2018 Pacific Northwest Book Award Nominees
Fusion Collective reading on January 26
Join us for an evening with the Olympia-based Fusion writing collective as they celebrate their long-anticipated anthology, Dancing at the Edges. The new anthology, Dancing at the Edges, includes poetry of hard-earned wisdom by Olympia, Washington-area women: Chris Dahl, Gail Madden, Kay Mullen, Kathleen Peppard, Cynthia Pratt, Sue Prince, Suzanne Simons, Liz St. Louis, and Linda Strever.
About the Fusion writing collective:
The Fusion writing group resulted from the merging of two Olympia critique/workshops. The first workshop had its roots in the late '70s and included both Cynthia Pratt and Chris Dahl. Linda Strever joined in 1988. A parallel group was founded by Jeanne Lohmann when she moved here in 1991. Both were open groups and attendance overlapped, so "fusing" the groups together seemed a logical progression. Since Jeanne no longer drove, she opened her home as the permanent meeting point (an office now taken over by Liz St. Louis). Numerous local poets, including men, have graced the sessions over the years and currently, Liz St. Louis, Kay Mullen, Suzanne Simons, Sue Prince, Gail Madden, and Kathleen Peppard are stalwarts.
About the authors:
Chris Dahl's chapbook, Mrs. Dahl in the Season of Cub Scouts, was published by Still Waters Press after winning their "Women in Words" contest. She has been published in numerous magazines, including Cascadia Review who nominated her poem "Elegy in Dark and Light" for Best of the Internet 2015. An Olympia native, Chris has served on the board and edited the newsletter of the Olympia Poetry Network for more than fifteen years.
Gail Madden discovered writing and poetry after retiring from the medical field. She was inspired by the writers in her Whidbey Island community and started writing both fiction and poetry. Her fiction work has been published in Soundings, the journal of the Whidbey Island Writers Association and her poetry has been read on National Public Radio.
Kay Mullen’s work has appeared in poetry journals and anthologies including Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry, Floating Bridge Review and others. Her latest book, Even the Stones, was written in honor of her late husband, Anthony. In 2007, Kay earned an MFA from the Rainier Writer's Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University. She lives and teaches in Tacoma.
Kathleen Peppard has worked as an interfaith lay minister, a clinical social worker, and adjunct college teacher. An English major who didn’t like poetry, she started her conversion to verse in midlife, first reading, then writing poetry.
Sue Prince worked as a speech pathologist before retiring. She wrote with the Fresh Ink Poets in the San Francisco Bay area for many years, during which time the group shared all of life’s pleasures and traumas through their poetry sessions. “I have come to realize the importance of communicating thoughts, ideas and feelings. Nothing does this more for me than poetry. I am very thankful now to live in Washington and be able to continue to write with the Fusion group,” Sue writes.
Cynthia Pratt is a founding members of the Olympia Poetry Network. Some of her poems have taken rides on Tacoma and Seattle buses. Cynthia's manuscript, Celestial Drift, was published in January 2017. She is deputy mayor of the city of Lacey.
Suzanne Simons is a former journalist and long-time faculty member at The Evergreen State College where she teaches interdisciplinary studies with a focus on poetry. She earned an MFA from Sierra Nevada College and helped establish the city of Olympia’s poet laureate program. Suzanne’s poetry has been published in WA129 (on-line version), Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature, Passager, and Western Friend: Quaker Plain Speech and Spirit in the West.
Liz St. Louis was born and raised in London, England. She has lived in the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, and Washington state. She worked as a family medicine physician for many decades, is now retired, and focusing on writing. Her poetry has been published in several journals including Seattle's Floating Bridge Press Pontoon 8. She has also published three chapbooks, Cloud Shadows, Poems from the Sargasso, and Luminaria.
Linda Strever is the author of Against My Dreams (poetry) and Don’t Look Away (fiction). Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and anthologies. Winner of the Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize, her work has been a finalist for the New Issues Poetry Prize, the Levis Poetry Prize, the Ohio State University Press Award in Poetry and the Eludia Award in fiction. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has an MFA from Brooklyn College.