Friday, February 24, 2006

Weathered Pages in the Olympics



PORT ANGELES, Washington (February –, 2006)—On Tuesday, March 14, Peninsula College’s Foothills Writers Series will present a special program featuring readings by five poets whose work appears in the Weathered Pages anthology.

The book had its official debut last September at Bumbershoot and since then Weathered Pages readings have been held all over the state. The five poets who will read their work at the March 14 Foothills have varied backgrounds, and the voices they represent are uniquely their own.

Poets who will participate in the noontime reading in the college’s Little Theater include Port Townsend poet Gayle Kaune, Poulsbo poet Jenifer Browne Lawrence and Bainbridge Island poets Lindsay Brown, Kristin Henshaw, and John Willson.

The story behind the Weathered Pages anthology is a unique one, as are the stories of the individual poets whose work appear. The idea was the brainchild of Blue Begonia editor and press operator Jim Bodeen of Yakima, Washington.

"If wine can age gracefully, why can't words?", he asked. That was the beginning of The Poetry Pole, a six-foot cedar post he stuck in the front yard of his home in Yakima, and on which he invited poets to pin their work. As more and more poems were posted, Bodeen began to collect them, emptying the post from time to time to allow for still more postings.

The Poetry Pole remained in Bodeen’s yard for nearly a decade, drawing poets from all over the state and the country. Eventually, more than 1,000 poems were posted, and Bodeen decided the pole's pinnings were worth publishing.

He enlisted the aid of three coeditors, who helped him sift through the collection. The result is an anthology that contains more than 200 poems by 132 poets from the Northwest, including ones by Peninsula College’s own poet, English and German professor Alice Derry. Derry is also a codirector of the college’s Foothills Writers Series and was instrumental in bringing the following Weathered Pages readers to the college:

Port Townsend poet Gayle Kaune has published widely in literary magazines, including Willow Springs, Seattle Review, Greenfield Review, Centennial Review and South Florida Poetry Review. Her poems have won several Washington Poets’ Association Awards and the Ben Hur Lampman Prize and have been nominated for a Pushcart prize. Her chapbook, Concentric Circles, won the Flume Press award and her book, Still Life in the Physical World, is available from Blue Begonia Press. Kaune recently relocated from the Eastern Washington desert to Port Townsend.

Lindsay Brown of Bainbridge Island used to live just a few sidewalks and a side street away from The Poetry Pole. Now, she lives by the ocean and makes art out of sea glass and says she still can't decide which is better.

Kristin Henshaw has taught Japanese and Language Arts courses at Bainbridge High School for the past 20 years. Her poetry has been published in numerous magazines and journals, including Calyx, Crab Creek Review and convolvulus. She also has had feature articles published in The Bainbridge Review and the Yomiuri newspaper in Japan.

Jenifer Browne Lawrence of Poulsbo has been published in Potomac Review, Windfall, and Comstock Review. Blue Begonia Press will publish her first poetry collection, One Hundred Steps from Shore, in 2006.

John Willson, a poetry instructor for the Bainbridge Island Park District and a bookseller at Eagle Harbor Book company, is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize as well as awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, the Artist Trust of Washington and the King County Arts Commission. His chapbook, The Son We Had, was published by Blue Begonia Press in 1999. He was a 1995 finalist in the National Poetry Series.

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