At One Time Or Another
When poet maestro Luther Allen asked me to bring a children’s poem to the upcoming SpeakEasy 16 event at Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham WA, my first thought was:
“If only I were a poet.”
But everyone is a poet at one time or another.
It’s in the way they smile . . .
Or the way they move . . .
Or care for the neighborhood . . .
Cozy up with friends . . .
Build community . . .
Get into the spirit of the moment . . .
Share flavorful food . . .
Read a story . . .
Go out and about . . .
Create a gathering place . . .
Entertain and amaze . . .
Help to make the world safe . . .
Let joy in.
Everyone is a poet now and then.
And so, for a time, am I.
SpeakEasy 16: The wonderful people shown in this post agreed to have their pictures taken to help shine a light on SpeakEasy 16: Fresh Minds, New Words, a special event that will present poetry by and for children. The event on Sunday, April 12, at 2 p.m. at Mount Baker Theatre will feature poets ages 5 to 16 reading their original poems along with a supporting cast of adults, including Rena Priest, Jessica Gillis, Lois Holub, Chuck Robinson of Village Books, Kevin Murphy, and Yours Truly, plus special guest Pamela Porter. SpeakEasy 16 is free to the public, with donations accepted to help cover event costs. Bring your child and the child inside you to this magical occasion.
SpeakEasy 16 is offered in celebration of National Poetry Month and in conjunction with Poetry CHaT, a group at Western Washington University assembling a definitive collection of children’s poetry books published since 1960. The SpeakEasy series is produced by Lummi Island poet Luther Allen.
Many thanks to the following for lending their smiles to this post:
- One smart girl who loves to read
- Selah J. Tay-Song, Dr. Hollie Levine, and our new friend, Cathy
- Travis (pizza tosser) and the gang at Tino’s Pizza & Pasta Co. take 1
- Whatcom County road team ~ credit to come
- Maureen Kane & Seán Dwyer and friends Katherine & Emily Mowrey
- The crew at Valley Market & Deli
- Sam Kaas of Village Books
- The team at Jalapeños Fairhaven
- The crew at Paper Dreams in Fairhaven
- Adam Railing
- The gang at Tino’s Pizza & Pasta Co. take 2
- Lovely Acrobat ~ credit to come
- Chief David M. Ralston and Geneva/Sudden Valley squads, South Whatcom Fire Authority
- Russell Harlan
Sarah Gives Thanks: The delightful children’s book authored by Mike Allegra (and published by Albert Whitman & Co.) seen in these photos tells the story of Sarah Josepha Hale’s quest to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. Based in New Jersey, Mr. Allegra kindly created and gifted his original art—one of his famed “doodles,” this one of a salamander, who has lately been dubbed “Sully”—to the event to be featured with the poem by Yours Truly that stars, of course, a talking salamander.
You can find “Writer Fellow” Mike Allegra’s captivating art and read his hilarious blog at www.mikeallegra.com.
XO Laurel Leigh
P.S.: I am an avid reader of the blog Writing Between the Lines by Naomi Baltuck, who tells marvelous stories with engaging text and gorgeous photo art. Naomi, there’s little worry of your work ever being duplicated but forgive me for borrowing a little bit of your format to make this post. I love your amazing photo stories!
Fun Outtakes: People are just so much dang fun. I know about half the people in these photos, and the rest I just walked up, book in hand, and asked if they’d pose for a picture. Jalapeños was hopping, and smiling customers waited while the whole crew quickly jumped into the pic. I’m such a bad photographer that before the dinner rush at Tino’s, Travis used up two rounds of dough before I could get a couple shots that weren’t blurry! I don’t think I’ve ever stood this close to a firetruck before. It was rather awesome and the team was so nice. Props to the hardworking firefighting squads who work so hard to keep us safe. If anyone recognizes the wonderful stiltist or her companions, kindly let me know. I was so delighted to discover her downtown that I forgot to get her name.
Brilliant! Briliant! Brilliant! Not only are you a fabulous writer, you’re a marketing genius! Great pics, and I’ll bet you had some fun doing this. :d
That was supposed to be a 😀 not a :d LOL
You are totally making my day, my friend. Yes, it was such a blast watching everyone open Mike’s book and get this cute little grin on their faces. The awesome female firefighter holding the book was reading aloud to her teammates, and when I got done taking pictures one of them kept reading so he could fine out more about the story. They loved that it was the real Thanksgiving story. It was pure fun.
Welcome home! I hope the trip went great and that you feel that great vacation combo of mentally rested if also physically exhausted. XO
Pingback: Say “Howdy!” to SpeakEasy 16 on April 12! | Dear Writers
Brilliant! And adorable! What an inspired publicity campaign!
Thank you, Carolyn! I had a ridiculous amount of fun taking the pictures and watching people start to grin when they opened the book and started reading it.
What a wonderfully fun way to promote and an event an an (very good) author!
Thank you very much, Mrs. P! This was a super fun post to work on on so many levels.
Oh, my gosh, what fun! And what a rich community you live in. How nice for so many to take part. I hope you’ll do a blog post about the event.
Hi Mary! It was sooo fun. Sounds like you’ve been having some fun of your own at SWBCI. I will absolutely post about the SpeakEasy 16 event. I can’t wait to see what the kid poets bring to read.
Reblogged this on C.J. Prince Author and commented:
Laurel Leigh can’t help writing poetry. She’s just been in denial. Thanks to Luther Allen for creating space for children’s poetry. I would have loved this as a kid but would have been too shy.
Yes! I think you’ve nailed it, CJ! Denial for sure. I don’t know, but I’ve been having way too much fun with this, and I agree, I’m so glad Luther started this. He has been sending the young poets acceptance letters. I love it! XO
Thanks for all the Likes, pretty lady!
Fun, engaging, cute, attentive, happy post. Love your creative approach – and Mike’s book is perfect for the centerpiece of each picture. Nice!
Thank you so much, Pam! I had a lot of fun traipsing around getting people to pose for a pic with his book. I like your site!
Such a fabulous post and poem, how fun to be part of this! Buying Mike’s book for my niece’s November birthday this year.
I love that pick of you and Hollie and Cathy. We had so much fun that afternoon, which makes it even more special. I think your niece will like the book! At least, all the adults I’ve shown it to so far really like it, lol.
Love what you did here, poet Laurel, honoring, advertising, thanking all in one visually engaging poetic whoop!
Thank you, thank you, Susan! It was marvelously fun for me, and in fact everyone in the photos was having fun with it. I missed catching the open mic crowd though. That was my plan but I ended up in the ER instead. Oh well! It’s an imperfect world.
Holy schmoley! Has everyone in Whatcom County read my book?
(I gotta visit there someday…)
It’s making the rounds! People were reading it aloud while I was taking the pictures. It was pretty fun.
You’re a peach.
And very seemly.
You’re gonna have to hurry up and write another book so I have blog content for 2016. I’m having too much fun with the whole thing. If you come out here, we’ll have a parade.
You should use some of that patented pestiness of your on a publisher. I’ve been writing and sending, but, so far, the pubs ain’t buying.
Huh, that’s hard to believe. Are you going in the same vein as the Sarah book or in a different direction with/without your own art?
Fiction and non, without art.
You might have to tell me more. We can take this offline.
Reblogged this on Forsooth & Forsythia and commented:
Um, this post is FABULOUS! Poetic, if you will. Laurel Leigh rocks.
Aww, thanks so much, Amy! It was tremendously fun to do. XOXO
Laurel, you are so awesome. What great photos, and what a fabulous post!
Oh, thank you so much, Jennifer! I had a blast doing it, and it’s such a fun event to post about. XO