Sunday, October 3, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (October 3, 2021)

Last Sunday, we didn't have poetry because I was under the weather, or the weather was on top of me. Either way, I'm better, and so here's another Sunday morning of coffee and words. Thanks for checking back in and all the positive feedback. Have a lovely week!

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (October 3, 2021)

Poems read:

  • Song of Change by Daniel Halpern
  • Relative Pitch by Jack Gilbert
  • 1953 by Jack Gilbert
  • Outside my Window by Polly Buckingham 
  • Poem with a Dead Tree by C.D. Wright
  • My Imminent Demise Makes the Headlines the Same Day I Notice How Even Your Front Teeth Are by Momtaza Mehri
  • Sonnet: Hamnavoe Market by George Mackay Brown
  • Raggedy Man by James Whitcomb Riley 

🍂 Watch Wake to Words every Sunday morning on Facebook at

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (September 19, 2021)


Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (9/19/21)

Poems read: 
  • Poem with No Up or Down by C.D. Wright
  • Fall by Wendell Berry
  • Ghazal for the Chicago Two-Step by Porsha Olayiwola
  • Out of Body’s Your Matter of Opinion by Ben Cartwright 
  • Plastic: A Personal History by Elizabeth Bradfield

🍂 Watch Wake to Words every Sunday morning on Facebook at

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (September 12, 2021)


Poems read:

  • September by Tracy K. Smith
  • The Record by Wendell Berry
  • We Lived Happily During the War by Ilya Kaminsky
  • Beachcomber by George Mackay Brown
  • Roads by George Mackay Brown
  • Hello, This Letter Was Never Finished by beyza ozer
  • If They Come for Us by Fatima Ashgar
  • Some Boys Aren’t Born They Bubble by Kaveh Akbar
  • Rimrock by Kaveh Akbar

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (9/5/21)

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (9/5/21)

Poems Read:

  • Toast to My Dead Parents by Robert Cording
  • Centrifugal Force by Brooke Matson
  • Collapsing Poem by Kim Addonizio
  • Sister by Susan Bright
  • The Adirondack Chair by Molly Saty

Friday, September 3, 2021

A Room of Her Own: Erin's Writing Residency at The Hive, Spokane Public Library

Photo by Spokane Public Library

Good news! I've been awarded a writing residency (my first ever) at The Hive, a new Spokane Public Library building and non-traditional library space. 

The Hive houses six artist studios, free meeting rooms, a kitchen, and offices for the Spokane Schools Virtual Learning staff. It's a beautiful, modern building and so new it's hard to be inside it without deep feelings of elation (I mean, old buildings can bring elation, too, but specifically, the elation that newness and possibility bring).

The artist studios are built specifically for artists--from exhaust systems, automatic garage doors for easy moving, utility sinks, to soundproof walls. 

I'm in the first cohort of artists, artists I'm damn lucky to be counted among--artists who range from weavers to painters to a Salish canoe builder. As I have a small footprint in terms of space, one of the artists, a photographer, is sharing his space with me. 


For the next six months, I have a dedicated space for my writing. Since the pandemic began, I've not been able to write in the coffee shop or diner at all--or even attempted it during that "lull" before The Delta Variant began. Of course, pre-pandemic, I spent 99.7% of writing time in diners or coffee shops--from The Coffee Grounds in Terre Haute, Indiana to The Coffee Pot in San Marcos, Texas, to Jacob's Java on Monroe in Spokane.  

Now I have a clear space that does not overlap with my family's space (and sounds and wishes and my own feelings of guilt for writing instead of vacuuming). Back in June when I learned I'd received a residence, I became more tuned-in on my next book, which I have been working on for several years now (notes, scenes, starting it again this way or that way or this way or that). But once I knew I could and had to work on it and in a specific place, whatever dam released. And it's been wonderful to feel as though I'm back in my old mind. Or to recognize the wallpaper in that mind's waiting room where ideas patiently sit until the words are called up.

As it took over fifteen years to write my last novel--albeit interspersed with two story collections, a cross-country move, a child, and work--this time I'd like to knock the next novel out in less time. What seemed perfect about this residency is that it's in the city where I live. Most residencies require out-of-state travel, a cleared calendar wherein one can afford not to work (and somehow pay the mortgage), and can leave their family behind (so, assumedly not for artists/writers with families or young children, as those are typically not welcome). To do this requires either a job that has sabbatical, an ability to juggle multiple aspects of life, and/or older children and a support system that lives nearby. I mean, it is awesome that residencies exist, and keep them running, folks; I'm just noting that there are barriers that prevent many artists/writers/musicians from participating. 

So, all of this is to say that today I moved into my new creative space. I'll keep you abreast of the experience. As part of the residency, I'll be giving a few presentations (virtual and perhaps in-person), so stay tuned.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (August 29, 2021)


Poems read:

  • Wild Geese by Wendell Berry
  • September by Polly Buckingham
  • Coffee by Daniel Halpern
  • Diehards by Ray McManus
  • Haunted Importantly by Jack Gilbert  
  • Going There by Jack Gilbert
  • The Tramp by George Mackay Brown
  • The Old Women by George Mackay Brown
  • The Thought of Something Else by Wendell Berry

To explore more Sunday sessions of Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee, see

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (August 22, 2021)


Poems read:

  • August by Mary Oliver
  • Turkeys in the Snow by Jory Mickelson
  • Snake by D.H. Lawrence
  • Burial by Yuxi Lin

❤ Tune in every Sunday at approximately 7 AM (PT) for the newest session (broadcast live via Facebook:

❤ For more Sunday sessions of Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee, visit

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (August 15, 2021)

Today's reading is dedicated to Kathy and Bob

Poems read:
  • The innerworkings by Laura Kasishke
  • View from the Glass Door by Laura Kasishke
  • Mythos by Cameron Read McGill
  • 44.633.6 degrees N, 86.2345 degrees W by Cameron McGill
  • Flight by Laura Read
  • Merge by Laura Read
  • Married by Jack Gilbert
  • Highlights and Interstices by Jack Gilbert
  • The Deer by Mary Oliver
  • Poem for J. by Wendell Berry
  • I. by Wendell Berry (one of his Sabbath poems)

Find other sessions of Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee:

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee, Children's Poetry (August 8, 2021)

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (8/8/21)

Good morning! Every Sunday morning, we gather with our coffee while I read good poems by other people. Today's session features a selection of children's poetry. My son Henry Valentine joined in and helped read poems. 


Guest: Henry Valentine

Poems read: 

  • Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field
  • Skin Stealer by Shel Silverstein
  • Goosey, Goosey Gander
  • Minnie, Mattie, and Mae by Christine Rossetti
  • Johnny Drew a Monster by Lilian Moore
  • Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
  • There Was an Old Woman by Charles Causley
  • The Jumblies by Edward Lear

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee (August 1, 2021)


Today's reading is dedicated to Ann Tweedy and her cat William
Poems read:
  • The cat's song by Marge Piercy
  • Cat Moving Kittens by Austin Smith
  • My Cat Jack by Hunt Hawkins
  • The Cat and the Fiddle by Mary Swander
  • Ceremony by Robert Pinsky
  • Cat, Failing by Robin Robertson
  • No Children, No Pets by Sue Ellen Thompson
  • More Blues and the Abstract Truth by C.D. Wright
  • Moonlight Monologue for the New Kitten by Peter Kantor, trans. by Michael Blumenthal
  • Venus by D. Nurske
Find more sessions of Wake to Words and Brew Some Coffee here: