November 7, 2018: Jared Leising
Jared Leising grew up in the Midwest, and is the author of a chapbook--
The Widows and Orphans of Winesburg, Ohio. Before moving to Seattle, he received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. In 2000, Jared began teaching English at Cascadia College, and continues to do so. This past year he’s also been teaching a creative writing class for women at the King County Jail.
Emcee: Von Thompson-Wynn
December 5, 2018: Griffith H. Williams
Griffith H. Williams says: "Chapbooks and broadsides are the heart of my work. I learned to operate an antique printing press from my parents. It seemed natural, early on, to start printing my own poems with hand-carved linoleum block illustrations. The goal has been a chapbook a year, whenever possible. As of 2017, my current mark is twenty-three books over twenty-five years. Most often, my poems arise from formal verse structure and traditional bardic techniques. Topics celebrate history, nature, Wales, water, boats, children’s verse and more."
Emcee: Von Thompson-Wynn
January 2, 2019: Carolyne Wright
Carolyne Wright’s latest book is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Poetry 2009. Her co-edited anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), received ten Pushcart Prize nominations and was a finalist in the Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Awards. She is author of nine previous books and chapbooks of poetry, a book of essays, and five volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali, the latest of which is Map Traces, Blood Traces / Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre (Mayapple Press, 2017), a bilingual sequence of poems by Seattle-based Chilean poet, Eugenia Toledo (featured at Duvall in September 2017). Wright teaches for Richard Hugo House and for national and international literary conferences and festivals. A Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes and a Senior Editor for Lost Horse Press, she lived in Chile and traveled in Brazil on a Fulbright Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende. She has received grants from the NEA, 4Culture, and Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, among others, and returned to Brazil in mid-2018 on an Instituto Sacatar residency fellowship in Bahia.
February 6, 2019: Sibyl James
Sibyl James is the author of twelve books--poetry, fiction and travel memoirs--including In China with Harpo and Karl (Calyx Books), The Adventures of Stout Mama (Papier-Mache Press), China Beats (Egress Studio Press), The Grand Piano Range (Black Heron Press) and, most recently, Hard Goods & Hot Platters (Last Word Press). She has taught at colleges in the U.S., China, Mexico, and--as Fulbright professor--Tunisia and Cote d'Ivoire. Her writing has received awards from Artist Trust and the Seattle, King County and Washington State arts commissions.
March 6, 2019: Benjamin Schmitt
Benjamin Schmitt is the Best Book Award and Pushcart nominated author of three books, most recently Soundtrack to a Fleeting Masculinity (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, Fall 2018). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Antioch Review, Hobart, Worcester Review, Columbia Review, Roanoke Review, and elsewhere. A co-founder of Pacifica Writers’ Workshop, he has also written articles for The Seattle Times and At The Inkwell. He lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter.
April 3, 2019: Laura Lee Bennett
[Photo captions: (Left) The author in 1990. Photo: Laura Heller. (Middle) Savvy Dani. Sans Serif, 2015. Collection of the Artist. www.savvydani.com. (Right) Chapbook cover illustration: Crystal Edwards]
Laura Lee Bennett will perform a reading of her prose poem, Snake Medicine (First Step).
Laura Lee received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon in 1982. Soon after, she discovered Red Sky Poetry Theatre in Seattle, and was embraced by that community. Today she actively supports written and spoken arts in her Eastside community, including past service as president of the Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP).
Recent contributions include poetry performances at “[R]evolution” (2015), an installation featuring five local artists/activists at Venues for Local Artists on the Eastside (VALA Eastside); poems for “Ekphrastic Assimilations” (2016), an interactive project that brought together visual artists and poets from China and the U.S; and collaboration with poets Elizabeth Carroll Hayden and Chi Chi Stewart on a retelling of the Persephone myth, I Am Not Cursed (2016).
Snake Medicine (First Step) is Laura Lee’s first chapbook, drawn from a spoken word performance in the 1990s. Praise from the publisher:
“in 1993 i had the pleasure of hearing this story with its passionate honesty poured from the author's mouth at the microphone of red sky poetry theatre. i was overwhelmed with its beauty and power, and wanted to see it in a book. times were busy and it didn't happen then. whenever i saw Laura Lee, i would speak of it, but the copies were lost for many years. toward the end of 2016 the manuscript was found and digitized, and we went to work. with help from two beautiful artists, we now have the book i wanted for so long.”
―margareta waterman, nine muses books
Emcee: Pamela Denchfield