Teaching Poetry: A Discussion

Please join me!

Oregon Poetry Association's Fall Conference

Friday, October 18 through Sunday, October 20, 2013
at the Pacific University campus in Forest Grove, Oregon.

On Saturday, October 19 at 7pm, enjoy a panel discussion on Teaching Poetry.

The talk will feature ideas and experiences from Oregon educators working in variety of venues. Participating writers include: Dawn Diez Willis, Keya Mitra, Mark Thalman, Sara-Lynne Simpson, and myself.

Founded in 1956, the Oregon Poetry Association is Oregon’s oldest and largest literary organization, with over 350 members. All poets, regardless of publishing history, academic background, and writing experience, are welcome to join. OPA membership includes winners of the Oregon Book Award, Pushcart Prize nominees, Academy of American Poets award winners, journal editors, and small press editors, as well as beginning poets, poets with a recent first chapbook publication, and experienced poets with no publication history.

For OPA Conference info, go here.


Bounty: A Poetry Contest

Denver County Fair invites writers to take part in Bounty, the third annual poetry contest featuring poems inspired by agriculture, gardens, food and farms. Now in its third year, the Denver County Fair is a modern interpretation of the traditional fair — a super-charged mix of pastoral passion and urban crazy.

Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must relate to the theme of agriculture, food, gardens or farms. Contest is open to Colorado residents. Poems must be previously unpublished and have not received awards in other competitions. One poem per entry fee. Multiple submissions accepted. Submissions are judged by a panel of literary professionals. All judging is blind.

Two Categories:  Adult (ages 18 and over); Youth (ages 10 - 17)

First Place: Blue Ribbon + Tattered Cover Gift Card + Poetry Performance + $50

Second Place: Red Ribbon + Tattered Cover Gift Card + Poetry Performance

Third Place: White Ribbon + Tattered Cover Gift Card + Poetry Performance

Finalists: Poetry Performance

Entry Fee is just $5 and provides a free pass to the fair. 

To Enter:

1. Check the Competition Information:

2. Use the online entry form to pay your $5 fee: Online entries receive one FREE day pass per entrant.

3. Submit your poem by Thursday, July 25, 2013 via email to Include your name, address, telephone number and category (Adult or Youth). Submit the poem in a Word Document or paste in the body of your email.

Winning poems will be on display at the Denver County Fair, August 9-10-11, 2013, and winners and finalists are invited to read their poems at the Denver County Fair Poetry Performance on Sunday, August 11, 2013.

Entry Deadline: Thursday, July 25, 2013


The 2012 Denver County Fair First Place, Blue Ribbon Poem:

What We Make
    for Frederick H. Stitt

This is a very old recipe.
The kind your hands know
better than your head.

Take the zucchini
from the fridge. Think of your job,
of your husband working late,

of your father
who fell last week,
more than a thousand miles away.

Think of the bruises that blossomed,
black then green, on his forehead,
across the span of his ribs.

Grate the zucchini.
You will need three cups
and one of mozzarella.

Break three glorious
lop-sided, orange-yolked eggs
and think now of your father

as the young man turned from the camera,
modeling suits in a catalogue—
his frame that broad and fine.

Add flour, oil, salt and pepper,
loads of fresh basil, baking powder.
Let the onion do its worst.

Think of your dog,
his sturdy joints
going stiff,

even his wag an ache,
and how he goes to his leash
still, every time, in a lather.

Mix and load into a butter-greased, 
8” pan. Think of the rich flesh and rough stones
of peach season,

which is right now every morning
bursting the day open
in your mouth. This is August.

Bake a while at 350˚.
It will rise. It will fall. It will mingle
with fresh tomatoes and Romano.

Think. It will be delicious.
And then, one bite at a time,
it will be gone.

- Kathryn T.S. Bass


The 2011 Denver County Fair First Place, Blue Ribbon Poem:

Seed Starters

Strange how the rain comes
on days like this, when blue
in any context is a lie, a scratch
on the sky’s socked-in surface,
and the gutters on the house next door
leak like sieves, cracked and bowed,
dropping water into sidewalk ponds.
We let the sound in when
it suits us, note the downpour
but cannot feel the storm.

Cities wrestle for sky, jostle
for land. Every single tree
in this western town was planned
and planted by hand, century-old
wood sentries still standing
despite fickle Front Range weather.
And each spring in North Denver
amidst jungles of broken glass,
brownfields and bindweed, backyard Edens
wake from their Superfund-site slumber
and prove the naysayers wrong.

We order starter kits, lower the downspouts,
sift our compost and shed our socks.
Next weekend we’ll turn the raised bed,
let it rest a spell. And before we know it
we’re parents, standing over our bright
seedlings, cooing. The tomatoes wake first.
We cannot stop smiling.

- Meghan Howes


For more information, contact Drew Myron Denver County Fair Director of Poetry



Off the Page, No. 7

Join us for Off the Page — an evening of stories, poems, and song — on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 7pm on the central coast of Oregon, in the village of Yachats.

Festivities take place at the Overleaf Lodge Event Center, located on Highway 101, at the north end of Yachats. Doors open and music starts at 6:30pm. The reading begins at 7pm. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Now in its seventh year, Off the Page is an encouraging celebration of creative expression. An ensemble of Oregon writers — hailing from Siletz, Newport, South Beach, Waldport and Yachats  — will share their work.

Featured writers include: Scott T. Starbuck, Khloella Brateng, Theresa Wisner, Hallie Price, Drew Myron & youth from Seashore Family Literacy — with music by Richard Sharpless.

Scott T. Starbuck is author of River Walker, a collection of Pacific Northwest fishing poems. He was a commercial fishing and charter captain in Depoe Bay, a writer-in-residence at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on Cascade Head, and a 2013 Artsmith Fellow on Orcas Island where he finished a 24-page chapbook, Depoe Bay Poems. His new book includes poems about a girl he loved with mermaidian hair, drowned fishermen he had known, a homemade submarine rescued, words of colorful elders, a mythical salmon-beast who forgot his way home and grew so large he devoured coastal villages, and local gourmet chef Lee Gray playing his saxophone over Depoe Bay in the tune of a lost ship returning.

Khloella Brateng, of South Beach, is a writer, actress, musician and artist. She is frequently seen on stage at the Performing Arts Center in Newport, most recently in The Producers, The Full Monty and Company. She provides voiceover narration for Pacific Dance Ensemble’s annual spring production. Her art has shown at the Newport Visual Arts Center, and she plays celtic harp for weddings, receptions and gatherings throughout Lincoln County.

Theresa Wisner, of Siletz, is host of the radio program Writers on Writing, co-director of Willamette Writers - Coast Chapter, and the founder of a Tuesday writing group in Newport. Her poetry and short stories have been published in literary journals and newspapers, and she is working on a memoir, Tales of a Sea Sick Galley Slave. Her work at sea began on the decks of west coast salmon and tuna trollers, and moved to the galleys of large trawlers, merchant ships and research vessels. Her work took her from the Pribilof Islands in Alaska to Antarctica.

Hallie Price, of Newport, graduated from New England College in 2011 with a Bachelors of Art in Creative Writing. She received the Creative Arts Award for her class and won the 2011 New England College Creative Writing Award. Her short stories have appeared in online literary journals, The Bright Light Café and The Autumn Sound Review.

Drew Myron, of Yachats, heads a marketing communications company and as a journalist has covered news, arts, entertainment and travel for AOL’s CityGuide, Northwest Best Places and other publications. She is author of Thin Skin, and creator and host of Off the Page.


For more information, contact Drew Myron at 541.547.3757,

Accomodations provided by the Overleaf Lodge.


Celebrate Oregon's Most Famous Poet

Join the worldwide birthday celebration honoring
the life and work of the late William Stafford,
Oregon’s most famous poet.

Oregon writers will read a Stafford poem,
as well as their own. Audience members are
invited to read a favorite Stafford poem.

On Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 3pm

At the Waldport Community Center
265 Hemlock St in Waldport, Oregon

Free admission

Featured writers:
Ruth Harrison
Brian Hanna
Linnea Harper
Herman Welch
Drew Myron

Sponsored by
- Friends of the Waldport Public Library
- Friends of William Stafford
& hosted by Drew Myron

About the Event
This free event is in conjunction with The Friends of William Stafford, a nonprofit organization providing education in literature, particularly in poetry, in a way that will encourage readers, writers and those who aspire to find their own voice. Each year FWS sponsors over 50 poetry readings and presentations across the globe.

About William Stafford
William Stafford was one of America's most prolific poets, authoring more than 50 books in his 79 years. A favorite professor at Lewis and Clark College, where he taught for 30 years, he was appointed Oregon Poet Laureate in 1975 and also earned a National Book Award. He was known for his encouragement of other writers and for his advocacy of free expression in writing and speech.

A pacifist, Stafford was a conscientious objector during World War II. He was confined in Civilian Public Service work camps in Arkansas and California, where he did work for the U.S. Forest Service. For the following fifty years, Stafford included poems of pacifism and reconciliation in his readings.

Stafford believed that treasures were to be found beneath your feet, and that searching for things that fit together was to follow the "golden thread." About his own works, he once said, "I have woven a parachute out of everything broken."

He died of a heart attack in Lake Oswego, Oregon on August 28, 1993. He was 79.

You Reading This, Be Ready

William Stafford

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life  —

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?




Sweet Grief - Newport Visual Arts Center

Sweet Grief: Paintings & Poems on Love and Loss
Paintings by Senitila McKinley and poems by Drew Myron

Now showing at the Newport Visual Arts Center
January 4 - 26, 2013

Show EXTENDED! through Feb. 23, 2013

Opening Reception
Friday, January 4, 2013, from 5 to 7pm
Newport Visual Arts Center - Upper Gallery
in Newport, Oregon
777 NW Beach Dr - Nye Beach Turnaround

Free and open to all ages

Sweet Grief is an art exhibition featuring 12 paintings by Senitila McKinley, paired with poems by Drew Myron. The show debuted in April 2012 at the Windermere Triad Gallery in Seal Rock, Oregon where it enjoyed an unprecedented eight month-long run. Sweet Grief now heads north along the Oregon Coast to the Newport Visual Arts Center.

To learn more about the Sweet Grief artists and how the collaboration began, go here.