Ashland celebrates poetry

April is National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world, and people are sharing poems all over town.

In Ashland, Bloomsbury Books and the Illahe Studio and Gallery will offer an array of poetry styles. In addition to these special events scheduled to celebrate poems and poets in April, there are also a number of ongoing open mikes for poets, performers, and anyone who loves the spoken word to enjoy.

Bloomsbury Books

Bloomsbury is celebrating poetry month in a big way. The bookstore will host a reading series beginning April 9 with the following featured poets and writers:

Thursday, April 9 at 7 p.m.
Brian Culhane. The poet will read from his book “The King's Question.” The poetry collection was selected by the Poetry Foundation, and is the winner of the Emily Dickinson Book Award.

Saturday, April 11 at 7 p.m.
Kirsten Rian, Angela Howe-Decker, Amy MacLennan

Kirsten Rian's poetry has appeared in national literary journals and anthologies, and was recently nominated for inclusion in the 2008 Best New Poets anthology, she co-authored with Sharon Wood Wortman the anthology, “Walking Bridges Using Poetry as a Compass.”

Angela Howe-Decker is a freelance writer and columnist with the “Ashland Daily Tidings.” Her poems have been published in the “Comstock Review,” “Hip Mama,” “Wisconsin Review,” “Blue Arc West: An anthology of California Poets” and the “Jefferson Monthly.”

Amy MacLennan has been published in “Hayden's Ferry Review,” “River Styx,” “Linebreak,” “Cimmarron Review,” “Folio,” “New Plains Review” and “Rattle.” Her poems appear in the anthologies “Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems” and “Not A Muse: The Inner Lives of Women.”

Monday, April 13 at 7 p.m.
Frank Romano reads from his book “Crossing Over.” The latest collection of poetry by the author of “Storm Over Morocco” reveals a young man's inner journey as he travels from California to Paris and the Mediterranean, discovering Italian and French identities.

Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m.
Steve Berman and Michiko Wisdom read from their book Crickets Singing in the Moonlight. Berman and Wisdom started by translating the poetry of Yosano Akiko, which is included in their book. They were inspired by Yosano, and wrote their own poetry in response.

Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m.
John Witte and Allan Peterson

John Witte is the author of three books of poetry: “Loving the Days,” “The Hurtling” and most recently, “Second Nature,” part of the Northwest Poets Series from the University of Washington Press. His poems have appeared in major literary journals such as the “Paris Review,” “American Literary Review” and the “New Yorker.”

Allan Peterson is a poet and visual artist now living in Ashland. His books are “All the Lavish in Common,” winner of the 2005 Juniper Prize, “Anonymous Or,” winner of the Defined Providence Prize, and 4 chapbooks.

Sunday April 19 at 7 p.m.
David Memmott, Steve Dieffenbacher, and Bruce Barton.

David Memmott has published 4 books of poetry, a novel and a story collection. His recent work has been published by “Strange Horizons,” “High Desert Journal” and “Windfall.” He appears in the anthologies, “Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon,” “Salt: An Oregon Coastal Poet Anthology,” “Writers on the Job: Tales of the Non-Writing Life,” “Jefferson Monthly” and “The Alchemy of the Stars: an Anthology of Rhysling Award Winners.”

Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m.
Barry Kraft reads his favorite poets. Kraft will read from the works of Robinson Jeffers, Kenneth Koch, Mary Oliver, Adrienne Rich, Brad Leithauser, Billy Collins, Robert Frost and many others.

Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m.
Downtowne Coffee House Poets Corner. Join local writers for an evening of poetry. Readers will include Charlotte Abernathy, Allison Harrison, Rick Fjellman, Linda Barnes, Liz Robinson, Carol Brockfield, Dave Harvey, and Amy Miller, all regular readers at Talent’s Downtown Coffeehouse open mike.

Friday April 24 at 7 p.m.
What it Means to Be Human: Horizon Institute will sponsor its annual evening of poetry on the theme, “what does it mean to be human.” Local poets will each read two poems, one of their own and one by a poet of their choice.

Bloomsbury is located at 290 E. Main Street, Ashland. All events are free and open to the public, for more information call (541) 488-0029

Illahe Studios and Gallery

The Illahe Gallery will celebrate National Poetry Month with readings by the following local poets:

Thursday April 16 at 7 p.m.
Amy Miller, Susanne Petermann, Liz Robinson, Joesph Federico

Sunday, April 19 at 3 p.m.
Michael Holstein

Friday, May 8 at 7 p.m.
Robert McDowell, Julie Rogers

Thursday, May 21 at 7 p.m.
Kathleen Meagher, Tangren Alexander, accompanied by music

Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited, and early arrival is recommended. The Illahe gallery is located at 215 Fourth St. For further information call 488-5072.

Ashland Library
The Ashland public library is offering a display of poetry books in both the main lobby and the children's library. Children are invited to share poems for posting on the wall.

Ongoing Poetry
For some local businesses, every month is poetry month. The following offer a year-round venue for poetry and performances.

Wild Goose
Sunday evenings at 8 p.m., the Wild Goose hosts a mix of poetry and performance. The popular restaurant and bar is located at 2365 Ashland Street. Arrive early to sign up. For more information call 488-4103.

Northwest Pizza and Pasta
Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m., Northwest Pizza hosts an open mike for poets and musicians. Northwest Pizza is located at 1585 Siskiyou Blvd. For information call 488-2080.

Downtowne Coffeehouse (Talent)
The second Thursday of every month, the Downtowne Coffeehouse hosts a poetry open mike and offers a variety of coffee drinks and food. While the café has a talented group of regulars, newcomers always receive a hearty welcome. The café is located at 200 Talent Ave (and Wagner Blvd.). For information, call 535-2299.

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