Poet of the Month: Vasilina Orlova

Over the last three or four years, as I have immersed myself more and more in the world of poetry, I have encountered a lot of poets and/or their work. In some cases, what I have heard or read has provided inspiration for some of my own work. have been thinking recently that I want to acknowledge these folks, so I’m going to do so by acknowledging a different poet each month. Continue reading “Poet of the Month: Vasilina Orlova”

Kevin’s Rules of Poetry Reading Etiquette: For Poets

I go to a lot of poetry readings. I have noticed a lot of things, good and bad, that affect how a given reading will go. On one occasion, where another poet’s lack of consideration effectively ate up a good chunk of what would have been my reading time, I got so frustrated that I made up a list.

Now that enough time has passed that I can address this calmly and rationally, I will now present my rules of poetry reading etiquette—starting with the rules for poets. Continue reading “Kevin’s Rules of Poetry Reading Etiquette: For Poets”

Kevin’s Rules of Poetry Reading Etiquette (the concise list version)

The following is based on fifteen months of poetry readings and open mics. I fully intend to post a more rant-y version of this later to reflect a couple of recent experiences; for now, I think this simple list will be appropriate: Continue reading “Kevin’s Rules of Poetry Reading Etiquette (the concise list version)”

Poets Against Hate and the whirlwind weekend

Poets Against Hate poster

Poets Against Hate took place last Saturday. In all, 52 poems were read by 50 poets over the course of the afternoon, with the occasional musical interlude.

As you would expect from such a large group, the subject at hand was addressed from a variety of angles, from the personal to the political. One poem documented an instance of racial profiling by police. Another spoke of the poet’s experience growing up in the U.S. after having come here from another country. Another celebrated the poet’s neighborhood. Another addressed the continued incarceration of Leonard Peltier.

Number 40 on the program (after adjustments for absent poets), I read my poem I have questions. It was written in response to Charleston, but could easily apply to other events as well. As with my featured reading spot two days earlier, I had plenty of time for nerves to build up; the reading went well anyway.

Those who were unable to attend the event will have several opportunities to catch up. The event was recorded for both a podcast and later airing on the Seattle Channel. In addition, The Raven Chronicles plans to publish a collection of the poems read in early 2017.


The next part of my whirlwind weekend took place just a couple of hours later, as I attended another poetry reading north of Seattle. After two relatively high-profile events, it felt good to read for a smaller crowd and not be the center of attention. Still, having barely had time to wolf down a bowl of soup en route from one place to the other, I was quite tired by the time I got home.

That did not stop me from attending yet another reading the next day—again, more of a no-pressure setting. Since love and Valentine’s Day were the theme of the day, I read a few of my poems on the subject, from the romantic to the silly (I had to end on a laugh).

I spent yesterday’s holiday doing as little as possible. I figure I earned the break.

(16 February 2016)