Monday, June 27, 2016

Updated: "Poets in the Park"

Last Saturday my wife and I went to Anderson Park for the annual "Poets in the Park" event. My wife painted at the VALA Arts Center booth and spent time talking to Michael Dylan Welch about his passion for haiku.  Michael is Redmond's third Poet Laureate.  My favorite haiku was by Christopher Herold.

we lower our kayak
into the sound

I discovered the poem in Michael's installation "Haiku on Sticks."  I spent a lot of time talking to Dawn Laurant at the VALA Arts Center booth.  Dawn is the VALA Arts Director and Chair of the Kirkland Arts Commission.  She could be a tremendous resource for the "Redmond Arts and Culture Committee."  (The City of Redmond really needs to up their game, specifically in outdoor art.)

Dawn is especially excited about "Ekphrastic Assimilations: Finding Poetry in Art."   It's an exhibition of visual art and poetry including 6 artists from China, 6 artists from Washington and several featured poets. Sept 15th - Oct 31st.  The art will be displayed at VALA with poetry readings in Kirkland. (starting July 1) A lot of work and fundraising is going into it. Need I say this will be an incredible event.  It will draw regional attention and put Redmond on the map.

VALA is developing into an exciting arts center for Redmond.  Stop by the gallery in RTC, 8201 164th Ave NE. and pick up their June-September line-up. 100% of the proceeds from art sales go to the artist!  They just hired a new Executive Director, Vicki Todd.  Lots going on!

Poets in the Park activities:  poetry readings, open mics, workshops, a poetry book fair, and free ice cream. Also featured, mini-golf, Poetry on Sticks, art activities sponsored by VALA Art Center, and a Redmond Historical Society display. "Redmond Association of Spoken Word" (RASP) organized the event.  The City of Redmond co-sponsored it with RASP.  The current Poet Laureate, Shin Yu Pai, recited. and her performance drew me to the event.  Michael Dylan Welch ( was the Event Director and made it all happen.   

Bob Yoder

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