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3rd Thursday Newsletter - Issue 34

Dear Reader,

Check out the event section of the web page to find more information on literary art community events in Tacoma. Also check out (and support) the Weekly Volcano to find the most complete listing of events in the Tacoma area (bar none). All of the Voices of Tacoma events are listed there.

Last night (November 15th) was the third of the Autumn Poetry Workshops, and was facilitated by Jenny Bartoy. It was on Self-Editing and if you missed it, her presentation is here for you to check out. It was AWESOME!

Join us for the next Gathering of Poets at Fern Hill Library on November 29th.The next one after that (and before the next newsletter comes out) is the December 19th Gathering at Wheelock Library.

Don’t miss the 4th (and final) Autumn Poetry Workshop facilitated by Christina Vega on December 13. The event will be from 6p to 7:30p at Moore Library (215 S 56th St).

The workshop, entitled Voices of Tacoma – Publishing: Highkey Lowbudget: a publishing workshop for future zine and book makers, is a free 90-minute workshop. Participants can expect to learn how to produce a high quality zine, chapbook, or short book on a small or zero budget. We’ll focus on:

— identifying low cost and free tools for your project

— utilizing available community services like public libraries, art commissions, artist collectives, and chambers of commerce for funding and workshops related to your goals

— strategies for bartering

— basic project management skills to move your project forward

— the importance of relationship building

— project development

This, the 34th issue of the 3rd Thursday Newsletter, brings us to the season of the holidays and marks the countdown (one year) to the publication and launch events for Voices Of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets. Very exciting times!

It has been a very busy time preparing for the events of this season, and beyond, thinking about what needs to be done in order to produce and publish the anthology. There have been so many amazing conversations, with scores of people from all over Tacoma (and beyond), articulating what the project means and hearing from them what the project should mean.

That might sound weird, “what the project should mean,” but it’s what I have been hearing from folks and that’s why I ask questions. I would imagine that a project that aspires to represent the City of Tacoma should actually listen to the folks who care about it. I know it is impossible to have your advisory board be the entire population of a given municipality, but I am trying anyway. What is really happening, though, is that those who raise their voices are the only ones heard. Obviously that means we have more work to do.

You might think this is a weird start to this month’s Chronicle, but it isn’t. This is all about finding the voices and lifting them up, getting them to speak their truths and honoring their journey. Those who choose to remain silent are also saying something (sometimes in a loud way, if not voiced out loud). I need to pause and listen to what they are telling me also.

One of the most amazing experiences of this project for me was the two days at the Tacoma Arts at the Armory event (November 11 & 12). Surrounded by creative artists and visited by countless creative pilgrims and holiday shoppers, I had hundreds of conversations about how this project supports the local literary arts community, about the map of Tacoma, and about the project. Each of these conversations was inspiring to me. From these discussions it is clear to me that this project is engaging in important work that the community supports.

For the event we set up our Poet’s Corner which consists of, among other things, a shelf of poetry books to read, the map of Tacoma. On another table we had activities including a manual typewriter (thank you, Michael Haeflinger) where folks could add a line to the poem of Tacoma, a box of pages from old books and sharpies for black-out poetry, and a collage poetry activity (aptly renamed the “ransom note project”). These activities were intended to make poetry accessible and they did! The number of people who spent time with us there was amazing.

I hope you can join us for the Gathering of Poets at Fern Hill Library on November 29th or at Wheelock on December 19, and the Autumn Poetry Workshop on December 13. Stay tuned to find out other opportunities in the coming year to join in our ongoing conversations!

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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