Paul w/ Carletta & 2 other poets @ Margin Shift

It is easily the most adventurous reading series in Seattle. Margin Shift happens now at the funky Common Area Maintenance in Belltown, essentially kitty corner (or do you say katty corner) from the legendary Grunge venue the Crocodile Café. And being named after the “margin” it lives up to its billing with adventurous writing and poets who are at the margins of society: poets of color, GLBTQ poets and others.

I’ve not really been interested in conceiving of myself as being “on the margins” of society, except for class issues, though my Mother was born in Cuba and my Father was a labor activist almost his entire adult life. A railroad guy. (See this.) He was raised by a single Mom in poverty during the depression and there are stories to tell about that. Mom turns 80 this year and the day before her birthday, a poem of mine that involves my travel to her homeland will be published in “Two-Countries: US Daughters & Sons of Immigrant Parents” edited by Tina Schumann.

There are things about ourselves that put us on the margins of society, factors noted above and, as Sam Hamill once told me: “You barely pass for a white guy” so there is some privilege I have benefitted from, though the $114 in my checking account that needs to last until April 10 makes any privilege feeling somewhat fleeting.

So, my heart is with the impetus behind this reading series and that it is the “keeper of the avant poetry flame” in Seattle, coming after the Subtext reading series, is critical. Occasionally I find myself attending readings that DO NOT have the understanding of the issues of who is at the margins in this society. They might be readings with all white men, or with risk-averse poets, but the perception at these events is lacking, and a seat in the back of the room comes in handy at these times. So, grateful to be invited (by Matt Trease and Deborah Woodard) to read at Margin Shift and that the margins are shifting away from a dominator ethos, at least here in Seattle, or so it seems. Delighted too, to be on the bill with Carletta Carrington Wilson, who I have not read with since the old Red Sky Poetry Theater days at the Globe Café and two poets whose work I look forward to hearing.

The Margin Shift announcement:

The spring may be slow to kick in here in Seattle, but Margin Shift is shifting as strong as ever! We’re back on the 3rd Thursday, April 20, with four excellent local readers. Head on down to CAM in Belltown (2nd & Blanchard) for some good company, good wine, and great poems. Doors and Wine open at 6:30. Poetry starts at 7. There’s no charge, but donations are always welcome.

Check out our fantastic readers:

Poet/interviewer Paul Nelson founded SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival, wrote American Sentences, A Time Before Slaughter, co-edited Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia and his 2015 interview with José Kozer was published as Tiovivo Tres Amigos. Most recently his work was included in the anthology, Resist Much/Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance. Engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, he lives in Seattle’s Cedar River watershed.

A literary and visual artist, Carletta Carrington Wilson’s poems have been published in Make It True: Poetry from Cascadia, The Journal: Book Club of Washington, Cimarron Review, Obsidian III, the Seattle Review, Raven Chronicles, Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century, Pilgrimage, Uncommon Waters: Women Write About Fishing and Seattle Poets and Photographers: A Millennium Reflection. She has work forthcoming from Calyx Journal.

Jekeva is a writer, educator, and performer. She is Editor in Chief of Word Lit Zine, a PNW lit quarterly. Her poetry chapbook, Les Amants, hit the shelves in 2016, and she currently hard at work on her first novel, Sovereign. Join Jekeva this summer for Bibliophilia storytelling festival at Theater Schmeater.

Samantha Siciliano is a queer experimental poet based in Seattle currently working towards her MFA in Poetics at University of Washington Bothell. Her work has been published in Bodega, Vending Machine Press, The Adroit Journal, Bone Bouquet, and elsewhere. She is the author of poetry chapbook GORGE and has forthcoming work with May Day Press. Her current project is laying the foundation for Pork Pie, a poetry press that publishes the experimental works of queer, non-binary, and trans writers.

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Miles & Quincy Troupe & Coltrane

Delighted to be part of a stellar weekend of Jazz and Poetry in Taos, New Mexico, April 7 and 8 with featured poet Quincy Troupe!

Two nights of Jazz and Poetry, the second of which I’ll emcee and read a few of my Jazz poems. On Friday morning at 8am MST I am set to do the first live radio I have done in years, interviewing Quincy on KNCE radio. Click on the graphic for their site, as they stream and you can hear the interview.

For three years I attended the Taos Poetry Circus and our Cascadia Poetry Festival efforts have been an attempt to recreate the feeling I had there with a Cascadian flair. Since the Circus went on for twenty years, I have some time to perfect the fest, but being in Taos with old friends Amalio Madueño, Anne McNaughton and new friends like Analog Eric, this should be amazing, as should the blue corn hotcakes and New Mexico sun.

And I had a chance to chat with Quincy this past week to discuss potential interview topics and he is doing some incredible work right now and it is always a pleasure to interview a legendary poet and get inside their creative process a bit, perhaps steal some of their fire.

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Paul Reads at Jackson St. Jazzwalk

Jackson Street was once the epicenter of Jazz in Seattle. Not sure there is one anymore, but you can hear live Jazz in town at places like Tula’s, Jazz Alley, the Royal Room and other venues. On April 1, 2017, my long-time collaborator and world-class flute player, composer, arranger and bandleader Jim O’Halloran, has asked me to read some poems accompanied by the band and I am delighted to do so. The place is the Lake Chad Cafe at 1712 S. Jackson, where I have enjoyed many meals and many fine sets by Jim and his bands of various composition. This time he’s pulling out all the stops, as his email blast and poster (below) illustrate. I hope to see you there.

As part of the Jackson St. Jazz Walk, we are excited to be playing at Lake Chad Cafe—Jim on flutes, Farko Dosumov on bass, Royce Shorter Jr. on drums with special guests Lance Lu percussion; Jay Mabin harmonica, Marina Albero keyboards; and Cuban-Irish poet Paul Nelson. 

Paul will be joining us throughout the evening, Lance on the second set, Jay on the third set, and Marina on our fourth set.  Meanwhile, there will be lots of other music going on up and down Jackson Street! The usual great food, welcoming atmosphere at Lake Chad Cafe’—-all ages, full bar.

Check out the Jazz Walk here.  Check out Farko here. And Royce here: Lance here: Jay here. and Marina here.

P.S. How Jim billed me is accurate, somewhat, but I get a kick out of it so leaving it in.

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