Seattle: Poetry Panels, APRIL Fest

Billed as a “naturally occurring online phenomenon,” the Seattle Poetry Panels begin Sunday, March 24, with a Google hangout at 7 p.m.

Hoping to find a place among conference panels and online forum free-for-alls, the panels will offer a series of investigations into topics related to Seattle, poetry, and the intersection of the two.

The first panel will be led by Paul Nelson, founder of SPLAB, and will investigate the “State of Seattle Poetry,” with a particular focus on the role of criticism within the community. Joining Nelson on the panel will be four Seattle poets: Daemond Arrindell, curator of the Seattle Poetry slam; Christine Deavel, co-owner of Open Books; Graham Isaac, co-founder and curator of numerous local readings series and poet and pie expert, Kate Lebo.

Those wishing to join the hangout should email founders the panels founders, Greg Bem and Amber Nelson, at and


In this week’s copy of The Stranger, there’s lots of love for upcoming local lit fest APRIL.

While attendees won’t find a reprise of last year’s lit crawl, there are a ton of poetry events on the festival’s full schedule, beginning with a benediction at Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison, on Monday, March 25th at 8 p.m., (21+) and continuing with 25 readings and 4 musical performances throughout the week.

Special events include an edition of the Stranger’s “Verse Chapter Verse” with Sherman Alexie and an art-show at Vignettes inspired by Heather Christle’s book of poems, “The Trees, The Trees.” Readers throughout the week will include visiting poets such as Christle, Matthew Dickman and Matthew Rohrer, and a long list of local writers appearing at happy hour readings from Tuesday through Thursday.

The schedule also includes the return of last year’s competitive storytelling event, “A Poet, A Playwright, A Novelist and a Drag Queen,” featuring (respectively) Elissa Ball, Neil Ferron, Peter Mountford and Cherdonna. Also returning will be Saturday’s Small Press Expo, which will expand on last year’s offerings and include even more presses from afar, such as Hobart, Caketrain, and Black Ocean.

Those looking to learn more about the festival can check out this interview on the podcast “Ordinary Madness” with festival co-founders, Willie Fitzgerald and Tara Atkinson.


Bill Carty