Columns & Blogs

Hark! ‘Beowulf’ comes to Bellingham's Honey Moon Mead & Cider

Anna Evans, co-owner of Honey Moon Mead & Cider, let me know about what she calls an “epic event” taking place Saturday, Dec. 13, at “the Mead Hall,” (says Evans) at 1053 N. State St., in the alley behind Pepper Sisters.

Honey Moon will host a marathon community reading of “Beowulf,” the second installment in their occasional “Wild Literarians” series.

The earliest English epic, “Beowulf” was composed before the end of the first millennium, during the period commonly referred to as the Dark Ages. It’s a saga of monsters and heroes, valor in battle and exhaustion in its aftermath, evoking the psychic landscape of a pre-Christian warrior culture that is both remote and uncannily familiar. Its emotional atmosphere seems perfectly suited to the long, dark nights leading to the winter solstice, a bracing antidote to the seasonal overload of tinsel and good cheer, Evans says.

Old English poetry is admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea, she says, but Seamus Heaney’s award-winning 2,000-word translation brings the ancient action to life for a modern audience with vivid, visceral force.

Participants will take turns reading in 5- to 10-minute increments, from Grendel’s scourge of Mead Hall to the battle with the dragon and the final funeral pyre.

The marathon begins at 7 p.m. and is expected to last four to five hours. Readers and audience members can come and go, or stay for the duration.

The event is free and open to all ages. Anyone interested in reading can sign up by calling 360-734-0728 or emailing

‘Pay it Forward’ event at Star Club

While traveling south over Thanksgiving, Bellingham songstress Andie Whitewing had her car stolen, and while it was recovered a few days later, Whitewing went through a period of mourning over what she had in the car, including numerous family photos she was planning to scan and keep in a family scrapbook.

Because Whitewing received a significant amount of sympathy and offers of help via personal contacts and social media, she felt moved to “pay it forward,” and she’s getting together with Brock Blatter, the owner of Star Club, and the club’s general manager, Kat Zuanich, for what she hopes is a monthly music event to benefit local charitable organizations, with a different organization as beneficiary each month.

The first event is 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at the club, 311 E. Holly St. This month, musicians will play and people can dine to benefit Bellingham Food Bank. Whitewing will be the hostess for the event at which, she says, “fine music meets philanthropy.”

In addition to Whitewing, performers include Chuck Dingee, “Texas” Jimmy Drounette, “Tall” Paul Laugharne, Carr Johnson and Ron Camire. There also will be a trivia contest, with gift cards to Star Club as prizes.

There is no cover charge, and half of all revenue will be donated to the food bank. Monetary donations and non-perishable food items for the food bank are appreciated.

For more on Whitewing, go to

For more on the club, go to or the Star Club on Facebook.

Poetry coming to Green Frog

Bellingham’s Elizabeth Vignali celebrates the release of her book of poems, “Object Permanence,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Green Frog, 1015 N. State St.

Vignali told Shannon Laws (whose “Poetic Moments” can be heard on KMRE 102.3 FM) that she wrote the poems during a series of major life transitions: Her daughters’ births, her mother’s death, and the trials of love and marriage.

Bellingham readers may soon read more from Vignali. She tells me she’s “still plugging away at the darn novel!” It’s a historical romance, she says, with the title “To Marry Well.”

She says working on her novel “is basically the opposite of writing a poem: I throw whatever the heck I want in there without worrying about it too much. It doesn’t have to be subtle. I get to take side roads and see where they lead. I get to be over the top, I get to be unabashedly romantic.”

The novel is based on a fictional version of Bellingham in 1885, which is really fun to research, Vignali says.

Last spring Vignali entered a novel-writing contest open only to college students. She won first place, which got the attention of an editor at Avon, a division of Harper-Collins, who’s waiting for her to finish it and send it to her.

Vignali is also collaborating with Bellingham’s Kami Westhoff on a poetry collection about parasites, which is almost finished.

Vignali is a bit disappointed that “Object Permanence” won’t be available at the Green Frog event. The publisher is running behind, but it’s available for pre-order at , and will be available on Amazon and at Village Books. She also will be taking orders at the Green Frog.

Wednesday’s event will feature original music by guitarist and vocalist Sarah Goodin. Teens are welcome to attend, and there’s no cover charge.