PoetsWest, a Seattle-based nonprofit literary organization, links the poet with readers and listeners in the broader democratic community. Although poets write their poems in solitude, they do take pride in their craft and usually want to share their poems with an audience. PoetsWest coordinates a variety of reading venues, provides a network for poets and poetry, and produces a weekly radio program of poetry, stories and music from the studios of KSER 90.7 FM in Everett, Washington. These radio programs are syndicated through the Pacifica Radio network on its website AudioPort.org and made available to nonprofit and community radio stations around the globe. Along the way, PoetsWest learned a few things about what the gift of poetry means to the community and how the poet connects to that community and to the larger world.
These days one often hears that "poetry is a hot item," but it seems to us that poetry has been thriving around the country for a long time, probably going back to the days of the Beat poets. We expect that as long as poetry finds its way into the hearts and minds of the reader (or listener), the audience for poetry will be there. That audience might be the regulars hanging out at the local bookstore or one guy driving an eighteen-wheeler across a lonely stretch of I-90 in the middle of the night.
PoetsWest is served by an advisory board of experienced poets and teachers.
J. Glenn Evans, founder and director of PoetsWest, is the author of two novels, Broker Jim, and Zeke's Revenge, and four books of poetry, Window In The Sky, Seattle Poems, Buffalo Tracks, and Deadly Mistress. His poems appear in the Poets Table Anthology (SCW Publications, 2002) and in diverse other publications. Under his real name, Jack R. Evans, he has authored several local community histories and two biographies. Click on books for a list of his publications, including a history of Seattle's famous Pike Place Market. J. Glenn Evans was awarded the 1999 Faith Beamer Cooke Award by Washington Poets Association in recognition of service to the poetry community of Washington and the 2003 Seattle Free Lances Award for literary achievement. Evans is also the host and co-producer of PoetsWest on the air, a weekly program of poetry, music and interviews broadcast from KSER 90.7 FM in Everett, Washington. He is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. He is past president of Seattle Free Lances, a member of the Washington Poets Association, past president of the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild and of AKCHO (Association of King County Historical Organization), co-founder of Poets Table, and member of the Academy of American Poets.
Barbara Evans, editor of Poets Table Anthology, writes and/or edits much of the web content, and does whatever else needs to be done. She is co-recipient of the 1999 Faith Beamer Cooke Award by Washington Poets Association in recognition of service to the poetry community of Washington. Co-producer of PoetsWest on the air, a radio program of poetry, music and interviews, broadcast from KSER 90.7 FM in Everett, Washington. She is also the author of Val Laigo's Passion, a memoir/biography of Northwest artist Val Laigo (1930-1992).
Nancy Dahlberg is from Chicago and has a BFA in studio art from the University of Chicago and an MA in creative writing from the University of Houston. Her poems are widely published, Poets Table Anthology, A Collection of Poetry by Northwest Poets. She has served on the editorial board of Northwest Review and is a former board member of the Washington Poets Association. She also is a member of the Poets Table group. Nancy lives in Ballard and is a political activist with Radical Women.
Richard P. Gibbons, newspaper and magazine editor, has produced articles for New Republic, stories for Ellery Queen, songs recorded by Tom Paxton, and has co-written and illustrated a volume of Mexican folk tales. In earlier days he has been a pinball hustler, infantryman, steelworker, hard rock miner, gandy dancer, survey chainman, schoolteacher, legislative secretary, home insulator, and conservation specialist. Jack Straw Studios has recorded his epic verse, Prairie, based on his grandfather's stories of growing up on the Illinois frontier. Sasquatch Song was featured at a Write on the Beach writer's conference at Ocean Shores.
Murray Gordon is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and remembers swastikas flying from rowhouses pre-Pearl Harbor. "To the Beat Generation. Poetry, jazz. To crossing the country. To Seattle. To write. Right here. Right now. Graduated from UW Extension Poetry Writing Course." Co-founder of Poets Table. Published in Interfaith Council of WA, Poets Table Anthology, PoetsWest, Point No Point, Raven Chronicles, and Sakya News.
Karen Havnaer is a graduate of Pacific University. She studied with Nelson Bentley, Laura Jensen and at the University of Iowa. Her poems have appeared in major Northwest periodicals, including Raven Chronicles (South Sound Edition, where she was an editor for two years.) Her plays have appeared at the Pierce County (now South Sound) Playwrights Festival and Mae West Fest. She is working on a book about Bill Bichsel, a socially active Jesuit. She also serves on the board of the Washington Poets Association, the South Sound Playwright's Festival, Guadalupe Land Trust, and the ACLU/Bill of Rights Committee.
Thomas Hubbard's Midwest upbringing and Native American/Anglo heritage allow him to bridge two worlds with a firm connection to the present. He frequently writes of the working world: glass factories, parking lots, mechanic, carpenter, bartender, musician, silversmith, cabinetmaker, teacher, and freelance feature writer. Besides writing poetry, Hubbard also edits and publishes chapbooks under his imprint Gazoobi Tales. His own books include Nail and other hardworking poems, Junkyard Dogz (also a spoken word CD), and injunz (Gazoobi Tales, 2007). He compiled, edited and published Children Remember Their Fathers, an anthology of performance poets writing about their fathers. His poetry has appeared in Arabesques Review: International Poetry and Literature Journal, and ToTo'os Poetry International Fall 2006, Albani: Indigenous Poetry and Other Voices, International Poetry Anthology as well as in numerous other publications. He has B.S. from Ball State University, 1969; Graduate studies at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; St. Edwards University, Austin; Indiana University, Bloomington. He was PoetsWest's nominee for the 2009 Seattle Poet Populist position.
Michael Magee is a poet, freelance writer, reviewer of film and drama, and playwright whose plays, A Night In Reading Gaol With Oscar Wilde and Shank's Mare, have been produced in England and America. His chapbooks include A Trip To Jerusalem, Ireland's Eye and Duo with Chris Antcliffe. He lived for two years in Nottingham, England, has read his work on BBC Radio, worked with Billy Smart's Circus in London, and appeared at Shakespeare and Company, Paris. His art reviews have appeared in several Northwest community newspapers and his poems are widely published, including the Poets Table Anthology, A Collection of Poetry by Northwest Poets. Michael is also on the board of Puget Sound Poetry Connection.
Pieter Zilinsky, a native of New York City, was a teacher for three decades before moving to the Northwest. He works as a translator, interpreter and editor, and has collaborated in developing museum youth programs. He is affiliated with PoetsWest, Poets Table, ArtsWest, and is a former board member of the Washington Poets Association.
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