Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Poetry open mic set for April 19

To celebrate April’s National Poetry Month, Dayle Olson has partnered with River Mile 38 Brewing Company to host what they hope will become an annual event, Cathlamet Poetry Open Mic.

In 2020, just before the pandemic hit, there were plans to devote an entire April weekend to poetry in Cathlamet, including a poetry reading by then-Washington State poet laureate, Claudia Castro Luna. Cathlamet resident and poet Dayle Olson was ready with a line-up of local readers, venues and posters to publicize the event. But it never happened.

To heal that disappointment, Olson launched a poetry page on Facebook, Poetry Wahkiakum. She challenged herself and a small bunch of followers to write a poem a day in April 2021. Olson drew upon photographs of the Lower Columbia for inspiration and wrote a few poems she actually liked. Others did the same. It became apparent there are many talented poets living on the Lower Columbia.

Late last year as things reopened, Olson began showing up in Astoria for the monthly poetry open mic on the first Tuesday of the month at WineKraft, sponsored by The Writer’s Guild. She noticed the joy people experienced in hearing poetry read aloud.

She decided Cathlamet was ripe for a similar gathering and approached Javier Sanchez, co-owner of River Mile 38 Brewing Company with her idea. Sanchez was not only enthusiastic about the proposal but declared his desire to see it become an annual event (his favorite poet is Oliver Wendell Holmes, so don’t be surprised if Sanchez gets up and reads a poem or two himself, Olson said).

Recognized area poets have been invited to read their work. Anyone who writes poetry or enjoys listening to poetry is welcome to attend.

The event is free and open to those over 21 years of age. Sign-up to read starts at 5:20 p.m.


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