World Peace Poets

world peace poets mtn

Mt Shuksan in the North Cascades National Park, Washington State, photo credit: Bern’e Krausse


World Peace Poets Bellingham events are hosted by:


C.J. Prince


Carla Shafer







Evan Ingalls


Betty Scott







Carol McMillan


Shannon Laws


World Peace Poets is happy to collaborate with Whatcom Peace and Justice Center. We are always planning great community projects.  Visit our Facebook page for dates.


Buy “Peace Poems, Vol I” on Amazon


Only $9.99 , proceeds towards future Peace Poet events

Here is the cover:

Peace Arch

Original Art by Peace Sister Carol McMillan is the inspiration for the “Peace Poems, vol 1” Book Cover. It is a watercolor of the Peace Arch that graces the Canadian / American border at the I-5 crossing joining British Columbia and Washington State.


Book description: World Peace Poets gathered poets together in the falls of 2013 and 2014 for a peace read-in as part of a worldwide Poetathon initiated by World Poetry Canada. Poets came from British Columbia, Seattle, Bellingham and beyond to speak up on peace for the world, each other and within. This collection of writing reflects the many voices that opened our hearts and minds to the challenges of war and antagonisms. These poems release an understanding of peace that is deep within us. Lawrence Ferlinghetti suggests, “Poetry is a quiver on the skin of eternity.” Reading the words and rhythms of peace gathered here, we feel our skin prickle in the unrelenting movement toward quietude, mutual regard, and hope of a peaceful future for all of us.


World Peace Poets encourage harmony through words for international writers and promote public readings.  The yearly “Read-in Write On” for peace in Bellingham starts in the late afternoon and ends when “the last poet speaks.”  Click the link above to learn more.

“If words were bones, we would be wisdom walking through time down plazas knowing pathways up mountains. In groups, we would be cooperation–all bones dancing the circle, wisely. Insight and understanding our meter and rhythm. Knowing by being would lead to perfect action–in such quiet that a twinkling of the stars would rattle in our ears. A handshake, between these bones, would silence argument.”

by Carla Shafer

world peace poets Feb 2015 group, Bellingham, WA

Peace Award recipients and event speakers, Mt. Baker Theater, Bellingham WA, February 2015


Saturday, February 28th 2015

World Peace Poets Awards and Book Launch event

at Mt Baker Theater, Bellingham WA

FINAL_ 8x11 peace poster_feb event

Feb 2015 Award Ceremony poster, by Shannon Laws


Ashok Bhargava is a prolific poet, inspiring writer, community activist, and a keen photographer. Writing in English and Hindi, he has published many collections, including: Stepping Stones, Mirror of Dreams, A Kernel of Truth, and Lost in the Morning Calm. (New Westminster, B.C.). He has published 4 books of poetry in English. He is a founder of Writers International Network Canada. He has been featured on CBC Radio and Chanel M TV. Recently he was honored by the University of British Columbia with a Humanitarian award.

Darrell Hillaire, the playwright and producer of “Sonny Sixkiller buys the Washington Redskins,” His previous work, “What about those promises?” about broken promises of the Treaty of Point Elliott, had sold-out performances in Seattle and Bellingham. Hillaire a member has served as a member and  chair of the Lummi Indian Business Council He is the founder Lummi Youth Academy and a proud grandfather who is a life time resident of the Lummi region.

Ariadne Sawyer, M.A. C. P., and the CEO of Peak Performance Plus Training, She specializes in creativity and performance training with a focus on: creative flow and excellence, media and self-publicity and performance enhancement. Her books are: Bits and Pieces, a collection, Post Polio Treatment, and several anthologies. Tapes: Discover Your Creative Worlds.

Matt Christman and Alona Christman: “Performing Arts Peace Award.”

Mat and Alona were selected because of their vision for the performing arts by the creation of the Firehouse Performing Arts Center. Through their efforts, modern dance has risen to new heights and they have helped create a community of performers and poets that is completely new and always delightful. Alona Christman was born and raised here in Bellingham.  She attended Nooksack Valley Hight School and graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Modern Dance in 2005. Alona’s life long passion, since the age of five, has been dance.  She is a long time member and teacher for Dance Gallery of Bellingham, as well as a founding member and dancer for Bellingham Repertory Dance. She manages the Firehouse Performing Arts Center that she started with her husband Matt Christman, as well as works part-time at WWU in the College of Fine and Performing Arts. Outside of dance Alona enjoys sailing and motorcycle getaway adventures with her husband, as well as yoga, running and a good novel. She is very honored and humbled to be receiving this award. Matt Christman, is trained as a modern dancer who grew up in Bellingham and is a motorcycle mechanic with a green thumb. He writes thoughts and poems in a notebook and on scraps of paper which he will sometimes read aloud.


Jim Milstead  Member of Independent Writer’s Studio, Village Book Poetry group, and Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater. Winner of merit awards in 2008, 2013  Boynton Poetry competition. Published in Clover Vols. 1-8, Phrasings 2007-2010, Bellowing Ark, Passager, bottle rocket press, Cellpoems, and Whatcom Writes 2013-2015. Jim Milstead is retired from U.C. Berkeley’s Entomology Department. He arrived in Bellingham in 1992, where he has volunteered with Greenways, Whatcom Counseling Clinic, and Birch Bay Parks.


Luther Allen writes poems and designs buildings from Sumas Mountain in northwestern Washington.  He also facilitates SpeakEasy, a community poetry reading series in Bellingham.  His collection of poems, The View from Lummi Island, can be found at


Duke Ashrafuzzaman is a founding director of Vancouver Tagore Society and a founder of West Coast Tagore Festival at Richmond, BC and Tagore Spring Festival at Surrey, BC. He is a radio host and producer with Vancouver Co-op Radio and also serves in the Radio’s Board.


Anita K. Boyle is an artist, poet, freelance graphic designer and poetry publisher at Egress Studio outside Bellingham. She is currently working on three limited-edition, handmade books by Washington State poets.

Her poems have been published in three books The Drenched, What the Alder Told Me, Bamboo Equals Loon, and several literary magazines such as Crab Creek Review, The Raven Chronicles, Cranky, StringTown, among others. She and her poetry collaboration partner, James Bertolino, have published four volumes together, and in the anthology, Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative Poetry in America (Soft Skull Press, 2007), and several literary magazines.

Anita lives off Noon Road on five acres with an inspiring pond and the meditative forest beyond. James Bertolino and Anita married in 2012 and they share their place with a dog named Blue, and two state-of-the-art felines.


Singer-songwriter Dana Lyons is on tour with his 9th CD “The Great Salish Sea” and would have joined us here at the awards if he wasn’t performing in Tacoma tonight.  Dana is best known for his hit comedy song “Cows With Guns” which reached #2 on the Australian Country Charts and was on Ireland’s top 40 for over six months.

Dana is a long time environmental and social justice activist and has toured raising money and awareness for many causes around the world.  Dana is touring the Salish Sea region for the next two years raising awareness about the dangers of the proposed oil and coal export to the orcas and to our entire region.

You can hear Dana’s tunes or learn more about the tour at


Matthew Brouwer facilitates the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project, leads workshops for teens and adults, and performs regularly throughout the Pacific Northwest.  This spring he will release his first full collection of poems, The Last Time I Prayed. (Bellingham)

Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project:

The Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project (JJCWP) matches dynamic local writers and teachers with teens serving time in Whatcom County’s Juvenile Detention Center.  Our teaching artists run a two-hour weekly writing club and occasional week long intensive workshops.

JJCWP affirms that all youth have a unique voice that deserves to be shared with the community and that helping teens to connect with the vitality of their imaginations can be a powerful means for self expression and personal growth.  Our hope is that through the process of writing stories and poems we can help these youth realize new possibilities for their lives.

JJCWP partners with the Whatcom Detention School, which works to provide a quality education program in a safe and compassionate learning environment so that students feel empowered to realize their potential.  Since March, 2013 we have logged 76 in-class hours and worked with approximately 65 teens.


Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor is the pen name of Rebecca Saxton. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University in 2012 and her MA in English with honors from Western Washington University in 2003. Her writing has appeared in Katipunan Literary Magazine, Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults, {m}aganda magazine, Beyond Lumpia, Pancit, and Seven Manangs Wild, and Kuwento: Lost Things. Her poetry chapbook Pause Mid-Flight was released in 2010.


James Bertolino: “Teaching and Learning Peace Award.”  Jim was selected because he is one of the first WWU faculty in Bellingham who connected to the community with a vibrant reading series, the annual Stafford Birthday reading, and by providing and supporting writing workshops throughout the region. Through his collaborative efforts, poets in our region have a remarkable network to help sustain them in their writing. James Bertolino taught literature and creative writing at WWU and elsewhere for 36 years, and retired from a position as Writer-in-Residence at Willamette University in 2006. Bertolino’s poetry has been appearing internationally in books, magazines and anthologies for well over 40 years. His first book was published in 1968, and his most recent of 27 titles appeared in 2014—which was Ravenous Bliss: New and Selected Love Poems from MoonPath Press.


Bernice Lever  creates poetry on Bowen Island, BC, Canada. Her ninth  poetry book, is “Generation”, Black Moss Press. She edited WAVES, Fine Canadian Literature from 1972-1987. Bernice’s travels have led her to read poems on 5 continents

Now a freelance editor, she enjoys helping others get published.  An active Canadian Authors Association member, she has prose books, too.

She’s a presenter, her 4th time,  at Surrey International Writers’ Conference. 2010. Bernice strives to put as much passion and honesty into her poems as did her teachers. She gets “high” on words.     9th poetry book, “Red Letter Day” – 2014, struggles with “Peace Begins with Me” slogans when creating poems of love and harmony as well as anti-war tirades from Bowen Island, BC, Canada. She is a word warrior!


Peace Award painting is provided as the gift of Paddy Bruce, resident of Victoria, B.C. but also, Bellingham. She is an art therapist who has worked at the Kiwanis Pavilion in Victoria BC. Her art background has a cross-cultural orientation ranging from art school in San Miguel Allende, Mexico to the London School of Dressmaking and Design in England. Her BFA from Western Washington University is in design and photography. Her graphic design and illustration work can be seen in her book Milagros: A Book of Miracles published by Harper San Francisco. Her Master’s level degree in clinical Art Therapy is from The BC School of Art Therapy located in Victoria, BC.

In the context of the Buddhist path the purpose of a mandala is to put an end to human suffering, to attain enlightenment and to attain a correct view of Reality. It is a means to discover divinity by the realization that it resides within one’s own self.

The mandala Paddy has painted started with the outer ring and worked toward the center as a process of discovery about her life’s journey this far.





8 thoughts on “World Peace Poets

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