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3rd Thursday Newsletter - Issue: 32

3rd Thursday Newsletter

Issue: 32

Date: September 21, 2023

Dear Reader,

With the start of Fall there are several exciting literary arts events coming up! Get your pens ready to write!

Before diving in with the events, though, I wanted to mention that – in the spirit of spreading the literary art community events of Tacoma, which is the purpose of this newsletter – a new website has been designed with an event section listing all of the events showcased below and more! If you have a literary arts event happening in the South Sound, and I missed including it, please let me know!

The first thing you’ll want to mark on your calendar is the debut of a series of four Autumn Poetry Workshops hosted by Voices of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets.

The inaugural event is at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 26th, at Moore Library and is facilitated by Kristy Gledhill.

Called “Voices of Tacoma: Grounding,this free 90-minute workshop will help us to get grounded in place, and talk about what that actually means for our writing and our writing lives. We'll read and discuss some particularly place-based poetry and then we'll write into the questions of place: What helps make WHERE you are (or where you've been) WHO you are? What is it about this place (or that place) that compels you to stay, to pay attention, to write? What do you know about the place that claims you that you must tell the world?

On Friday, September 29th, Christina Vega, Poet and Founder of Blue Cactus Press, will be launching her book VEGA, a “poetry collection center[ing] the Chicana experience amid the rippling effects of unexpected loss within multigenerational families, strained familial dynamics, and reconnecting with ancestral ties.” The book launch, 7:00 pm at King’s Books, will be one of celebration, remembrance, and community.

There will be music with DJ Smokey Wonder and poetry readings by Katharine Threat, Sasha LaPointe, Nicole McCarthy, and Sarah A. Chavez.

There will also be a community altar where folks can honor family and friends who have passed. We encourage you to bring photos, trinkets, poems, flowers, and candles for the altar.

The annual Creative Colloquy Crawl is coming back to the City of Destiny and has an amazing line-up of venues where you can go grab a libation and listen to the voices of the authors, poets, editors, and literary thinkers in the South Sound.

The events, starting at 6pm on Tuesday October 3, are staged so you can move between venues (a moving feast for the mind and belly). Check the CC website for updates, as some of the details are still being worked out.

Voices of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets is hosting the Crawl event at Doyle’s Public House, from 7pm to 9pm, with a fifteen minute break at 7:45pm. Featuring Melody Derrick, Robert Lashley, Celeste Schueler, Sandy King, Julie Baldock, Lydia K. Valentine, Kristy Gledhill, Abby E. Murray and Lucas Smiraldo, this is a great opportunity to hear some of the diverse (and poetic) voices of our community!

On Thursday, October 5 is the Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party - Kaleidoscope at the STAR Center, from 6:30pm to 9pm. In addition to the other artists and organizations there, Voices of Tacoma will be hosting the Poet’s Corner where you can come to join in a community poem project (using a manual typewriter), create your own black-out poetry, collage poetry, or just old fashioned pen and ink poetry. Learn more about how you can get involved in the poetry of Tacoma by visiting our table!

The literary arts events continue on Tuesday October 11th, at 6:00 pm, with the second in the series of Autumn Poetry Workshops hosted by Voices of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets. This workshop, being held at Moore Library, is entitled “Voices of Tacoma: Generating” and is facilitated by Celeste Schueler.

In this workshop, we will work toward generating new poems along with your experiences of Tacoma. How has your experience in Tacoma shaped you? Along with a practice of mindfulness, we will look at poems that compel our emotional experiences and memories. We will end with a prompt that taps into our emotional experience.

The annual Tacoma Arts Month Studio Tour is on Saturday, October 14th, and Sunday the 15th. Voices of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets will be participating on Saturday the 14th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at Mad Hat Tea Co. Come enjoy a cup of your favorite tea and meet the poets who will be there throughout the day, talking about their work. There will be activities and an opportunity to get your Arts Month passport stamped.

Why, you may ask, is the poetry studio at Mad Hat Tea Co.? The reason is that most poets do their writing on the bus, in the back row of their philosophy class, on a slightly used cocktail napkin during a night shift serving cocktails, or between cups of tea in our favorite tea house. Because not many poets are able to share their studio space with the world, we will be gathering where we like to gather and write - so come meet us in our element.

The last event that will be happening before next month’s Third Thursday Newsletter comes out is the monthly Gathering of Poets, on October 16th at 6:30 pm, at Wheelock Library.

September 21, 2023

Chronicle of Voices of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets - Part 5

So many things have happened this past month, it’s been a whirlwind to keep track of everything!

Since the last installment of the chronicle we were at the Hilltop Street Fair where we met hundreds of people and had the chance to talk about poetry, community, and how to get involved in literary arts activities. We had a manual typewriter (thanks to Michael Haeflinger, Executive Director of Write253) which was extremely popular. People typed away, but they were more just mesmerized with the function of the device than they were focused on writing poetry.

The experience made me think that for our next Poet’s Corner (at Kaleidoscope, on October 5) we’ll use the typewriter to allow people to work on a “Poem of the People” where each person can add a line to what was written before they arrived. We’ll see how it goes.

Another event this past month was the Gathering of Poets at Fern Hill Library. It was a great opportunity to share poems and to talk about this place we call home, Tacoma. There were impassioned discussions about our local literary community and suggestions for places for future poetry readings (with adult libations available).

Most of the time on the project has been spent preparing for the upcoming events and marketing. One notable achievement was the launch of the new website (

A guiding principle of the design of the new site was to replicate the newsletter format of celebrating community events. Thus the calendar was designed to include as many literary arts events in Tacoma as I could find. I will continue to scour the web and social media but I also am open to suggestions. If you have or know of Tacoma literary arts events you think should be included, just contact me!

Upcoming Events:

Tue, Sep. 26: Autumn Poetry Workshop #1 with Kristy Gledhill at Moore Library (6:00p)

Thu, Oct. 5: Poet’s Corner at Kaleidoscope at Star Center (6:30p to 9:00p)

Sat, Oct. 14: Tacoma Studio Tours at Mad Hat Tea Co (11:00a to 5:00p)

Tue, Oct. 17: Gathering of Poets at Wheelock Library (6:30p to 7:30p)

Wed, Oct. 25: Autumn Poetry Workshop #2 with Celeste Schueler at Moore Library (6:00p)

Sat, Nov. 11: Poet’s Corner at Arts at the Armory (11:00a to 5:00p)

Sun, Nov. 12 Poet’s Corner at Arts at the Armory (11:00a to 5:00p)

Wed, Nov. 15: Autumn Poetry Workshop #3 with Jenny Bartoy at Moore Library (6:00p)

Wed, Nov. 29: Gathering of Poets at TBD Library (6:30p to 7:30p)

Wed, Dec. 13: Autumn Poetry Workshop #4 with Christina Vega at Moore Library (6:00p)

Tue, Dec. 19: Gathering of Poets at TBD Library (6:30p to 7:30p)

For questions or media inquiries about the project, please contact

This project is partly funded by the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program.

Please share this newsletter and, if you received it from a friend, visit my website to learn more.

Copyright© 2023 by Burl E. Battersby All Rights Reserved

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