Poetry is one of the five elements necessary for a comprehensive Chinese garden. Usually, the poetry is presented in the form of calligraphic inscriptions. In this series, hear poetry come alive during readings and Q&A sessions with five prolific Pacific Northwest poets.
Samiya Bashir 's books of poetry, Field Theories, Gospel, and Where the Apple Falls, and anthologies, including Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art, exist. Sometimes she makes poems of dirt. Sometimes zeros and ones. Sometimes variously rendered text. Sometimes light. Her work has been widely published, performed, installed, printed, screened, experienced, and Oxford comma'd. Bashir holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as Poet Laureate, and an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she received two Hopwood Poetry Awards. She is the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships, residencies, prizes, and is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writer's festival for LGBT writers of African descent. Bashir has collaborated on a number of multimedia poetry and art projects including M A P S :: a cartography in progress, and Silt, Soot, and Smut, with Alison Saar, both of which currently travel the country in exhibition and performance. Bashir lives with a magic cat who shares her love of trees and blackbirds, and who occasionally crashes her classes and poetry salons. Bashir lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches creative writing at Reed College.
Laura Tattoo has been reading and writing poetry since childhood when she was inspired to become a poet by the likes of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dr. Seuss, A. A. Milne and William Shakespeare. She writes in English and French and will be reading from poems she wrote about her time in Greece in 2012-2013, including a feminist cycle on Persephone.
Doug Stone is a fourth generation Oregonian living in
David Cooke brings together vivid imagery, richly layered meaning, and a sheer love of language to create award-winning poetry. A Pushcart Nominee, Ruth Stone Prize winner, and founder of PoetryBoxes.com, he is both a writer and passionate advocate of poetry through its publication, performance and integration into cityscapes and gardens. Long-time Portland resident, businessman and former special educator he continues to be enthralled by the Pacific Northwest experience.