Eastside Poets: RASP at Hugo House
Extending a warm welcome to our neighbors across the lake, Hugo House is proud to host an evening of poetry and prose from the Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP) featuring the talents of Catherine Kyle, Balin Lusby, Darren Nordlie, Kari Tai, Michael Dylan Welch, and Iz White.
Drawing upon their varied lived experiences as a magician, dancer, world traveler, comics professor, rapper, and artist recognized by the Empress of Japan, these writers offer distinctive and unique voices curated into a show like no other.
With a special appearance by Hugo House instructor Jeanine Walker.
Catherine Kyle is the author of Fulgurite (Cornerstone Press, forthcoming), Shelter in Place (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019), and other collections. Her writing has appeared in Bellingham Review, Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. She was the winner of the 2019-2020 COG Poetry Award and a finalist for the 2021 Mississippi Review Prize in poetry. She is an assistant professor at DigiPen Institute of Technology, where she teaches creative writing and literature.
Kari Tai is founder of the artistic collective Home Ground. Her poetry and dancing inform the group’s artistic response. Kari grew up in Kalispell, Montana in a unique octagon house designed and built by her father. Her childhood experiences living on a rural, forested 20-acre lot under the Big Sky influence both her movement style and writing focus. “Choreopoetry” is how she likes to think of interplay between dancing and writing. Kari holds dual BA degrees in journalism and anthropology and a master’s degree in medical anthropology. Her dance experience ranges from her time as a professional dancer with the Spokane Ballet Company to sharing the joy of movement as a dance instructor with people with Parkinson’s Disease. Kari’s writing includes dance and book reviews for Flagstaff Live!, articles and essays in the Plateau Journal and the book The View from Here, and poetry in Spindrift as well as academic and professional writing. A proud mother of two young men, Kari lives near Lake Sammamish and has served as an art docent chair and on the Redmond Arts and Culture Commission. Connect with Kari at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Instagram @kari.tai, or www.taikari.com.
Balin Lusby is a magician, a maker, an author, a poet, an engineer, an artist, a fencer, an archer, and a two-time brain tumor survivor. His award-winning magic seeks to spark joy in every audience member, from child to adult, while his poetry shares complex trauma in a way that is accessible to people from all walks of life. His poems and short stories have been published in Highline College’s Arcturus and featured in VALA's Reviving exhibition, his magic has received awards from the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians, and some of his creations have been displayed at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire. You can find him online on Facebook and Instagram with the handle TheGreatCigma and at www.balinlusby.com.
Darren Nordlie is the 2022 1st place winner in Poetry for EPIC Group Writers, published in two anthologies curated by two different Washington State Poet Laureates, Wordswell, Ghost Mic Poetry Vol.1 and Vol.2 by Everett Poetry Night and featured in VALA's Emerging from Darkness, Flourishing in the New Normal exhibition. He served as a volunteer for a year before being promoted to Vice President of the Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP). His experiences as a mixed race, sensitive, well traveled, and intellectually curious middle-aged man offer him a uniquely informed perspective. He writes poetry to wrestle with questions, self-express, and to make audiences feel and/or think differently.
Isadore “Iz” White thought he was going to be a rapper, it was all he dreamt about as a kid, growing up in Seattle. Writing poetry since 1996, Iz realized that rap artists often are all about image while Iz's poetry is about expressing his true self. Spoken word poetry has empowered Iz to go against all the negative social constraints he was conditioned to obey, freeing his mind and heart in the process. Iz is constantly evolving his stage presence to resonate with audiences. A book manuscript is in the works.
Michael Dylan Welch
Michael Dylan Welch has had his haiku read for the Empress of Japan and at the Baseball Hall of Fame, chiseled in stone in New Zealand, and printed on balloons in Los Angeles. One of his translations from the Japanese appeared on the back of 150 million U.S. postage stamps in 2012. Michael also directs the annual Seabeck Haiku Getaway, cofounded the biennial Haiku North America conference, founded the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library, founded the Tanka Society of America, and founded National Haiku Writing Month. Michael has published his haiku, senryu, tanka and related poetry in hundreds of journals in more than 20 languages. He has published 75 books, mostly haiku-related, including several translations from the Japanese. Aside from Japanese forms, Michael served two terms as poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, where for many years he has been president of the Redmond Association of Spokenword and curator of the monthly SoulFood Poetry Night. Michael is originally from England, lived there and in Ghana and Australia, became a Canadian as a teenager, and in 2022 he and his Japanese wife became U.S. citizens. He also has a day job and lives with his family in Sammamish, Washington. You can visit his main website at www.graceguts.com.
Jeanine Walker is the author of The Two of Them Might Outlast Me (2022). She has received writing fellowships from Artist Trust, the Jack Straw Cultural Center, Wonju, UNESCO City of Literature, and Inprint. Her work has appeared in Bennington Review, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. A poet with a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Houston, Jeanine is a long-time poetry teacher and most recently taught English at Kangwon National University in Chuncheon, South Korea.