Your final featured team member: Grace Shipman!

Grace began writing at the tender age of seven and never looked back. Her work encompasses themes of pop culture, family, heritage, and just whatever she is thinking about at the time. Grace holds a B.A. in English Literature and an MFA in writing. She begins her Ph.D this fall in Rhetoric and Composition.

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Daylight

by Katy Shedlock

For fifty years
Ravenna Creek
was diverted
into the underground Seattle sewer line
until a group
of concerned citizens mobilized
to restore it
to let it once again
warm up in the sun
as it traveled
from Green Lake
to the sound.
The technical term
for this
is daylighting.
I am reading the sign
that the parks department
put up,
to teach me this,
it has been a long day,
I am tired
of wondering if I will ever
shine
with consistency
of my own
or if
I’ll only ever glimmer
when someone else
points a light down
into my darkness
and there
on a fucking parks department sign
is what salvation
sounds like to me.

There are streams
running through you
and maybe they have been
diverted
into slimy
underground pipes
but they are still there,
still coursing through
the veins of your soul
and you can, even now
daylight them.

It’s hard to do alone-
you need a coalition
a community of people who care
about the sound of your soul
gurgling
I keep trying to explain
what church should be
I hope it’s that

It will take time.
There will be resistance
Beware the mall developers
selling an easy
re-surface project
they’ll pave you over
and leave you dry
there are no
quick fixes
in the daylighting process
only digging
down
up
and out
until the ground
is kissed again
wet
sloppy
and alive
I know it’s hard sometimes
to feel the currents
within us
but listen
at the manhole covers
at the sealed up places
where you might climb down
into yourself
can’t you hear the splashing
down there?
I am tired of being
diverted
from channeling
the power in me,
it is strong enough
to grow trees!
Why would we
let all that potential go
down the drain?

The Ravenna Creek
is still underground
south of 55th street.
Like me,
it is only partially
daylighted.
But I am watching it
disappear into the darkness of the grate
and seeing
only the possibility
of glimmering in the sun
all the way
to the sea.

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Our next featured teammate: Katy Shedlock

Katy Fitzpatrick Shedlock is a pastor, performance artist, and poet.  Born and raised in Spokane, WA, she spent her twenties teaching language arts in Kazakhstan, the Lehigh Valley, PA, and Pittsburgh, where some semi-homeless punk rockers convinced her Jesus was actually one of them.  Katy is a provisional elder in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and her work on and off Sunday mornings focuses on complicating old language for God, re-presenting the stories of women in Scripture, and challenging the hermeneutical status quo.  She is a published playwright, wrote and performed original work with the ensemble of Touchstone Theatre of Bethlehem, PA, and her one woman show For I Was a Stranger: Biblical Stories of Refuge raised several thousand dollars in benefit performances for World Relief Spokane.  Katy is part of the Spokane Poetry Slam team for the 2018 National Poetry Slam in Chicago.

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Paula Deen Bakes Me A Cake

By Devin Devine

even though I told her I hate cake.
Which, how could I truly hate
cake, if I loved all the things comprised:

eggs, flour, sugar, cream cheese
frosting, butter. I simply hadn’t
ate the right cake. She had the best
cake recipe. Everyone who has
ate her cake has told her it was
amazing. Five star cake.

She slides a slice in front of me
with the same confidence
of an unsolicited portrait of yet
another dick in my inbox.

I wish all these greedy people
with butter covered bodies
would listen to me the first time.

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Next up: Devin Devine

Your next featured poet this month is a several time SPS team member. Stay tuned for poems! For now, here’s this lovely poet’s bio:

Devin Devine is a writer, comedian, and performer from Spokane, Washington. Former host of Spokane’s weekly poetry reading Broken Mic, as well as a member of Spokane’s 2015 & 2017 & 2018 NPS Teams. She is one of the current slam masters and hosts of Spokane Poetry Slam. She laughs and writes her way through issues of trauma, addiction, mental health, and sexuality. She is the author of three self-published chapbooks ‘Feral Empathy,’ ‘Crying on the Toilet,’ and her most recent ‘Domestic & Fowl. She also writes and self-publishes crime series ‘Kiss the Messenger’ with partner and co-author Tony Russell. This fall she will be pursuing her MFA in Poetry at Eastern Washington University.

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Vegetation Season

by Nick Keaty

Partly charm of old
partly convinced by
some pattern of
misted labor
vivid shadows
vivid vegetation
we feel ourselves
sinking into the specificity
and the habit
rummaging for anything
when my eyes refuse to close at night
after reasonable time tossing i slip on
a pair of sweats
and i get in my car
i don’t know where i am going
usually i just buckle up
and drive by this time of night
i can’t think of a song to fit my mood
but i find rehearsing my own poetry
to an empty vehicle is just the kind
of soothing i need when i feel convinced
my creative self has laid down
i somehow find myself
at the late-night diner
i claim my seat at the far right booth
the waitress greets me with my hot chocolate
two eggs cracked over-easy on hashbrowns
i reach for my pencil
and, allowing myself,
like the egg
to crack open over the page and run
into some pattern
rummaging for anything
sinking into the specificity
partly charm of old
partly convinced by
misted labor
vivid shallows
vivid vegetation

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A Wild Actual Blog Post Appears, ft. Nick Keaty

Well hi, poetry lovers of Spokane!

As we have been mentioning all over, Spokane is sending a team to Chicago this August to represent us at the National Poetry Slam!

This month we will be featuring work from all four poets (and perhaps their coach), starting this week! These poets are: Nick Keaty, Devin Devine, Katy Shedlock, and Misty Grace.

We will start off by teasing you with Nick’s bio, and you’ll be sure to read their poems this week!

Nick is a trans non-binary, introverted and people-loving human who also happens to be a poet in Spokane, WA. They have been writing poetry since before they can remember and started competing in 2017. Nick has since then have travelled, performed, and volunteered at local and national events. Their writing career, however, found most of its life after volunteering at Women of the World Poetry Slam 2018, where they fell in love with the art and felt drawn into life as a creator more than ever before. They are currently preparing to compete on Spokane Poetry Slam’s 2018 team at NPS in Chicago, IL. Nick is an undergraduate student who will graduate eventually but spends most of their time passionately talking about dogs, lavender, and how much they hate school. Most of their friends call them Dad™️. Nick’s work often deals with topics such as mental illness, queer issues, bad thrift stores, and pet fish.

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