April is National Poetry Month and verses of all sorts are springing up in Whatcom County.
Leading up, on Friday, March 29, Bellingham poets and organizers Anita Boyle and Jim Bertolino present a reading by Seattle poets Raúl Sánchez and Marjorie Manwaring at Lucia Douglas Gallery, in Fairhaven.
Every day in April, Bellingham poet Sheila Sondik will participate in a project with the Found Poetry Review by posting a daily "found" poem inspired by "The Yearling."
Also, Ciao Thyme teams up with the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest for a benefit dinner April 16.
Two group poetry readings, with different poets each night, take place April 11 and April 22 at Village Books.
Local libraries are involved, too. A teen poetry slam with participants from the Nooksack and Everson areas is April 11 at Everson Library, and poets are invited to read original works (or come to enjoy the show) April 13 at Blaine Library.
On April 20, Ferndale Library celebrates teen poetry with the Ferndale Poetry Festival.
For details on these and other poetry events, go to our online calendar at bellinghamherald.com.
DEADLINE MID-APRIL FOR SUBMISSIONS TO BELLINGHAM REVIEW
The deadline for entries for Western Washington University's annual Bellingham Review, which is published each spring, has been extended to April 15. The literary magazine sponsors three contests: the Tobias Wolff Fiction Award, the 49th Parallel for Poetry, and the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction.
Details: Bhamreview.org and Bellingham Review on Facebook.
WALK-THROUGH PICTURE BOOK NOW INTERACTIVE
Bellingham artist Julia Clifford's "walk-through" seven-foot-tall picture book, "In Cecilia's Garden," is now an interactive i-book, with images, audio and visuals created by Binary Recording Studio in Bellingham.
For more, go to iTunes or Julia's website, cliffordcreations.com.
TRIO CELEBRATE NEW CD AT JAZZ PROJECT CONCERT
Bellingham drummer Julian MacDonough, Mount Vernon sax player Josh Cook and Seattle bass player Chuck Kistler celebrate the release of their CD, "No Cover," in a Jazz Project concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at the Jazz Project's new home, Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St.
Here's what Julian says about the CD on his Facebook page. "It's a master class for me every time I'm on the bandstand with these guys. And it is the most interactive and explosive band I've ever played with, which makes every performance fresh. It was recorded in two sessions over a year apart. Both sessions were completely spontaneous, no rehearsals and no tunes planned. We just showed up and called tunes, did one or two takes and there are no edits. It's released just as it was played." Details: jazzproject.org, 360-650-1066.
GROUP HOPES TO CREATE ARTS VENUE DOWNTOWN
If you are at all involved in the Bellingham arts community, you might have heard some buzz about the Commercial Street Theatre Project, which, according to its Facebook page, is a group of people working to construct a 200-seat, affordable, multi-use performing arts venue in downtown Bellingham.
People involved in the project are all engaged in some form of the arts - music, dance and theater. They are Ian Bivins, Kathy Cody, Angela Kiser, Mark Kuntz, Pam Kuntz, Steve Lyons, Ella Mahler and Richard Scholtz.
They are working to turn the empty shell at 1302-1310 Commercial St., which is about 3,847 square feet, into a community-based performance and gathering space to provide an affordable performing arts venue and multi-use space to local organizations and to expand community exposure to regional and national performing arts groups looking for a venue that size.
Zervas Architects has performed a detailed estimate of the cost to convert the space into a 200-seat theater, and estimates it will cost $500,000 to $600,000.
Details: Commercial Street Theatre Project on Facebook, cstproject.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDISON GALLERY FOUNDER DIES AT 68
The Edison Eye, an eclectic gallery on the main drag of the small burg in Skagit County, lost its founder, Dana Rust, on Tuesday, March 12, when Rust, 68, died after a 14-year fight with a brain tumor.
The gallery showcased dozens of artists, both emerging and of national repute, in its 25-year history. Among the artists who showed their work were Joel Brock, Ruthie V., Aurora Jellybean (Virginia Shaw), Richard Lewis, Dederick Ward and Clayton James.
Rust was a personable guy who told me several times he wasn't into technology, and he regularly sent me old-fashioned postcards announcing his exhibits, which were often curated under such ecological themes as salmon, farmland and the Skagit Valley watershed.
Rust's obituary is posted on legacy.com.