local poets Shannon Laws and Summer Starr, and visual artist Christen Mattix, asked for donations to help turn the abandoned phone booth in front of downtown Bellingham’s Community Food Co-op into a kiosk of creativity. They hit their modest goal, and soon enough turned a sticker- and graffiti-covered cubicle into an eye-catching poetry display. Every few months, new works by poets representing a variety of cultural backgrounds and perspectives are switched out, giving passersby a reason to stop and look for a little inspiration in their day (the current poem, Jory Mickelson’s “Divination,” was recently added and will be on display through the end of February). This year, organizers hope to raise $500 through their month-long Kickstarter for an annual chapbook that features the winners and honorable mentions through the year, a poetry reading event and a new paint job for the booth. They’d love your support to help make it happen. More info: http://www.poembooth.weebly.com

Although it’s been around for more than 15 years and has made its home everywhere from the old Stuart’s Coffee House to its current locale in the lower floor of the Bellingham Public Library—with more than a few venues in between—it still bears repeating that the longtime literary juggernaut known as poetrynight is well worth giving up your Monday nights for. Why? Well, for one thing, the double-winner of the Mayor’s Arts Award is about as inclusive a spot for sharing poetry you’ll find, well, just about anywhere. But it’s more than a place for new and established writers’ work to be highlighted. It’s also a space where, if you wish, you can just come and listen—and maybe laugh, and possibly cry, and perhaps gain the courage to one day share words of your own. As the late Jack McCarthy noted, poetrynight is the “best open mic on the West Coast.” Go and find out for yourself. More info: http://www.poetrynight.org

btown holiday
More Words...
Holiday Reads
More than stocking stuffers

Bibliophiles looking to gift books or simply stock up on reading material for the holidays might enjoy these new titles that express the power of reading to entertain, inspire, comfort, teach and build bridges.

As a librarian and lifelong book lover, Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and…

more »
Inside an opiate epidemic

It is difficult to turn on NPR these days and not hear a story about the opiate epidemic, recently declared a national public health emergency. In local news, Washington state filed a lawsuit against the makers of OxyContin for downplaying the risks of addiction to doctors and consumers.…

more »
Andy Weir goes to the moon

I have a confession to make. When I read Andy Weir’s bestselling novel The Martian last year, I wasn’t all that interested in the fact that the sci-fi story about an American astronaut stranded alone on Mars was as scientifically accurate as was humanely possible.

What did grab me from…

more »
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|4145 Meridian St.

Santa's in Town

10:00am|Yeager's Toyland

Winter Art Camps

10:00am|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Cross-Country Skiing Basics


VB Reads

7:00pm|Village Books


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library


9:30pm|Green Frog

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|4145 Meridian St.

Santa's in Town

10:00am|Yeager's Toyland

Bread and Philanthropy

8:00am|Avenue Bread

Bellingham Mysterians

4:00pm|Village Books

Upcycled Wrapping

5:30pm|North Fork Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Ski and Snowboard Tuning Basics


Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Amahl and the Night Visitors

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

A calamitous Christmas


Ladies of Shred

7:00pm|Aslan Brewing Co.

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Comedy Open Mic


Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|4145 Meridian St.

Santa's in Town

10:00am|Yeager's Toyland

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Pizza Class

3:00pm|Appel Farms

The Lights of Christmas

5:00pm|Warm Beach Camp

Kids and Cookies

5:30pm|Ferndale High School

Christmas in Japan

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Holiday Soup Potluck

6:00pm|Sumas Library

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Community Sing-Along

7:00pm|Ferndale High School

Blue Christmas

7:00pm|First Congregational Church of Bellingham

The Wizard of Oz

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Saul Cline Trio

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Scottish Dancing

7:30pm|Fairhaven Library

see our complete calendar »

Setzer Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Trove Wizard Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1