April WordFest NW celebrates National Poetry Month

The WordFest event on Tuesday, April 13, 7:00-8:00 pm, highlighted local poets in recognition of National Poetry Month. Due to the continuing Covid pandemic, all WordFest NW events are available on Zoom only.

Astoria Poet Florence Sage lives and writes where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. Her new poetry collection, The Man Who Whistled, The Woman Who Wished, tells the story of her mother and father, children of Polish immigrants to Canada, during World War II.

“My first-generation Polish-Canadian parents were the inspiration for these anecdotes and stories.  As I reflected and wrote, I came to love the two of them even more and to appreciate fully the lucky life they gave me in the 21 years I lived with them,” says Florence.

Her tender-hearted memoir shows the poetic nature of reminiscence, and how rich the memory can be when allowed to explore the past. 

“Reminiscing about life in your own family puts you in another time and place, a place that sometimes seems more real than your daily life,” she says. “I found my memories to be not just about my family, but about ‘us’ together.  It made me into someone who is both a figure in these stories and an observer with a current point of view.”

This is Florence’s second collection, following Nevertheless: Poems from the Gray Area. (2014.) Currently, the books are available at Paperback Galore in Longview, RiverSea Gallery, 1160 Commercial, Astoria, Time Enough Books in Ilwaco, or can be ordered from hipfish@charter.net.

The book has been selected for The Astorian‘s Coast Weekend book club on Zoom on June 2.

Joining Florence will be local poets Jan Bono from Long Beach, Charolette Conklin and Mary Lyons from Longview, Jim MacLeod from Kalama, Dayle Olson from Cathlamet, and Rick E. George from White Salmon, reading from their works and giving voice to life as they experience it in the Pacific Northwest.

WordFest is a monthly gathering of local writers and readers, celebrating the joy and magic of words, with public readings, discussions, and networking opportunities. In-person events were suspended in March 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and monthly one-hour events on Zoom were launched in October.

The WordFest on Zoom events are free and open to the public. One doesn’t need to have a Zoom account to participate, but one must register for the free, monthly WordFest newsletter here to receive the Zoom invitation by email.