|L-R: Chris Pine, Brad Pitt, Shannon Laws,
Robert Downey Jr, Vin Diesel
|My book on the shelf
at Village Books
In January 2013 I released my first poetry book “Madrona Grove: Poems Written Under the Canopy”, Chickadee Productions, available at Village Books, Bellingham. The book includes my original poems from 2010-2012. During these two years I was divorced, reborn in my writing, moved off San Juan Island and was embraced by the city of Bellingham. The poems are a real document to a personal journey I shall never forget.
|my new writers photo|
BELLINGHAM HERLAD ARTICLE
In July, MARGARET BIKMAN from the Bellingham Herald interviewed me to promote my book reading.
“Shannon P. Laws was born in Seattle and raised in Federal Way, where, she says, “as a teenager I learned that when a guy from Auburn asks you out on a date, he will most likely pick you up in a stolen car.”
|Jared and I at a joint book
reading event on SJI
In May I traveled with retired actor, novelist and children’s book author Jared McVay for a book reading on San Juan Island, and shared some poems at the Big Rock Garden Party for Mother’s Day.
|Group photo of guest speakers
at the Tagore Festival
VBPG Signature photo
courtesy of SJI artist Dona Reed
Village Books Poetry Group, 29 members strong, continued to meet bi-monthly at the independent book store in Fairhaven this year. It is a group I enjoy tremendously. Many of our regulars are folks who are sharing their poetry for the first time. VBPG is a diverse group from many different cultural and professional backgrounds, linked together with our love for words.
|Jon Winter and I at SPARK|
The 13 radio programs I produced in 2013 “New Americana” developed a large following. Brent, the station manager, has approved it for a full season, 26 shows, in 2014. I co-host the show with the museum’s co-founder, Jonathan Winter, a real gem of Bellingham and a pleasure to work with. The talk/music show brings in a local guest, usually a musician, who shares the top five songs that have influenced their life. You can hear the 2013 podcast of the show here:
|Casey Sulkin, retired DJ and
jazz club owner, I co-hosted
with Casey on his jazz show
“The Swing Shift” for a
Bellingham’s Fast Five, or BFF, rotating features on KMRE, debuted this summer. I created the concept to provide more attention to our New Americana guest by producing a five minute musical promo. Local musician and well loved hamster, Bert Monroe, worked with me as voice talent on these informative features.
This is an end of the year project for me. There are so many wonderful poets in Bellingham. I want to share them with the world! Poetic Moments are short features, under 2 minutes in length, that started to rotate on KMRE 102.3 in December. My goal was to record 60 poems. Over 25 poets came out to donate their words, and 93 poems were recorded! More poems will be added in February, 2014. Catch a taste of these amazing poets here:
FAIRHAVEN ART BLOCK
In September Carla and I, representing the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, had the privilege of working with the Bellingham Repertory Dance group, the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, and Lucia Douglas Art Gallery on a group project. We organized the street festival Fairhaven Art Block party, or FAB. This event was designed to share the artist community of Fairhaven with it’s residences. Folks were encouraged to walk from the art gallery to the Firehouse, just a block over, along a path littered with poets reading live poetry for any passersby. Music and dance intermingled with the guests. It will return for 2014.
|Poets for Peace l/r Carla, Betty,
C.J. and good friend Denise
November worked with three local poets to organize and launch the first POETS FOR PEACE Read-In Write-On International poetry event, held in Bellingham’s South Hill neighborhood. Poets from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. shared poems about peace from 2-8:30 p.m., ’till the last poet spoke. The event was a great success! Plans for another in 2014 is in the works.
What a fun year. My mom asked me a few months ago, over coffee of course, how I got into poetry. It was hard for me to answer her at the time, had to think about it a bit. I love writing short stories, blogging and working on my novels. However, poetry, I find, is much like gardening. When I use to have dirt to dig in, I would flower garden. A few hours a week, or month depending on the year, of work produced immediate gratification = a clean and beautiful yard. Poetry is quick work, one or two pages, and once edited and polished, gives me a great deal of satisfaction, like freshly cut tulips in a crystal vase on my kitchen table.
|Wars on Kinkade series by