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Poets celebrated in Coupeville
April is National Poetry Month. Celebrate with a gathering of Whidbey Island poets for a lyrical evening of readings at the Coupeville Library on Thursday, April 21.
The evening will showcase poets Lorraine Healy, Patricia Hawley and Erik Christensen, and the event is supported by the Coupeville Friends of the Library and the Whidbey Island Arts Council. Poet and novelist, Molly Larson Cook, will host and emcee an open mic as part of the program.
Healy is an Argentinean poet, writer and photographer who lives on Whidbey and is the winner of several national awards, including the prestigious Hackney Prize. She has been published extensively both in the United States and Argentina. Her poem “An Artifact of Light” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2004 soon after it appeared in her first chapbook, “The Farthest South,” published by New American Press in 2003. Her first full-length manuscript, “The Habit of Buenos Aires,” won the Patricia Bibby First Book Award and was published by Tebot Bach Press in 2010.
She is a dynamic, passionate instructor at the college level whose own love for the craft and beauty of poetry comes through in every class. She brings to participants the experiences acquired in studying at such prestigious literary venues as the Sarah Lawrence Seminars and Bread Loaf.
As a fine arts photographer, Healy has had several collective shows at the Bayview Front Room on Whidbey Island, and has participated in the Whidbey Island Arts Council Open Studio Tour for a number of years. She is at work on a long photographic series of the old cafés of Buenos Aires and old diners in the United States
Hawley is a former drama/English teacher who taught at Oak Harbor High School and Skagit Valley College before retiring early to devote more time to writing. Her poetry has appeared in several literary journals, as well as in the 2010 Skagit River Poetry Festival anthology, “Out In The Open,” after participating as one of the festival poets. Most recently, Hawley was named winner of the poetry contest for the prestigious Tennessee Williams 25th Festival Contest in New Orleans. Her work was chosen out of 400 entrants. She will appear at the festival with literary notables such as novelist Robert Olen Butler, and her poems are included in the March issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine.
Christensen lives in Coupeville, teaches at Oak Harbor High School and roots for whoever is playing against the New York Yankees. His poetry often takes the form of song lyrics, and his literary influences include
Thomas Lux, E.E. Cummings, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, strong coffee, Raymond Carver stories, Irish beer, cloudy mornings and long road trips.
In addition to writing poetry, Christensen is a musician who has played at the Island County Fair and other local venues as well as coffeehouses, songwriter showcases and open mics from Bellingham to Portland. His song “Radio” is on the upcoming Whidbey Island Arts Council CD, “Island Crossroads.”
Two of his more traditional pieces were published in Spirit of Writing 2007, and he was the “featured lyricist” in Victory Review, September, 1999. When not working on his own writing, he can be found making a glorious, messy racket as the guitarist for the Jacobs Road Band.
The Celebrate Poetry event will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and is free and open to all ages. For more information, contact the Coupeville Library at 678-4911 or Molly Cook at 678-3042.