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

Smoking Crow
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A date with death

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The Turtle of Oman

When news headlines emphasize violence and strife, it can be comforting to engross oneself in a “gentle read,” and Naomi Shihab Nye’s delightful novel The Turtle of Oman fills the bill.

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Love and Loss
Fighting for trans equality

Things are never as bad as they seem.

A brighter spot can always be found if you just look for it and there’s always something to be thankful for—a way of making yourself feel better because things aren’t as they seem.

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Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

World Water Day Beach Cleanup

12:00pm|Locust Beach

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Toward Zero Waste Workshop

1:30pm|Kombucha Town's Culture Cafe

Happy Hour Thursdays

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Trivia Thursday

5:30pm|Trove Coffee

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Pub Run

6:00pm|BBay Running


6:00pm|Ciao Thyme Commons

South Fork Exploration

6:30pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Fitness Forum

7:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Crown Jewel Wilderness

7:00pm|Village Books

Havilah Rand House Concert

7:30pm|Chuckanut Center

Village Books
Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Women's Conference Registration Deadline

9:00am|Bellwether Ballroom

Wild Things

9:30am|Whatcom Falls Park

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Bingo Night

6:00pm|The Majestic

From Auschwitz to America

7:00pm|Village Books

The Book of Moron

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Adventures and Brawls

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

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Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

The Book of Moron

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Adventures and Brawls

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

NSEA Work Party

9:00am|Squalicum Creek Park

Native Plant Sale & Expo

9:00am|Whatcom Community College

Whatcom County Democrats Convention

10:00am|Bellingham High School

Rock & Gem Club Show

10:00am|Bloedel Donovan Community Center

Starting Your Vegetable Garden

10:00am|Blaine Library

March for Our Lives

10:00am|Bellingham City Hall

Walk for Water

10:00am|Fairhaven Village Green

Tax Help Available

12:30pm| First Congregational Church


1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Spring Show Opening Reception

2:00pm|River Gallery

Native Plants & Birds

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

A Conversation with Alan Friedlob

3:00pm|Deming Library

The Passage Home to Meuse

4:00pm|Lynden Village Books

Memory's Blade

7:00pm|Village Books

Contra Dance

7:00pm| Fairhaven Library

Shantala and Friends

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Ballroom Dance

7:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

see our complete calendar »

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