• MVPS Poetry in Performance Event

    Healing Fractures
    A Mid-Valley Poetry Society Poetry in Performance Event
    2-4 p.m., Sunday, April 25, via Zoom
    Painter & Writer Cynthia Herron & Singer-Songwriter Kristen Grainger
    Free ● Open Mic between Sets by Featured Presenters

    This Poetry in Performance event will be a program of art, music, and poetry for “Healing Fractures.” Painter and writer Cynthia Herron will present her art, and Singer-songwriter Kristen Grainger will perform with Dan Wetzel, her partner in the True North duo.

    Enter the link above into your browser to attend the free Zoom event. Meanwhile, you are invited to write poems in response to a visual work, “Low Field with Mended Oak Leaf,” by Cynthia Herron and/or a song, “The Ghost of Abuelito,” by Kristen Grainger—and then to perform the poems during the open mic segment of the April 25th program.

    Grainger’s “The Ghost of Abuelito,” in a performance with the True North band, can ...

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  • Posted: March 20, 2021

    Related to Loon: a first year teacher in Tuluksak by Jackie McManus

    Related to Loon: a first year teacher in Tuluksak has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. Kathleen Flenniken, former WA Poet Laureate says “McManus is a skilled storyteller, playful, respectful…This book is an absolute delight.” Further reviews and ordering information can be found at www.finishinglinepress.com or the ...

    Related to Loon: a first year teacher in Tuluksak by Jackie McManus

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  • OPA reviews Grim Honey, by Jessica Barksdale, reviewed by Alicia Hoffman

    Reviewed by Alicia Hoffman
    Grim Honey by Jessica Barksdale
    Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2021
    ISBN: 978-1-7354002-1-1
    Available at https://sheilanagigblog.com/sheila-na-gig-editions-quick-shopping/jessica-barksdale/

    Exigence and Apocalypse
    The past is never dead. It’s not even past.
    – William Faulkner

    Like the horrific tragedy of 9/11, everyone will remember where they were when Covid19 shut down the globe. In early March 2020, days before nation-wide school closures, I was standing in a room full of maskless high schoolers, reviewing for the upcoming AP Language exams. We were studying the rhetorical concept of exigence, the idea that writers often come up against a situation that demands action or remedy. It is this impulse, this urgency, that often calls us to act, that prompts utterance, that begs us to better understand our place in the world’s vast and complicated chess game.

    When the pandemic came ...

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  • 2020 Spring Contest Winners: Poet’s Choice: 1st Place Winner

    June 3, 2020

    Baby, It’s Cold Outside

    (a Vivianne sonnet variation)

    Barbara Blanks

    As embryos we each explore the wall

    of womb that holds us. It’s the first place joy

    is felt—mom’s heartbeat like a lullaby.  

    Cocooned in touch, that’s how we interact.

    We’re chastised just as soon as we can crawl

    or walk. Just look! Hands off! That’s not a toy.

    We’re told to view, to listen, smell that, try

    a taste of this—but touch … and hands are smacked.

    And so begins our isolation. All

    those inhibitions finally destroy

    instinctive comfort found in touch, deny

    the core of who we are. Our lives contract.