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April 1, 2009 at 10:00am

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TAMMY ROBACKER: POETRY DITTIES FROM THE SOUTH PUGET SOUND >>>

Embellish-web-ad-April-2009 Each April brings a shower of poetry to the South Puget Sound. Inaugurated as National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, the entire month is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating poets, poetry, libraries, bookstores, and the literary arts community across the nation. Tacoma is truly no exception to participating in the poesy festivities. The South Sound has its own praiseworthy poets with words to spit about our own place in the American poetry scene.

All over the South Sound, there will be poetry events, readings, performances and guest poets. 

And you won’t miss a stanza.

I’ll be posting about the South Sound poetry scene every Monday, Wednesday and Friday right here on Spew.

Ravenous Readers Book Club
For starters, King’s Books in Tacoma's Stadium District will be hosting: Ravenous Readers Book Club Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m. Folks are encouraged to join this community book group focused on reading books about food and sustainability. April’s book is Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky.

The Ravenous Readers Book Club meets the first Thursday of every month at King's Books.


Rick Barot
Also Thursday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the Garfield Book Company in Parkland by Pacific Lutheran University, poet Rick Barot will host a poetry reading to celebrate National Poetry Month and the publication of his poetry collection, Want.

Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. His first book, The Darker Fall, was the winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and was published by Sarabande Books in 2002. Sarabande published his second book, Want, in 2008. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including New England Review, The New Republic, Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His work has also appeared in many anthologies, including The New Young American Poets, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, and Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry and a Jones Lecturer in Poetry.

He lives in Tacoma and teaches both in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and at Pacific Lutheran University.

Below is a sonnet from his book, Want.

ELEGY
By Rick Barot

In this rain we are moved to anecdotes.
That people float candles out to the river.
That in a field there is the crickets’ grief.
It could be colder just now but it isn’t.
Though there are the posters’ missing faces.
Though a car is upside down, wheel turning.
The day will only want to keep arriving.
We will startle for the clothes by the bed.
For the vein glowing green on the thigh.
The coffee will come black inside its cup.
The bread will be made of something clean.
This will not seem enough and it isn’t:
The white nouns of the moon, the paper.
The handkerchief pulled from an empty fist.


That’s it for today. I'll bring you more poetry ditties Friday.

Poem-A-Tacoma is sponsored by Embellish Multispace Salon in downtown Tacoma.

TAMMY ROBACKER is a poet and writer living, breathing, typing and spitting words in Tacoma. She owns a freelance writing and marketing communications company called Pearle Publications. Her poetry has appeared in Plazm, Women's Work, The Wild Goose Poetry Review, and the Allegheny Review. A recent recipient of the 2009/10 TAIP grant, she will be publishing her first book of poetry, The Vicissitudes, through the generous support of this funding made possible by the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Arts Commission.

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