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Tag Archives: Anita K. Boyle


If you’re a regular in these parts, you may know that Luther Allen and I co-produce a long-running poetry-reading series, SpeakEasy. Normally held before a live audience here in Bellingham, Washington, SpeakEasy has gone Zoom in the last year, and tomorrow, Saturday, April 24, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific, we will host SpeakEasy 28: Homecoming with Rena Priest. Rena, who has just been named Washington State Poet Laureate 2021-2023, will be joined by four of her poetry mentors: James Bertolino, Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Pagh, and Jeanne Yeasting. It should be a wonderful evening of poetry. If you’d like to join us, just send an email to othermindpress AT and request the Zoom link.

Meanwhile, in the run-up to tomorrow’s event, Margaret Bikman, the doyenne of all-things-arts-and-entertainment in our region, interviewed Luther and me. The 20-minute interview will stream online today, Friday, April 23, and again tomorrow, Saturday, April 24, in the 10:30am hour Pacific time (i.e., sometime between 10:30 and 11:30 it will air, but we can’t provide a more precise time). To listen in, go to or tune in live in Bellingham at 102.3FM. If you miss it, the interview will eventually be posted on Margaret’s Arts & Entertainment Spotlight podcast page.

Hope you’ll join us for one or more of these events in honor of National Poetry Month.

Whatcom Women Words and Work

You are invited to attend a free Whatcom Advocates presentation by four artists/poets on Thursday, April 12, 2018, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, at the Whatcom Museum/Old City Hall (pictured), Rotunda Room.

Sheila Sondik, Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Canyon, and J.I. (Judy) Kleinberg will share their work, processes, and inspiration. For bios and additional information, see the Whatcom Museum event page.

“this is just to say”…

Poets on AssignmentAs writing groups go, six years is not a particularly long time; such groups meet for decades. But last night, as we sat down for our “Poets on Assignment” session, Jennifer Bullis pointed out that in that time we had rarely missed a month. And that’s a lot of poems.

Each month, Anita K. Boyle, Jeanne Yeasting, Jennifer Bullis, Jim Bertolino and I write a poem to a common prompt.* Sometimes the prompt is formal — sestina, pantoum — but more often it’s a word, a subject or a quirky combination — yellow; Möbius; maps and diacritical marks. If the prompt percolates in our minds for a month, we have each confessed that much of the writing gets done on the day of our meeting. Still, it’s a poem we might not otherwise have written.

When we meet — in various drinking or dining establishments around Bellingham — we read the poems aloud and discuss both questionable and triumphant aspects of the writing. Our drafts go home for polishing and we rarely see one another’s poems again unless and until they appear in print. Anita, Jennifer and Jim have published books since we started meeting and we have all done readings and published in literary journals.

I suppose that writing groups don’t always work out, but ours has for a variety of reasons. First, and perhaps foremost, is that we are each utterly unique in our vision and language. As I sit down to respond to a prompt (yesterday’s was hermit crab, and yesterday’s found poem just a happy accident), I am certain that all of us will take the same approach. But even if there is some resonance between the poems, they are always entirely, and surprisingly, different from one another.

Our comments also reflect those differences, offering important perspective that helps us clarify not just the poems we have written, but the poems someone else will read. We are honest in our assessments — honest, and kind — our intention always to improve each poem as if it were our own. We are committed to the process, recognizing that the prompts take us in directions we might not have ventured, encourage us to stretch. We trust one another. And that’s a lot.

I am immeasurably grateful to this group of poets, whose work I so admire and whose generosity, honesty, humor and friendship I so value. So this is just to say: thank you.

*Dave Cole remains an honorary member; he started out with us but moved away within the first year.
. . . . .
artwork by Anita K. Boyle

the horse

poetry tonight!

Whatcom Women Words and WorksPlease join Jeni Cottrell and the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Avenue in Fairhaven (Bellingham, Washington), this evening — Friday, August 22, 2014 — as they host a reception and poetry reading for Whatcom Women Words and Works.

The exhibit, which remains on view at the Firehouse Café through the month of August, features art and poetry by Sheila Sondik, J.I. Kleinberg, Nancy Canyon and Anita K. Boyle.

The reception begins at 6:30pm, the poetry reading (in the performance space) runs 7:15-8:00pm and the reception ends at 8:30pm. Hope to see you there!

exhibit and poetry reading

Whatcom Women Words and Works

Now on view: producer Jeni Cottrell presents Whatcom Women Words & Works, an art exhibit by four Whatcom County women who are both artists and poets — Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Canyon, J.I. Kleinberg and Sheila Sondik.

Their artwork and poetry will be on display August 1-31 in the Firehouse Café, 1314 Harris Avenue in Fairhaven (Bellingham, Washington), with a reception and poetry reading open to the public on Friday, August 22, 2014. The reception begins at 6:30pm, poetry reading 7:15 – 8:00pm, reception ends at 8:30pm.

The Firehouse Café is open 7:00am to 5:30pm seven days a week.

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