Tom Robbins, Sherman Alexie team for Skagit River Poetry Festival on May 15

The 2014 Skagit River Poetry Festival, a four-day literary adventure in La Conner, begins May 15 with the meeting of two of the Northwest’s most daring and original writers, Tom Robbins and Sherman Alexie, who plan to swap literary wit and wisdom in an onstage interview.

If you’ve never seen these gentlemen live, consider this a rare opportunity to treat yourself. And beware that the evening is sure to induce a lot of belly laughs. The irreverent Robbins, named by Writer’s Digest as one of the “Top 100 Writers of the 20th Century,” and poet and novelist Alexie, a member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians, are sure to entertain.

Then, May 16 through 18, festival organizers will present some of the most provocative voices in contemporary poetry reading their works in various venues through the channel-side town. More than 2,000 people attend the biennial event, considered one of the best on the West Coast.

The lineup includes former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, National Book Award winner Mark Doty, Native American artist and author Elizabeth Woody, Wallace Stegner Fellow Michael McGriff, PEN USA Poetry Award winner Susan Rich and Jamaican-born poet, actor, editor, critic and musician Kwame Dawes.

Top Northwest artists on the bill include award-winning Seattle slam poet Matt Gano; Kelly Davio, praised for her dark poetic intensity; celebrated nature writer Tim McNulty; and Emily Warn, the Webby Award–winning founding editor of poetryfoundation.org.

From Vancouver, B.C., come the city’s up-from-the-streets Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau and Rachel Rose, winner of the 2013 Pat Lowther Memorial Award for poetry.

Newly announced Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen is also in the line-up of performances, interviews and panel discussions. All poets will read in a special “Gathering of the Poets” on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday is dedicated to more than a dozen three-hour writing workshops to help people reinvigorate their own writing and prepare poems for publication.

For times, schedules, prices, and details, go to the festival website www.skagitriverpoetry.org, or write to skagitpoetry@gmail.com. Ticket sales are through Brown Paper Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/520248.

More in Life

Mukilteo’s Hani Hani scores with the police chief

The Japanese restaurant serves dishes (poke, ramen, grill) inspired by the Hawaiian islands.

‘Coco’ is another eye-popping home run for Pixar/Disney

The animated movie’s a lively, touching tale of honoring family, following dreams.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Barrel-aged Belgian Winter

Made in 2013, the dark strong ale was stowed away in barrels. The brewery tests one each year.

‘Love, Chaos and Dinner’ an Teatro ZinZanni’s original show

The “Parsian cabaret” is a superb circus dinner theater operation in Marymoor Park through April 29.

Plant of Merit: Mahonia x media ‘Charity,’ evergreen shrub

What: Mahonia x media “Charity” is a statuesque, evergreen shrub with bright… Continue reading

Gardening answers for raised beds, invasive plants and more

Columnist Adrian Higgins answered gardeners’ questions recently in an online Washington Post chat.

Garden clubs in Snohomish, Island counties

Alderwood Garden Club: Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W., Lynnwood;… Continue reading

Sally and Tom Joy surrounded by Christmas decorations at their home on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 in Mukilteo, Wa. The Joys are opening their home to the holiday home tour, a fundraiser for the Assistance League. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
A joyous display: 5 houses on Assistance League’s holiday tour

The annual self-guided Holiday Home Tour is a fundraiser for the Operation School Bell program.

Add evergreen perennials to your garden for winter interest

Here’s a list of plants that compliment the seasonal shrubs you’ve just added to your yard.

Most Read