Joanne Clarkson & Friends reading on Saturday, April 21

“Inspiration” at Orca Books.

Poets Celebrate April 2018 National Poetry Month

Poets are inspired to write in a variety of ways. One of the most effective and powerful is by reading other accomplished poets. Local verse-makers will share work by their favorite writers coupled with the poems they created because of them on Saturday, April 21, 6-7:30 p.m. at Orca Books in downtown Olympia.  Poets participating include: Carolyn Gilman, Patrick Dixon, Lorrie Lambert Smith, Joanne Clarkson, Wesley Jones and Carol Sunde.

Come to learn more about the work of wonderful poets and how one mind can trigger others to create image, rhythm, sound and sense.  The program is free and all ages are welcome.


Joanne M. Clarkson’s full-length poetry collection “The Fates” won Bright Hill Press’ annual contest and was published in 2017. Her chapbook “Believing the Body” was published by Gribble Press in 2014. Her work has been featured in many journals and she currently has a poem at the bus stop in front of the Olympia Library. She has been the recipient of  NEH grant to teach poetry in rural libraries. Clarkson has Master’s Degrees in English and Library Science. She has taught and worked as a professional librarian. After caring for her mother through a long illness, she re-careered as a RN specializing in Home Health and Hospice Care. See more at Http://

Patrick Dixon is a photographer, writer, retired educator and former commercial fisherman who has been published in Cirque Literary Journal, Oregon Coast magazine, National Fisherman magazine, Oberon Poetry Journal, Smithsonian and others. Mr. Dixon has been a featured reader at the FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon for 18 years. He is the editor of the seven-book set Anchored in Deep Water: The FisherPoets Anthology (2014). His chapbook Arc of Visibility won the 2015 Alabama State Poetry Morris Memorial competition.  His work may be seen at and

Carolyn Gilman teaches creative writing and English at Olympia High School where she established and curates an annual literary magazine. Over 1,100 students at OHS recite poetry each year under her leadership in the Poetry Out Loud program, a national poetry program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Literature for Educators at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Washington 129 is her first publication.

Wesley Jones was born and raised in Alexandria, Va., went to school and graduate school in Virginia and North Carolina, and headed for the west coast with a 37 year stop over in North Dakota. There, Jones worked for several years in the North Dakota Indian Languages Program and subsequently taught English at the University of Mary in Bismarck. He retired in 2014 and completed his westward migration, settling in Olympia with his wife, Jennifer, and two cats. Originally a fiction writer, he’s been writing poetry since 2010.

In addition to appearing in print and online, Lorri Lambert Smith's poetry has been performed by actors at the Milagro Theater in Portland, featured on Northwest Public Radio, and set to music by two songwriters. She recently completed a memoir which will be published this spring.

Carol R. Sunde was born and raised in Iowa. She earned a B.A. in English & Speech Education and Ph.D. in Social Work. She retired from a college counseling position, and is now pursuing a lifelong interest in poetry. Carol obtained a Certificate in Poetry from the University of WA.  She has been published in Switched-on GutenbergThe LyricCloverThe Avocet, and Third Wednesday.

Thomas A. Thomas: At the University of Michigan, Thomas studied with Donald Hall and Gregory Orr, worked on a few poems with Robert Bly, and won Minor and Major Hopwood Awards in Poetry. His poem "Approaching Here" was choreographed and performed at UM. Also while there, he worked as Detroit Correspondent for a St. Louis based Rack & Jazz magazine covering many rock, blues, and fusion bands of the 70’s. Thomas has been published in "Anesthesia Review", "The Periodical Lunch" Writer’s Digest, and "Oberon". He designed, typeset, and published a collection of poems and photos in 2005 under the title "Getting Here" which received an Honorable Mention in the 14th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards. It’s available at Amazon in print or eBook, Trafford Publishing, and in other eBook vendor catalogs He has made his home in the great Olympia area for almost 37 years.

Event date: 
Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
509 E 4th Ave
Olympia, WA 98501