Thursday, June 16 at 7:00PM
at Soul Food Books, 15748 Redmond Way, Redmond, Washington
Poetry Reading and Open Mic
Featured poets: Belle Randall and Anita K. Boyle

"What the Alder Told Me" Cover

Belle Randall and I read to a very full house at Bellingham’s Village Books in January, the first reading from my new book What the Alder Told Me. Belle read from her latest book The Coast Starlight. This Thursday, we’ll read again for a East-of-Seattle audience at Soul Food Books in Redmond. Jim Bertolino will be there, too, and will likely join the open mic poets. He has more new work he wants to share.

In January, Belle dedicated her Donner Party poem to Jim and me. Sounds a little scary, but it had connections with a conversation we had the night before. She is a wonderful poet, full of spicy vim and delightful vigor. It is a real honor to read with her, and a double honor to repeat the first.

I hope you will be there to listen to our poems, and so we can hear your poems, too.

Here’s a poem from What the Alder Told Me:

Along the Skagit

Out on the flats a ditch scrawls
beside an aging dike.
Its briny ebb carries a midden
of algae and scum hidden in the windrow.
Lint blossoms drift by at a lazy speed.
Let them take their time.

Blackberries gather at the trail’s edge.
Their purple clusters dangle
like temptation. Scarlet vines
stave off the graceless, invite the nimble.
Thorns cradle remnants of thistle down
and sparrow fluff.

The red fruit of nightshade
glows warm as purloined jewels,
and just as treacherous. These
are the promises that last.
A rope of spider web catches the sun
anticipating the delight of entanglement.

—Anita K. Boyle