August 2019


In honor of David Ossman’s new book, The Old Man’s Poems, the Band of Poets is coming up from Seattle for the book launch party, and will provide musically poetic entertainment. This band is unique in its makeup of poets and instruments, and is a visiting gem full of sparkle.

Band of Poets celebrates the interplay of poetry and music. Their performances weave original compositions with those of other artists, both past and present. Musical offerings range from traditional to jazz; their choice of poetry spans from classics to Beat. As published poets and eclectic musicians, they join forces to share their unique amalgam of song and spoken word.
—Rosanne Olson

BAND OF POETS, from left to right:
John Burgess, Ted McMahon, Jed Myers, Rosanne Olson and Anna Jenkins

Band of Poets will be sharing ballads and hymns, the ghosts of the Beats, and evocations of Whitman, political outrage, edginess, and, yes, even love. Band of Poets features the original music and poetry of John Burgess, Anna Jenkins, Ted McMahon, Jed Myers, and Rosanne Olson. You might hear a guitar or harmonica or maybe even an angel. You can dance if you feel like it. Who knows what would happen next?

Let’s begin the introductions to each of these musically inclined poets with Jed Myers, since his book—Between Dream and Flesh—was published by Egress Studio Press just last year, and I just can’t resist mentioning that.

Jed Myers

Jed Myers has been weaving music and poetry together in various ways for many years, believing the arts can help us remember our oneness across all the apparent differences. Jed is a widely published and award-winning poet, who’s hosted countless open mics, plays guitar and sings with The 52nd Street Band, and he loves being in Band of Poets. Read more about Jed on his website at https://www.jedmyers.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Burgess

John Burgess grew up in upstate New York, worked on a survey crew in Montana, taught English in Japan, and since 1985 has lived in Seattle where he works for an insurance company. Past glories include: 2006 Jack Straw writer; co-founder of the original Burning Word Festival; 2008 Words’ Worth curator for the Seattle City Council; 2-time runner-up for Seattle Poet Populist; and past Board president at Hugo House, Seattle’s creative writing center. He has five books of poetry, some with maps, charts and drawings, from Ravenna Press: Punk Poems (2005), A History of Guns in the Family (2008), Graffito (2011), “by Land…” (2015), and 1977 (2018). Look out, though. John Burgess has a contagious smile. More about John can be had at https://punkpoet.net.

 

 

 

 

Rosanne Olson

Rosanne Olson has spent a lifetime in the arts as an award-winning photographer, author, educator and musician. Her passion for words and poetry, which began in college, evolved into a love of songwriting. She plays harmonica with the 52nd Street Band, and sings some of her songs with the Band of Poets and at local venues. Her first album, Love in Your Country was released in 2018. View more of her work at  http://www.rosanneolson.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ted McMahon

Ted McMahon is a Seattle poet and percussionist. A long-time contributor to Easy Speak Seattle, he is happy to be a collaborator with Band of Poets.

You can see more of his poetry at http://www.innerjourney.info/books.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Jenkins

Anna Jenkins is a music teacher, composer, arranger, and therapeutic musician. She performs with the girl band Nasty Woman, Resonance Harp Duo, and leads the Eastside Harp Circle. Anna enjoys adding Celtic harp to the spoken word with Band of Poets! She has to leave our celebration by 8pm, so be sure to be here early. A harp with a harpist is more than a wonder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This, to me, sounds like a one-of-a-kind sort of event, one that I’m glad I won’t be missing. We will request donations for the musicians’ expenses, since they are traveling all the way from Seattle (plus you don’t want to forget how much time and expense it takes to create such talent). But, as always, I want everyone who would like to hear the poems and music during this event to please come. Your presence is a delight, and our wish is to share a few of the wonderful things in the world.

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Last Friday, which was a beautifully breezy sunny day, David Ossman and Judith Walcutt visited Egress Studio. The main purpose for this visit was for David to sign and number 150 copies of the latest poetry book published by Egress Studio Press.

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David Ossman gets ready to sign his new books in Egress Studio. Beside him are 150 books in stacks of fifteen. On the couch, Judith Walcutt converses with Jim Bertolino.

David was excited to see the book, and to get busy signing them. They were waiting for him in stacks of fifteen on a table in the studio. He sat down and took a little time to look at the book. I am so glad he likes what the book looks like and how it feels in the hands. He began signing shortly thereafter. First, he tried the pen out on the paper of the book’s interior: French Paper Company’s Speckletone Starch Mint, a lightly speckled, lightly green smooth paper. Good idea to try out the pen on the paper first, which worked just fine. And then he began to sign.

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The signing and numbering of a limited edition is easier than signing books for people, and goes a lot faster. No need to ask who to sign the book for, or how to spell a name. The hardest parts are keeping the signature similar start to finish, and remembering what number you are on.  David didn’t run into any trouble.

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Here, David has signed several books, but the stacks to his right are still high. In this photo, you can see the hand-scored and folded square spine, and the cotton rug yarn endpaper.

In the meantime, I mentioned to Judith that, if she happened to like raspberries, she was welcome to pick as many as she wanted just outside the door where I’ve grown two rows of raspberries for several years, though I don’t like berries. Well, I found out she likes raspberries. I think they smell as delightful as roses.

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Jim Bertolino likes every part of poetry, from the inkling of an idea to the oral presentation of each poem. He couldn’t help but sit there in the chair watching someone signing every single poetry book of a limited edition.

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It was not long before David had finished signing and numbering the books. Here he is signing the last one.

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After this, we opened a bottle of wine and toasted to the signing and the numbering of the book, to the book, to David Ossman, to poets, to poetry, and all things poetic. It must have been a very large bottle of wine because we had to finish it at dinner. Oh, dinner. The dinner was appetizers (olives, raspberries, artichoke/parmesan dip with rosemary crackers) first, then, out at the pond, there was a salad with lettuce varieties from the garden, beet-pickled eggs from the Sicilian Buttercup hens, pasties, hearty bread with sunflower seeds, and sparkling water. We went back to the studio for dessert: Peach Kuchen. By then, the sun was beginning to set. “Good timing, sun!” as we were exhausted. What a wonderful day!