Just for Book Groups: A Poet at Your Table

I’m delighted to be part of a brand-new program to connect book groups with poets. It’s called “A Poet at Your Table” and is offered in cooperation with the Seattle Arts and Lectures Poetry Series and Crab Creek Review.

A Poet at Your Table

Elizabeth Austen
Photo courtesy of Katy DeRosier

It’s one thing to enjoy an evening out to hear a poet perform in a large auditorium, but what if you could listen to a poet talk about her work in the comfort of your own home?  Washington state boasts an impressive group of poets who want to connect with readers and book groups.

Join our first annual A Poet at Your Table season and receive an evening with an award-winning Pacific NW poet each time your book group chooses to read a book by one of our writers. A poet will visit your book group to discuss the process of creating her book, read poems, answer questions. We will design a presentation that best fits your needs. In addition, your group can receive a 15% discount on subscriptions to the Seattle Arts and Lectures Poetry Series.

Featured Poets:

Kelli Russell Agodon
Elizabeth Austen
Sheila Bender
Kathleen Flenniken
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Susan Rich
Annette Spaulding-Convy
Katharine Whitcomb

For more information please contact: PoetAtYourTable(at)gmail(dotcom)

1) What do we have to do to prepare for A Poet at Your Table ?

~  Besides reading the chosen poetry book, no other preparation needed.  Whatever your book group usually does is fine. Just let us know what works for you.

 2) How far in advance do we need to book our poet?

~ A month in advance would be great but you can contact us on shorter notice and we’ll try! We travel, we teach, we write, so give us your top three choices of poets, and we’ll do our best to accomodate your schedule.

3) Do you have a web site where we can review the books and learn about the poets?

~ We encourage you to check out the websites of our eight poets and see which of us seems the best match for you.

 4) Our book group is in Kitsap County — is that too far for A Poet at Your Table?

~  We have poets throughout Washington! We will do our best to match a poet with your location.

 5) Can we choose more than one poet to visit?

~   Absolutely! You could invite two poets to come on the same evening or one poet per month.

Inspiration in unlikely places, #1

Fellow Hedgebrook alumna Ann Hedreen wrote a terrific blog post on an essential, and essentially terrifying, existential question, posed on the back of a women’s room stall door: What are you living for? 

Here’s Ann’s opening. I was hooked:

Scrawled in fat black Sharpie script on the inside door of a blue bathroom stall at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus: What are you living for?

My first reaction was to laugh: a sort of nervous-recognition laugh.  It’s been a rough week for me, big-question-wise.

Then I thought, as I sat: OK, how would I answer that in one word or less?  What am I living for?

God?  No.  I wish, but it wouldn’t be honest.  I am a seeker, but a highly distractible one.   

Love?  Yes, but—well, that’s always it with love, isn’t it?  Yes, but.

Meaning, I thought.  That’s it.  That’s what I am living for: meaning.

Read on. The context was a Seattle Art and Lectures event called Storyteller Uprising.