Bounty: A Poetry Contest 

Denver County Fair announces Bounty, the first annual poetry contest, featuring poems inspired by agriculture, food, gardens and farms.    

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

Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must relate to the theme of Bounty: agriculture, food, gardens and farms.

 • First Place: Blue Ribbon + Poetry Performance + $50

• Second Place: Red Ribbon + Poetry Performance

• Third Place: White Ribbon + Poetry Performance

• Finalists: Poetry Performance  

Prizewinners and finalists will all have an opportunity to read their works at the fair's Sunday morning Poetry Performance in the Farm and Garden Pavilion.

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

It's easy to enter:

• Use the online entry form to pay your entry fee.

• Then submit your poem by Monday, July 18, 2011, via email to poetry@denvercountyfair.org. 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.  

Poems must be previously unpublished and have not received awards in other competitions. Contest is open to Denver-metro residents only. One poem per entry fee. Multiple submission accepted. Submissions are judged by a published, award-winning poet. All judging is blind.


Fools & Writers 

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone

Caitlin NicholsonAnn StaleyFools and writers gathered on Friday, April 1, 2011 to celebrate Off the Page, No. 5, in Yachats, Oregon.

The fifth annual event was held at a new location — the Overleaf Lodge Event Center — and a record crowd of 80 people turned out on a rainy April Fools evening to enjoy a lively performance of poetry and prose. 

Many thanks to the featured writers: Khlo Brateng, Brian Hanna, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Caitlin Nicholson, Ann Staley, and Drew Myron. Singer and songwriter Richard Sharpless kicked off the evening with a musical vibe.

And many thanks to the attentive and supportive crowd, described by several as "reverent" and "encouraging."

"What an amazing night," said an audience member. "I laughed so hard I cried. I cried as my heart and soul were touched. It was a delightful spectrum." 







After the show, poet Ann Staley weaved together the evening's words:

 Beyond Forgetting
    with thanks to Khlo, Brian,
                  Maxine, Caitlin & Drew
Welcome that show-stopper moon,
poised between grief and joy
(still) feeling your aliveness.
What are doors, but portals into the next open space,
                  where emptiness greets emptiness.
Where will you begin?
Not playing Hamlet or Ophelia?
with Joyce’s “A Painful Case”?
Who are you living for, (anyway)?
We fish the sky for answers,
let go in the tide.
Watch stunned,
hear the groan of galloping greed.
Let my soul shine like new daffodils.
If I erase this moment,
a whole lifetime will float like confetti.
I can prove it with my eyes.

found poem
Off The Page V, readers
heard & arranged by Ann Staley
April 1, 2011 


Off the Page 2011 

Join us for Off the Page, an evening celebration of poetry and prose on Friday, April 1st at 7pm in Yachats, on the central Oregon Coast.

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

Now in its fifth year, Off the Page is an encouraging celebration of creative expression. Writers from throughout the Pacific Northwest will share their work. Featured writers include: Ann Staley, Khlo Brateng, Brian Hanna, Caitlin Nicholson, Drew Myron, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, and singer/songwriter Richard Sharpless.

About the Writers

Khlo Brateng, of South Beach, is an actress, singer, musician and writer. A lover of music and the rhythms of language, she explores poetry, flash fiction and short stories in her chapbook Words Out Loud.

Brian Hanna, of Seal Rock, is an architect who emerged from retirement to design commercial and industrial structures throughout the U.S and Canada.  He is a member of Tuesdays, a weekly writing group, and a volunteer with Seashore Family Literacy’s Young Writers Group.

Drew Myron, of Yachats, is the creator of Off the Page. With a belief that writing needs to crawl out of the journal and soar into the community, she created the annual event — now in its fiifth year — to showcase local writers and celebrate the power of creative expression.

Caitlin Nicholson, of Newport, has lived on the Oregon Coast nearly all of her 19 years. A graduate of Seashore Family Literacy’s Young Writers Group, she was once a writer of horror stories but poetry now has her heart: “It wasn't until I joined the writers group that I became interested in poetry. And since I started, I can't stop.”

In her first life, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, of Yachats, was a dancer/choreographer. In her second life, at 80, she is an interdisciplinary scholar and philosophy professor at the University of Oregon. She is the author of seven books, and editor of two. Her latest book, Putting Movement Into Your Life: A Beyond Fitness Primer is a lively, engaging tool to help transform everyday habits into vibrant fun.

Ann Staley, of Corvallis, is a poet who has taught for over 40 years, in five Oregon school districts, two community colleges, two public universities and two private ones. She likes nothing better than settling into a circle of strangers, opening her notebook and saying, "Let's do some freewriting for a few minutes before our Introductions. Write about whatever comes to mind. There is only Now followed by Now."

Lodging and event space generously provided by the Overleaf Lodge & Fireside Motel.



Find Your Place 

Celebrate with Seashore!

Join us for a Book Launch Party for Find Your Place, the fourth annual volume of poetry and prose from Seashore Family Literacy.

The free event is on Thursday, June 3 at 6pm and includes refreshments, a reading, and book signing. The party takes place at Waldport Community Learning Center’s Writing Studio, located at 265 SW Bay St, in Waldport, Oregon. 

Find Your Place is a 100-page book featuring poetry and prose from 40 writers, ages 9 to 75 — all participants in Seashore Family Literacy’s writing programs. The book includes work from grade school, middle school and high school students, along with writing by adult mentor/volunteers.

Find Your Place is $12, with all proceeds supporting Seashore Family Literacy writing programs.

Seashore Family Literacy offers a bounty of writing programs and activities, including writing groups, camps and workshops for both children and adults. Founded in 1992, Seashore promotes literacy and education through numerous programs, including youth and adult tutoring, after-school activities, summer camps, and free meals. Seashore operates with volunteer support and programs are provided at no cost to the participants.

The youth writing groups have shaped and encouraged dozens of youngsters. What began as a writing group for a handful of teens has evolved over the years to lively writing program that offers writing groups, camps and workshops for both children and adults. Writers meet each week for writing games and prompts with support and encouragement from adult mentor-volunteers.

The program’s success is largely because students feel safe to explore feelings and ideas, says Senitila McKinley, Seashore’s founder/director.

"There are no grades, no attendance, no writing requirements," adds Drew Myron, director of Seashore's Writing Programs. "Just a lot of love, support and encouragement."



Opening Celebration in Yachats

I love finding poems in unexpected places. I get a giddy zing when I run across poetry on the bus, my phone, or in the bathroom. In fact, years ago, in an effort to get 'poetry to the people' I randomly chose names from the phone book and anonymously mailed out poems. (Sadly, I had to stop this practice when the anthrax scare created suspicion of unexpected mail).  

All of which explains my joy to share poetry in a most unexpected place: a massage studio.

The Gentle Dragon Massage & Healing Hideaway will mark their opening with a two-day celebration of music, speakers, demonstrations, prizes — and poetry.  I'm happy to be included in the festivities, and eager to get poetry out of the books and into the world. What fun! Please join me.

Gentle Dragon Grand Opening
in Yachats, Oregon
Peacefully nestled in the Greenhouse Marketplace, among the TouchstoneEarthworks and Wave art galleries.

• Saturday, May 22, 1 to 6pm
poetry (at 3:15pm)
- acupuncture
- music
- imagery
- herbalism
- storytelling

• Sunday, May 23, 11am - 4pm
- music
- acupuncture
- art
- prizes

For more information, contact Zeora at the Gentle Dragon Massage & Healing Hideway, 541.547.4721.