Poetry Reading: Rachel Barton, Suzy Harris, Emily Newberry

Annie Bloom's welcomes a trio of local writers for an in-store poetry reading. Rachel Barton, Suzy Harris, Emily Newberry will be reading from their new collections, all published by Portland's own The Poetry Box.

About This Is the Lightness:

The poems in This Is the Lightness are fired with imagination and the fragility of the human experience. Rachel Barton has created a collection of poetry that takes the reader on a journey through the natural world; explores the concept of identity and belonging; honors our sacred connections with family and friends through aging, death, and loss; and tackles the present-day with all its perils and possibilities.

Rachel Barton grew up in the woods of northern Indiana which has greatly influenced her poetry and provided her a sense of connection to the planet. She comes from a large family which has informed her sense of community. She was able to study literature and creative writing as an undergraduate (WVU), the visual arts as a graduate student (WVU and The VAC in Anchorage), and, much later, teaching for a master’s degree (WOU). She entered the Oregon Writing Project in 2009 and co-facilitated the OWP’s poetry intensive the following summer. She used this model of “writing within a community of writers” in the classroom, the community college, at regional conferences, and in private classes. Currently, she edits her own Willawaw Journal, an online journal for poetry and art. She also serves as associate editor for Calyx and Cloudbank magazines. Barton’s poetry has been published in the Main Street Rag, Whale Road Review, Moon City Review, VoiceCatcher, Mom Egg Review, CIRQUE, Oregon English Journal, and in many other journals. She has published short stories in BeZine, Blue Cubicle Press, Kindred Journal, and Clackamas Literary Review.

About Listening in the Dark:

The poems in Listening in the Dark center on the theme of growing up with an unidentified hearing loss that progressively became much worse. In her mid-20s, Suzy Harris learned the diagnosis and started wearing hearing aids. In her mid-60s, after losing most of her hearing in both ears, she received her first cochlear implant, and then a second one, which required learning to hear again.

Suzy Harris lives in Portland, Oregon. Her poems have appeared in Calyx, Clackamas Literary Review, Switchgrass Review, The Poeming Pigeon, and Williwaw, among other journals and anthologies. She has been an Oregon Poetry Association prize winner and recently served as poetry editor of Timberline Review. Suzy is a retired attorney who is learning to hear again with two cochlear implants. Born and raised in Indiana, she is grateful to call the Pacific Northwest home.

About Signs:

Wisdom is written everywhere, but will we know how to read the signs that lead us to the answers we seek? Every path leads somewhere. Whether to ocean, forest, or grasslands there is truth in every step. But who speaks? Our past or future, the grass we trample, sand dunes with our footprints washed away by the next tide, or trees whispering in the wind? We can write down notes to record each thought, but then we must kill the trees whose shelter we seek. These are the questions and revelations Emily Newberry explores in the poetry of Signs.

Emily Pittman Newberry is a writer, speaker and thought partner living in Portland, Oregon. She was born in the Midwest during WWII and grew up on the east coast during the rebellion against oppression. After chopping wood for the family fireplaces as a teenager, she went to the March on Washington in 1963. Since coming out as a transgender woman, Emily has delighted in this experiment we call life. In addition to writing and speaking she is an amateur radio operator. Her tag line is “I help other people shine.” She is fascinated by the way we dance with vulnerability as our lives intersect, and how the rich diversity of life and the many paths we take somehow seem to lead us all home.

Event date: 
Thursday, April 20, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
7834 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219
This Is the Lightness By Rachel Barton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781956285178
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
NON-RETURNABLE. May take longer to arrive. Please confirm this is the edition you want.
Published: Poetry Box - September 15th, 2022

Listening in the Dark By Suzy Harris Cover Image
ISBN: 9781956285291
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
NON-RETURNABLE. May take longer to arrive. Please confirm this is the edition you want.
Published: Poetry Box - February 1st, 2023

Signs By Emily Newberry Cover Image
ISBN: 9781956285321
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
NON-RETURNABLE. May take longer to arrive. Please confirm this is the edition you want.
Published: Poetry Box - March 15th, 2023