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By Hedgebrook Guest

One poem, two poem, three poems, more…

I began sending my poems out to journals in an age before Submittable when a couple of postage stamps and an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) were the well-trodden pathways to an editor’s desk. I loved each ritual, each step of the process handled with care.

First I’d choose the watermarked paper, then the poems, and finally the best looking commemorative stamps. Everything had meaning; even the anonymity of the mailbox, even the lipstick kiss with which I’d seal the envelope, wishing it good luck on its journey. Several months later, when the return envelope arrived through my front door slot, I would hold it up to the light looking for evidence of the impending acceptance or rejection.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

10 Places To Find Inspiration For Your Poetry

For poets, inspiration can be found almost everywhere—at the laundromat with the stranger who looks like Albert Einstein, on a roadtrip passing silos and fields of white geese, taking a walk and finding the lines to a poem have wandered into your head. The online world also offers inspiration with science articles on NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft or a virtual walk through an online museum, but we can find ourselves taking a step out of our poetic work as the online world comes with its distractions and pop-up ads, it can be harder to find what inspires.

Below is a list of places (both online and off) where you can find a little inspiration to help inspire your poems and help you live a little more creatively—

  Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

A Faith in Leaving: How a Week at Hedgebrook Reconnected Me With The Writer I Was

Journal Entry, December 7, 2010

As I type this I feel blessed.

I feel blessed for the opportunity to be here, for the weather, for my own cottage, for my family to be home safe for a week.

I have started my first fire in the woodstove and watch the flames thinking—I want to find my writer’s self again. Somehow I left her someplace and no longer know where to find her.

This is different than saying, I want to be writer. I know I am writer. I know writing has been with me since I can remember, but the part of me that writes, she is missing.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

The Many Ways We Need Each Other: What Writers Mean to Writers

I caught the red-ass over a post-it note. I even took a photo of it with my phone.  It was blue, and stuck on my thirteen-year-old son’s poem he wrote for English class. The one clear sentence in his teacher’s handwriting said, “vague poetry is just not good poetry.” Heat bubbled in my belly, built up until I began to pace the house, front door to back. I watched from the kitchen as my son picked up the altered book in which his poem was written. He read the post-it note and then closed the book leaving it on the kitchen table. Half hour later, I watched him do it again.    Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Poetry For Teenagers

On March 7th, 2015 at about 2:00 in the afternoon, I made my way up to the stage and took a deep breath. “There Are Birds Here, by Jamaal May” I said, and began. I was performing at the Washington State Poetry Out Loud final competition, as one of the thirteen state finalists from different regions competing for a chance to travel to Washington DC for the national competition. Now in its 10th year as a nationwide program, Poetry Out Loud provides teenagers all over the country the chance to understand and appreciate poetry through recitation. High school students compete at the school, regional and statewide level reciting a wide range of poems. Each of the students participating in the competition puts tremendous work into memorizing their poems, interpreting the meaning behind them and developing their own way of presenting to the audience so that the words of the poet come across to an audience in a way that is true and authentic.   Read more

By Judith Walcutt

Fragments Based on Fragments by Sappho

























Fragments Based on Fragments by Sappho

By Writers at Hedgebrook’s Raise the Roof Party at Town Hall, Seattle, 2013

Assembled and interpreted by Judith Walcutt


Yet, I am not

Minded Deathless Aphro

beautiful moon glittering, shines on earth


Glittering mouths become light

a clear honest truth

as strong as a full,

pounding, red, red, rose


come from heaven

wrapped in a purple


I spoke to you, Aphrodite, in a dream…

Mad for you, mad for me;

mad for my mind, filled with longing


Prefer those who are wearing flowers

Emptiness. There are no words

love is consideration

moon is down


beautiful things

reddening high on the branch

lament for us

Honeybees devour wasps


“I cannot work the loom” warp or weft—I am


A naked body; in love or regret

A daughter, golden and beautiful

My love, I would not trade all the riches in the world for you.

with a voice of longing, she sang the amens louder than


burned with longing

I might not be a reliable

narrator of my own life

The mermaids, swimming beneath the waves, draw water

deep into their lungs and exhale satisfaction.


Stepping sweetly, urged on by your eyes


Mountain hyacinth

…but you have forgotten me…

prefer those who are wearing flowers


Remember, we did many


She runs, she refuses, she loves

without her daughter

But come with your heart open

you are holy because

you are you

Dear moth

Lovely brought you


Mountain hyacinth


Come to win you

Be here, by

Lady Hera,

Help in lovely handfuls, here supplied,

To dare with or to leave behind.

Come to Yanwi            ,             ACDC


They gain there,   and  ,   and

Come Glorious Hera

Be here Lovely Lady

Help me answer you


The apple branches, cold

Honeysuckle cups

mixed with a festive joy

Here, Cyprian, delicately



He is somewhat dying

A purple flower found, one loom for a slender boy

Thyone’s Crete where the grove

black earth snares, long to win…


Not forgotten, but one they

Couldn’t reach…


And I’m an inch from dying

My legs, fleet as fawns

Grieve the dance



Human can or not, I never know

What today will bring me—nouns or verbs.

By Susan Rich

Thank you to the wonderful women, to Hedgebrook and to SAM

Thank you to the wonderful women who came out yesterday to my ekphrastic poetry workshop at the Hedgebrook.

I’m always utterly amazed and humbled by women who put themselves in my hands; who allow me to share what I know about poetry and art. Writing is often a solitary experience and we writers tend toward the shy side. But here were 23 women, most whom I had never met before. They came out to learn about the history of visual art and poetry and finally to share their work. We had women that were in their first poetry workshop and women who are well published. There were photographers, journalists, gallery owners and even a gospel singer!   Read more

By Susan Rich

We Did It! What I Learned Doing The Improbable Places Poetry Tour










Wow. The inaugural event of The Improbable Places Poetry Tour + 1 surpassed my wildest dreams. We read poems (+ one short story) in our pajamas, read poems (and one short essay) bouncing on the Author Suite’s bed at the Alexis Hotel, and celebrated in style. The quote of the night belonged to one attendee, “I never expected to have so much fun at a poetry reading.”

So what made this a different kind of poetry event? Well, what didn’t make it different?   Read more

By Storme Webber

Estrogeniously Yours











Estrogenius; a form of brilliance found only in the thoughts and imaginations of women. See: Hedgebrook.

So of course Hedgebrook brought the voices of women to Seattle’s art fest Bumbershoot, bringing five writer/performers (including visionary Director/author Amy Wheeler) to the Words & Ideas stage.

Storme Webber, Karen Finneyfrock, Tara Hardy & Rose Mc Aleese made up the chorus of intertwined and solo voices and it was good.     Read more

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha: Women Authoring Change