Arts and Entertainment

New reading series launches April 6 at Wesley Homes/Lea Hill

Kent
Kent's Rebecca Teeters has been singing, writing songs and playing the guitar since her early 20s, and has for many years been a member of her church music team.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Northwest Renaissance Poets, Performers & Publishers, an Auburn-based coalition of poets and artists, begins a poetry and conversation series at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Wesley Homes/Lea Hill, 32049 109th Place SE.

Poets Lisa Schmidt and Marjorie Rommel, and singer-songwriter Rebecca Teeters will chat and perform. The public is welcome.

Teeters has been singing, writing songs and playing the guitar since her early 20s, and has for many years been a member of her church music team. Two of her songs are included in Benediction, an anthology of Quaker songs; she also has a CD, "Isn't it a Miracle?"

She and her husband, poet Jim Teeters, live in Kent. They have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

Schmidt lives in Federal Way, where she works as an orchestra teacher and violist. Her poems can be found in recent and forthcoming issues of Ann Arbor Review, Avocet, The Bitter Oleander, Comstock Review, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Quarterly West, and Windfall.

In 2011, Schmidt was a semifinalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize and the River Styx International Poetry Contest, a finalist for the Spoon River Poetry Review Editors' Prize, and a recipient of special merit recognition for the Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award. In 2012, she received an International Merit Award from Altanta Review. Her affinity for the natural world influences much of her poetry.

Rommel, a lifelong Auburn resident, was the Willard R. Espy Literary Foundation resident in poetry in Oysterville in 2000, received an Adam Family Foundation White Bridge Traveling Fellowship to live and write in Teton Valley, Idaho in 2001, and was awarded the riverbabble Bloom's Day Prize for Fiction in 2002.

She graduated from Auburn High School in 1961, and holds a master's degree in creative writing/poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. A former newspaper reporter/editor, she has taught creative writing at Highline and Pierce community colleges, and poetry at PLU. Her work has appeared in numerous literary and general interest publications.

About Northwest Renaissance, Poets, Performers & Publishers

It is a nonprofit coalition of poets, writers and other artists continuously operating in the Auburn Valley since the mid-'60s. In the 1980s, the group produced a long-running series of readings in the Auburn Avenue Theater, bringing William Stafford, Nelson Bentley, Beth Bentley, Marvin Bell, Knud Rasmussen, Colleen McElroy, Robin Skelton, Eve Triem, and many others to the community.

The group also provided youth mentorships, produced reading series in Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Tacoma and Fairwood, and more than 30 years of poetry concerts, workshops, readings, and an annual chapbook anthology for the Kent Canterbury Faire and Kent Cornucopia Days, as well as two book-length anthologies of work by established Northwest poets.

In 2012, NWR presented a workshop with James Bertolino and a reading with Auburn Poet Laureate Richard ("Wicked" Dick) Brugger and Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken, and collaborated with Auburn Striped Water Poets, a weekly critique circle, in presenting open mic readings each first Monday of the month at the Auburn Station Bistro, 110 Second St. SW. Those readings continue every First Monday.

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