Literature King's Books Tacoma -The Stacks

Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Timothy Thomas McNeely

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The Poets Are Coming

Not nearly the threat of an invading army, yet announcement should be made that on April 4 (tonight), King’s Books plays host to five acclaimed local poets as part of National Poetry Month events. Each poet reading is an emerging voice on the national poetry scene, with publications in prestigious journals and laurels distributed all around.

In brief:

  • Representing Tacoma is Allen Braden. He teaches at Tacoma Community College, and received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a 2006 Artist Trust / Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship, as well as winning the Midnight Sun Chapbook Contest in 2011 for his latest book, Elegy in the Passive Voice.

  • Arlene Kim won the American Book Award for her first poetry collection, What have you done to our ears to make us hear echoes?, published in 2011.

  • Marjorie Manwaring is an editor for multiple regional poetry publications and released her first full poetry collection this past January, 2013.

  • Derek Sheffield also released a book in 2013. He’s received the James Hearst Poetry Prize and the Sparrow Prize in Poetry, among others, and he can be credited with being from Gig Harbor, though he teaches in Wenatchee. His first book, Through the Second Skin, was also just published.

The King’s Books events page has more info on each poet, as well as options to purchase their books.

April 4, 7 pm at King’s Books (218 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402).

As a taster, here’s an excerpt from Arlene Kim’s poem, “Eyjafjallajokull” published in diode, fall 2011:

Once, I was on my way up
a small mountain or a very large hill
(could’ve been
a volcano) following
behind the better climbers. I had to
stop. I saw this sign:

When confronted by a mountain lion,
do not turn away,
do not run, do not scream, or crouch,
do not cry,
do not play dead.
Doing these makes you seem like prey.

Instead, make yourself as big as possible, as large.

Do not turn away from seeing these poets. Instead, gather at King’s Books, at 7 pm, a group as big and large as possible. Come support poetry in Tacoma.

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About the Author

Most days, Timothy Thomas McNeely leads federal and state education program reviews for the State of Washington. Born in Tacoma, he studied poetry and philosophy in Canada and the United Kingdom. He is editor of the Community and Literature sections for Post Defiance, and writes poetry and prose whenever he can. He and his family live in Tacoma. Find him on Twitter as @ttmcneely.



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