by Christina Butcher for OLY ARTS
Each month, Olympia poets, authors and literary enthusiasts gather for an evening of poetry and camaraderie. It’s a chance to let their guard down and simply enjoy the spoken word. Seldom do featured readers have much in common with each other in the way of theme, style or poetic structure, yet all share one significant trait: They’re all proud poets of the Pacific Northwest. This month, Olympia Poetry Network keeps that tradition going with an unforgettable reading and open-mic session featuring award-winning poet Megan Snyder-Camp.
The author of three poetry collections (The Forest of Sure Things, Wintering and The Gunnywolf), Snyder-Camp has been deeply influenced by the use of “story” in personal narrative. She received her master’s degree from the University of Washington, where she once taught, and at the prestigious Richard Hugo House in 2015. “Hugo House is always delighted to be involved in the work of any writer,” said Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson. OLY ARTS asked Swenson how the Hugo House feels about Snyder-Camp expanding her audience into South Sound cities like Olympia. “We’re thrilled when we’ve had a part in a writer’s development,” said Swenson.
Snyder-Camp grew up in Baltimore, but she now lives in Seattle with her husband and three children. Her upcoming reading at Traditions Café and World Folk Art is a part of Olympia Poetry Network’s monthly reading series. OPN is a nonprofit organization with 26 years of history in Olympia. OPN has brought many notable poets to the stage, including Allen Braden, Washington-state poet laureate Tod Marshall and the late Lucia Perillo.
Snyder-Camp’s poetry can be found in the Cincinnati Review, Ecotone, FIELD, Sewanee Review, The Southern Review and Witness. She’s a recipient of the Crazyhorse First Book Award and the Dorothy Brunsman Book Award.
What: Megan Snyder-Camp
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15
Where: Traditions Café and World Folk Art,
300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia
How much: free