Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thurs. Jan. 8, 2009 reading #233

Ballard Library, 6 - 7:45 p.m.

Hi All,

I thought I was giving up this space for facebook but some of you don't like that idea so I'll place the info here as well. Plus I'll keep the website up for the time being.

Thurs. Dec. 11, 2008 #232's reading with Pat Hurshell, Nancy Dahlberg, Kim-An Lieberman + Carolyne Wright on The Writer's Craft - was terrific. Sorry if you missed it due to my not posting here.

I hope to see you for our first reading in Jan.

Happy New year,


Thurs. Jan 8, 2009 #233 Larry Ebersole, Lina Raymond, Roberta Feins and Michael Schein on The Writer's Craft

Michael Schein wrote Just Deceits: A Historical Courtroom Mystery (Bennett & Hastings, 2008), & poetry published in Slow Trains, Chrysanthemum, Ledge, Pontoon, RockSaltPlum, Lilies & Cannonballs, Art of Bicycling (Breakaway Books 2005), & elsewhere. Kudos for his work include 2 Pushcart nominations. Michael directs LitFuse Poets’ Workshop, & it is snowing.

Roberta Feins lives in Seattle, and works as a computer consultant. She received her MFA in poetry from New England College in 2007. Her poems have been published in Tea Party, Floating Bridge Review, and The Lyric, and are forthcoming in Junctures and The Antioch Review.. She edits the e-zine Switched On Gutenberg (

Larry Ebersole was one of the website editors with Poets Against War, and now designs literary, human rights events with Amnesty Interntional of Puget Sound -- often, to help bring about the release of a prisoner of conscience. He will read from his first book of poems, has a first book of poems, "Mural Poems: Human Rights and Antiwar Poems."

Lina Raymond: After 12 years in primetime television, Lina Raymond invented and marketed a commercial non-dairy ice cream. When the untimely demise of her company led to harrowing psychiatric experience, Ms. Raymond painted and wrote her way out, resulting in her novel Ranch Routes, and, her current career as an artist.

Thanks for supporting the It's About Time Writers Reading Series,

Esther Altshul Helfgott, curator

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thurs. Nov. 13, 2008 #231

Ballard Library, 6 p.m.

Ken Shiovitz on The Writer's Craft

Ken Shiovitz, former animal behaviorist, is now with Windermere Real Estate. His birdsong work is published in Animal Behavior, Behaviour, and Natural History; poems and essays in Drash, Kota Press, PoetsWest, and several Projects. He is a member of WPA and PoetsTable, and a sometimes venue host and poetry reader for Drash.

Marilyn Meyer is a writing coach, editor, essayist, and occasional poet. Her personal essays, poems, and radio commentary have appeared in numerous publications over the past 35 years. Retired from a career teaching in the public schools, Marilyn has been the Learnng Specialist at Northwest Yeshivah High School since 2003. The mother of 3 grown children, Marilyn Meyer lives with her dog Gila in West Seattle.

Mike Hickey is from Belleville, IL., and the oldest of eleven children. He received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, 1987, an MFA from the University of Washington, 1992, and is currently working on a sequel to his first novel, Counterclockwise. He has also published a poetry chapbook, In Defense of Eve. as well as won awards for poetry, teaching, and as a labor leader for the American Federation of Teachers. In addition to being a tenured creative writing instructor at South Seattle Community College, he has taught as a volunteer to children at summer bereavement camps, to at-risk youth in White Center, and to prisoners at the Monroe Correctional Complex. He lives in West Seattle with his wife, Mona, and their two-year-old son, Nathan.

Bethany Reid is the author of a poetry chapbook, The Coyotes and My Mom (1990), and the co-author, with Thomas M. Gaskin, of Everett and Snohomish County (Wyndham Press, 2005). Her poetry and essays have appeared in numerous small presses and literary journals, including Calyx, Santa Clara Review, Cairn, Hayden’s Ferry Review, New England Quarterly, Studies in the Novel, and Twins. Bethany earned her M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington where she was a poetry editor and later interview and essay editor of The Seattle Review.

Congratulations to Mike Hickey for placing FIRST in the 2008 Poet Populist election! Congratulations to all the rest too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's About Time's Poet Populist, Mike Hickey

Mike Hickey's Poet Populist candidate statement

Less that 2% of Americans read poetry. And I ask myself WHY? Why would a medium so dynamic and powerful be so widely ignored? Is it because many contemporary poets have relieved themselves of the obligation to have a point, to advance some insight to their readers regarding love, politics, the human animal, the world in which we live? The poet Thomas Lux once told me that a large number of today's poets aren't worried about being misunderstood, they're worried about being understood, because essentially they don't have anything very important to say. Since 1995, I have been teaching students that one doesn't have to sacrifice clarity for creativity. And when a fourth grader writes, "A dress walked by with a woman inside..." I know that poetry is still very much alive and well. This is the message I would like to deliver if elected Poet Populist!

Mike will be reading with Poet Populist candidates on MON, OCT 27, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, at 4408Delridge Way SW
Special Guest: Pesha Joyce Gertler, Poet Populist 2005-2006

Don't forget to vote in this election and that other one.

Thanks for supporting the It's About Time Writers Reading Series

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Thurs. Oct. 9, 2008 #231

Ballard Library

Carolyne Wright will emcee tonight's reading.
Thank you Carolyne.
Craft Talks continue next month

Elizabeth Socha Davis retired from two careers – zoology, then family therapy. She took a series of write-your-life-story classes, including ones from Esther. Elizabeth began writing poetry, has been published in Spindrift, The Oak, The Crone Connection, and has given readings at many locations in Seattle.

Susan Blair was a computer systems analyst, a salesperson, a Personnel Liaison Specialist with the federal government, and an aerobics instructor. Now she's a poet, a certified Nia instructor, a professional speaker --- and a whole lot happier! Seven of her poems have been published in Las Cruces Poets & Writers Magazine.

Brian McGuigan is a poet, performer, arts administrator and raconteur. He works at Richard Hugo House and is the co-founder and curator of "Cheap Wine and Poetry," Seattle's coolest reading series. Currently, Brian is at work on a
full-length manuscript of poems about gentrification entitled "Eat the Rich" and writes a regular column, "Bus Bitch," for The Rainier Valley Post. For more Brian:

Kate Lebo was raised in southwest Washington and lives in Seattle, where she works for Richard Hugo House, Seattle's literary arts center. Her poetry has been published in Filter, Knock, and the Seattle Public Library's "Lines on a Spine" project, and she was a senior editor for Rivet Magazine. She's working on her first chapbook.
Don't forget to vote for Poet Populist

It's About Time Poet Populist nominee, Mike Hickey is from Belleville, IL., and the oldest of eleven children. He received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, 1987, an MFA from the University of Washington, 1992, and is currently working on a sequel to his first novel, Counterclockwise. He has also published a poetry chapbook, In Defense of Eve. as well as won awards for poetry, teaching, and as a labor leader for the American Federation of Teachers. In addition to being a tenured creative writing instructor at South Seattle Community College, he has taught as a volunteer to children at summer bereavement camps, to at-risk youth in White Center, and to prisoners at the Monroe Correctional Complex. He lives in West Seattle with his wife, Mona, and their two-year-old son, Nathan.

It's About Time nominated Mike Hickey for Poet Populist because: He has been participating in the It’s About Time Writers Reading Series for over a decade. Not only has he read his own work and presented a popular Writer’s Craft talk, he brings his students from both South Seattle Community College and UW Experimental College to participate, either through reading themselves or listening to others read. Mike’s years of teaching, as well as his involvement with the wider community, reflect his devotion to furthering fairness and justice in the public sphere. He represents It’s About Time's vision.

Vote for Poet Populist

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thurs Sept 11, 2008 #230

6 - 7:45
Ballard Library

Tonight's reading is dedicated to the memory of Irene Drennan (1922-2008)

Dear It's About Time Writers and Participants,

It is with profound sorrow that I announce the passing of Irene Drennan, one of It's About Time's earliest readers (1990) and our first Poet Populist nominee. Irene died last Sat night from leukemia. She was 85 and just getting started. Please come read and hear Irene's poems. She left us many.

The Writer's Craft: BELLE RANDALL is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer in Poetry Writing at Stanford. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry magazine and the Treepenny Review. She is the author of 4 books of poetry and the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts grant (2005-7). This year, she was awarded a Seattle CityArts grant to prepare a manuscript from her lifelong correspondence with the poet Thom Gunn--a project which influences her craft presentation tonight.

Sheila Alexander is a poet, originally trained as a journalist. She walks, swims, hikes and is active in her community and family.

Philip Red Eagle, co-founder of Raven Chronicles, writes poetry, fiction and essays. He was born in Tacoma, Washington and educated at the University of Washington. He received a B.F.A. in 1983 and B.A. in Journalism in 1987. He is the author of Red Earth - A Vietnam Warrior's Journey and other works.

Monica Schley's poems have been published in Burnside Review, Cranky, Cream City Review, Naked Joy, Raven Chronicles, Wandering Hermit Review, and a forthcoming Seattle Review issue. She has received assistance from the Espy Foundation and performed at the 2007 Seattle Poetry Festival. She is a classically trained harpist and is president of the Seattle Harp Society

Thank you for supporting It's About Time,


Friday, August 8, 2008

Thurs. Aug.14, 2008 #229

6:00 - 7:45 p.m.

Ballard Library

The Writer's Craft: Ron Starr on No Things But in Words: Chance, Form, and Procedure

Ron Starr lives and writes in Seattle. He is an editor at Floating Bridge Press and the author of A Map by a Dim Lamp (Ravenna Press). His work has appeared in the Oulipo special issue of Drunken Boat.

Nora Jarvis, a native of Seattle, graduated from Earlham College in Indiana where she majored in Peace and Global Studies and minored in Creative Writing. She has been writing poetry since she was child but has become more invested in it over the past few years. She has been published in a few mildly discerning literary magazines and currently works for a Day Care Center, bountiful in poetic material.

Janet Leister, a Washington native, has worked as a life drawing model, bikini seamstress, technical support rep, cab driver and reference librarian. She was a founding member and original webmaster of poetry site Janet currently lives in SW Washington, where she is publisher and editor of Flamestomper Press/Helios House. She is a member of the Poetry in Motion band, and her book, Eclipse, is just out.

Rosemary O'Hara is a Seattle poet whose work appears in local and national journals including Willow Review, Spindrift, and Vox Populi, 2007. She was born in West Virginia, had a nursing career in New York City and retired after twenty years from a private practice in Marriage and Family Therapy. Rosemary studies piano at Cornish College of the Arts and is a docent at the Seattle Japanese Garden.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thurs. July 10, 2008 #228

6:00 - 7:45 p.m.
Ballard Library

July 10th's reading is dedicated to CRYSTA CASEY (1952 - 2008). Open mike will be devoted to reading her work.

The Writer's Craft:
Esther Altshul Helfgott on The Work of CRYSTA CASEY

Tonight's readers are from out of town. Come help us welcome them:

was born in South Carolina and lives in Portland, Oregon. Poems have appeared in Chattahoochee Review, Quill and Parchment, Red River Review, Tryst, Magnapoets, and elsewhere. He is author of Notes to One Who Is Far from Here.

SHARMAGNE LELAND-ST. JOHN has been published in literary journals, anthologies, and on line. She was nominated for the 2007 The Pushcart Prize. Sharmagne is a Native American poet, concert performer, lyricist, artist, and film maker. She edits

For a list of 2008 readers, visit the It's About Time website. Also find our Writers Craft talks there.

Thanks for supporting It's About Time,


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


May 27, 1952 - June 24, 2008

Our lovely Crysta died yesterday at 6:01 a.m., probably earlier. Her dear friends George, Irene, Deborah, Cody, Sherry, Monica & others stood vigil through the last weeks. Irene was with her until the end.

Crysta helped define Seattle's literary landscape and we will miss her. Her first book, Heart Clinic, was published by Bellowing Ark Press in 1993. She had been reading for It's About Time since 1992. July's reading will be dedicated to her.

Crysta waged a fifteen year battle against cancer, all the while managing her schizophrenia. She was one of the most courageous people I've known. She died at the VA hospital in Seattle. May her memory be for a blessing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thurs. June 12, 2008 #227

Carol Levin 's chapbook Sea Lions Sing Scat was published 2007 (Finishing Line Press). Red Rooms & Others is due in August(Pecan Grove Press). Work appears in The Massachusetts Review, Third Coast,The Seattle Review, Pedestal, Cortland Review, Comstock Review & has collaborated in translating Chekhov’s plays.

Hadiyah Carlyle says she is now old enough to be a part of history. In the 60’s she was a single parent in Haight Ashbury. In the 70’s, she was the first and only female shipyard welder in Bellingham. Now she's completed UW's memoir writing program and hopes to get her story out “one of these days.”

Jourdan Keith, playwright, Griot, activist and educator, is Seattle Poet Populist Emeritus and Seattle Public Library Naturalist-in-Residence. Her work blends the textures of political, personal and natural landscapes to offer voices from the margins of American lives. Founder and Director of Urban Wilderness Project, she is a Hedgebrook alum.

Crysta Casey has been published in "Seattle Review," "Fine Madness," "Arkansas/Kansas Quarterly," "Berkeley Poets' Co-op," "Pontoon," and others. Her first book Is Heart Clinic (Bellowing Ark Press, 1993). She is the recipiant of a Richard Hugo Prize & is in her second decade of reading for It's About Time.

For the list of 2008 readers, visit the It's About Time. Also find our Writers Craft talks there.

Hope to see you soon,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's About Time Goes 21st Century

Thanks to Peggy Sturdivant's May 8th Craft Talk on Blogs & Healing at our 226th reading, I've been inspired to bring About Time into the 21st century. I'll be posting each month's reading line-up on the blog. To view a list of our past readings, visit It's About Time at the original website. I'll still be posting craft talks there.

It's About Time has been meeting in various locations since January 1990: Ravenna-Bryant Senior Center, North Seattle Community College, Other Voices Book store, University Branch Library, and Ravenna Third Place Books. Thanks to the administrators of all those venues for their support.

Now thanks go to Ellen and Lynn of the Ballard Library team for inviting us into the library's beautiful new space, and to Liz from Central for publicizing our readings in the Seattle Public Library bulletins. Come meet our May 8th readers. They were superb, as usual.

Peggy Sturdivant writes a weekly column for the Ballard News-Tribune, and the blog "At Large in Ballard" on She has just launched a series on the intersection of neighborhoods with City of Seattle government for the on-line newspaper CrossCut. She lives with her daughter in Ballard.

Clarice Keegan has a MA in philosophy, is a technical writer by day, and has been a poet since 1994. She is the author of two chapbooks, Seat of Desire and Why I Was Adopted. She was also the first winner of the WPA Bart Baxter Award for Performance Poetry.

Felicia Gonzalez was born and raised in Cuba. An alumna of Hedgebrook Writers Retreat and Jack Straw Writers Program, she is a recipient of a 2007 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship. In 2006, she was awarded an individual artists grant from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs for the chapbook, Recollection Graffiti.

Peter Pereira’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, and have been anthologized in 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, and the 2007 Best American Poetry. His poems have also been featured online at Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, as well as on National Public Radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. His books include The Lost Twin (Grey Spider 2000), Saying the World (Copper Canyon, 2003, Winner of the Hayden Carruth Award), and What’s Written on the Body (Copper Canyon 2007). He is a family physician in Seattle, and was a founding editor of Floating Bridge Press.

The Comments box below offers a space to discuss the readings. Welcome.