Gary Copeland Lilley will join a literary reading at Northwind Art’s gallery in Port Townsend on Tuesday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Gary Copeland Lilley will join a literary reading at Northwind Art’s gallery in Port Townsend on Tuesday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Former Port Angeles High School teacher, fellow poets to read this week

Maya Jewell Zeller, the recent winner of the New American Poetry Prize, will step into the spotlight alongside two of her favorite fellow writers this week.

Zeller, a former Port Angeles High School teacher, will join poets Tess Gallagher and Gary Copeland Lilley for a free reading and conversation Tuesday in Port Townsend. Then she’ll appear with Gallagher on Thursday in Port Angeles.

Zeller, musing on poetry readings, said they’re a lot like curated art shows, with their mix of images and emotions. Appropriately enough, she, Lilley and Gallagher will read together at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery, 701 Water St. in Port Townsend. Each writer will bring books to sign and sell after the reading in the art-filled space.

“I think I will read some things about our life as women,” Gallagher said in an interview from her home in Port Angeles.

She also intends to read from “Moon Crossing Bridge,” one of her 11 volumes of poetry. It’s out of print and so not easy to find, Gallagher said; “I love that book so much.”

Earlier this year, she traveled to Europe to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Fondazione Roma in Italy, which hosts the annual Ritratti di Poesia, or Portraits of Poetry festival. Also this year, Gallagher turned 80.

Lilley, for his part, has been busy bringing poets and other authors together in Centrum’s Port Townsend Writers Conference. He was named artistic curator of that gathering in 2021.

Lilley is also writing poems and working on a new manuscript. His friend Gallagher “lit a fuse” in his creative life, Lilley has said.

“He is an excitement,” Gallagher said of Lilley. Well-known as a teacher, open mic host and poet, he has eight books to his credit, including “Alpha Zulu,” “The Bushman’s Medicine Show” and “The Subsequent Blues.”

Zeller’s latest book — her fourth — is “out takes/glove box,” a poetry collection that won the New American Poetry Prize when it came out last year. This fall she’s been on tour, giving readings across the Northwest.

At 3 p.m. Thursday, Zeller and Gallagher will read together at the Little Theater at Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd. in Port Angeles.

This free event is an extra one added to the college’s Studium Generale series. A book signing will follow at the Bookaneer bookstore. Lilley wasn’t able to join since he teaches at that time, said Studium organizer Kate Reavey.

Now a professor at Central Washington University, Zeller taught at Port Angeles High School from 2002-05.

“It was my first career out of college,” she said.

Zeller taught literature, sophomore English/writing, creative writing, drama and American Studies, which was history and English in a hybrid format.

“I also coached cross country and track,” she added, “so, a lot of fun and great bonding with families and students.”

Zeller is eager to share work from her new book in this week’s events. Poetry readings, she said, are chances for people “to laugh, to cry, to connect with each other.”

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer living in Port Townsend.

Poet Tess Gallagher will give two public readings this week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Poet Tess Gallagher will give two public readings this week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Poet Maya Jewell Zeller will read from her new book in two events this week. (Dean Davis)

Poet Maya Jewell Zeller will read from her new book in two events this week. (Dean Davis)

More in Entertainment

The Teahouse at Mikayo’s Garden will be part of the 2024 Petals and Pathways Garden Tour. (Cathy Wagner)
Petals and Pathways features home gardens

Master gardeners will be available at all six locations

Steampunk Festival returns to Port Townsend this weekend

The Steampunk Festival and the Summertide Solstice Art Festival highlight this weekend’s… Continue reading

Scholarship winners to perform at Monday Musicale

Monday Musicale will meet for lunch at noon Monday.… Continue reading

Sisters Elisa Barston, Amy Barston are part of Trio Hava, which also includes pianist John Blacklow. They will play this weekend during Concerts in the Barn in Quilcene.
Concerts in the Barn returns this weekend

The Concerts in the Barn series will return for an… Continue reading

Port Townsend artist Sue Gale hangs one of the 16-inch by 60-inch banners now on display at the Peninsula Fiber Artists’ Fiber Habit walk-by exhibit at 675 Tyler St. in Port Townsend. Most pieces in the exhibit are available for purchase directly from the artists.
Walk-by fiber arts on display in Uptown Port Townsend

Several members of Peninsula Fiber Artists are participating in… Continue reading

Summertide Solstice Art Festival set for Saturday

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center will host the… Continue reading

Steampunk Festival to celebrate 10th anniversary this weekend

The 10th Steampunk Festival will return to Port Townsend… Continue reading

Hog Wild event bringing circus theme to fundraiser

In what’s being described as a touch of Cirque… Continue reading

Cabled Fiber & Yarn will host Sierra Kreun, owner and designer of All Knit Up Designs, on Saturday during the Second Saturday Art Walk in Port Angeles.
Second Saturday Art Walk today in Port Angeles

The Port Angeles Arts Council will host Second Saturday… Continue reading

Sheryl Goldsberry, whose work, “Beach Breakfast,” is shown here, is the Port Ludlow Art League’s artist of the month for June.
Reception to be held for Port Ludlow artist of month

The Port Ludlow Art League will host a reception… Continue reading

Port Angeles Maritime Festival this weekend

The Port Angeles Maritime Festival highlights a weekend of events on the… Continue reading

Christopher Houlihan will perform an organ concert Thursday evening in Port Angeles.
Pipe organ recital set Thursday in Port Angeles

Christopher Houlihan will perform a pipe organ recital at… Continue reading