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The Mission of the Whatcom Poetry Series is to inspire, broaden, and sustain a strong, interconnected literary community by providing opportunities to experience written and oral poetry.

About the Whatcom Poetry Series—The Whatcom Poetry Series is a non-profit organization with several poetry programs. The WPS is one of the main points of contact for the exchange of ideas and information about poetry among individuals and groups within the Whatcom County poetry community.

Poetrynight is Bellingham's largest and longest-running poetry series, hosting open mic readings, slam competitions, special events, educational workshops and more. Touring poets from around the world have performed on the poetrynight stage, including national and international slam champions. On the first Monday of each month, poets from around the Northwest compete in an ongoing slam series, culminating in the yearly Grand Slam. The PIPE Program (Poetry in Public Education) has provided poetry workshops and readings at schools around Whatcom and Skagit counties. Visit the poetrynight website for more information on upcoming features and events, poetry reviews and recommendations, and an extensive archive of live performances and interviews.

Founded in 2006 and named for an early resident of Whatcom County, the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is a free annual event open to Whatcom County residents of all ages and all levels of experience. From each year’s submissions, two respected Washington poets select 25 winning poems. Walk Award poems are engraved and displayed for a year on the Sue Boynton Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library (one of the only permanent poetry installations in the U.S.); both Walk and Merit Award poems are handsomely designed, printed and displayed for a year inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses that serve routes throughout the county. Winning poets are invited to read at a public awards ceremony in May.

The Poet As Art provides free public poetry readings featuring distinguished Pacific Northwest poets. The poets who participate in the series are actively writing and publishing; involved in a literary community; award-winning; and recognized for giving compelling performances of their work. The Poet As Art also offers workshop opportunities to poets of all levels who wish to acquire knowledge and competency in a variety of thought-provoking topics.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities in this organization, please see the contact page for email addresses.


The Whatcom Poetry Series is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

This site is designed by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio,
Bellingham, WA (egressstudio.com)
Copyright © 2011 by Egress Studio.
Last updated: 060611

"Lake Quinalt" photograph copyright © Anita K. Boyle 2011