I will be part of the WA129 Anthology Reading at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave. E. in downtown Olympia on Saturday, October 21. This free event begins at 6:30 p.m. I will recite my poem, “The Girl Who Wore Cedar” and share a few more poems having a connection to our beautiful Pacific Northwest. My new, award-winning book, “The Fates,” will be available for sale.
Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall will be the MC and 6 other local poets will also read their work.
This time last year I was seeking inspiration and trying out various themes for poems to write and send to Tod Marshall for possible inclusion in the anthology. I ended up sending a poem about Sasquatch, one about a wood sculpture in a park in Aberdeen and the poem from my childhood that did find a place in WA129. I worked very, very hard on this piece and re-wrote is maybe a dozen times trying to get the tone just right. The poem is based on a memory, and includes the broader theme of ‘differentness’ and how difficult it is to relate to people of other cultures even if you really want to. I attempted to portray the discomfort I felt as a child, almost an unworthiness, to befriend someone whose life I didn’t really understand. We were two little girls who wore the same uniform, who even walked the same direction home. Eventually it was sort of her symbol, her higher self reflected in her native dance, that allowed me to relate since I also loved the mystery of cedar trees.