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Word Works: Ellen Bass on “Controlled Chaos,” co-presented by LiTFUSE

September 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Photo by Irene Young

A certain kind of poem, story, or essay reaches out a long arm and sweeps disparate, unexpected things into its net. It scoops in a great deal of material that is more or less obviously related. It doesn’t hug the shore. It doesn’t walk a narrow line. It retains a kind of wildness. It can seem untamed. And yet all the elements have enough magnetic or gravitational attraction, enough resonance, that the writing feels organically whole. This talk will show you how to create your own controlled chaos in writing.

After the talk, Jeanne Morel will conduct a Q&A with Bass, taking a few audience questions as well as posing her own.

Ellen Bass‘s poetry includes Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), and Mules of Love (BOA, 2002). She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday, 1973). Her nonfiction books include The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins, 1988, 2008) and Free Your Mind: The Book for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth (HarperCollins, 1996). Her work has frequently been published in the New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, and the New York Times Magazine, as well as many other journals. Among her awards are a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship from the California Arts Council, two Pushcart Prizes, the Lambda Literary Award, Elliston Book Award, Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod/Hardman, Larry Levis Prize from Missouri Review, and the New Letters Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University. www.ellenbass.com


Hugo House is grateful to LiTFUSE for copresenting this installment of Word Works. LiTFUSE is an annual poets workshop held at Mighty Tieton, open to all voices, on Sept. 25-27. More information and registration at LiTFUSE.us.

TRAFFIC NOTE: President Xi of China will be visiting Seattle September 22-24. September 23 will include the complete closure of midtown Seattle (4th to 7th, Olive to Lenora) to vehicular traffic. Pedestrian traffic will be subject to personal searches, including pat-downs and bag checks. Over 20 bus routes will be rerouted. The Interstates will be operating with reduced lanes, and will be closed outright for periods when the motorcade is in transit. The South Lake Union streetcar will not run to downtown. More info here: http://onthemove.seattle.gov/2015/09/18/seattle-plans-for-traffic-during-visit-of-chinese-delegation/#sthash.pnMS761R.dpuf