Category: WORDS

MEDITATION -by Charles Baudelaire.

Hello and welcome to WORDS, please enjoy this thoughtful article about revolutionary French poet, Baudelaire. Charles Baudelaire: The Revolutionary of Modern Literature By Jim Merrill Charles Baudelaire was born in Paris in...

Practicing the Complex Yes

Ok, who is Oregon’s current Poet Laureate? I thought so, scratch your head no more because WORDS is about to fill you in. On May 15, 2018, Governor Kate Brown named Kim Stafford the ninth Poet Laureate of Oregon. Stafford grew...

The Shape of the Wind

By Marc Janssen (Founder of Salem Poetry Project). So many poets and so much art is just below the surface. It is hard to find. You have to make an effort to discover it. This is the case with Roger Weaver’s poetry. When I first...


Hello Salem and thank you Vere! I am honored to be the next overseer of the ‘WORDS’ column for the Salem Weekly. It is a journey I’m very much looking forward to. For this issue, I want to begin by extending an invitation to all...

Fifty Creative Conversations

by Vere McCarty This column, consecutively titled “Line Break”, “Salem Writes”, and “Words”, was created in 2014 by Ruth Hudgens for the purpose of giving local writers a voice in the Salem Weekly.  Ruth needed more time for her...

Local Support for the Homeless

By a local philosopher and writer. Our community is currently evaluating, and is attempting to address, the needs of local homeless people.  In the process, we find that our discussions have become awkwardly polarized.  On one...

A Story and Poem for Harumi

by Jim Merrill Arguing with Something My Dharma Teacher Said                                                                     There was a bumper sticker in Colorado in the 90’s that said, “Shit Happens” —  you remember the...


Flash Fiction by R. S. Stewart The shoe shop had been empty all morning, and now that it was nearing noon, I decided to close while I ate my usual brown bag lunch packed the night before. I looked about me as no salesman would...

Let it Happen

A poem by Elizabeth Keyser   Asleep before the screen I woke to see      men black and white, African and American, working to save an orphaned elephant    ivory poachers left to die.           Wrapping her tenderly in blankets,...

Guns Don’t Shoot Themselves

by vere This is true.  People shoot guns. Guns used to shoot themselves, like the Lone Ranger’s gun when it shot the gun out of the hand of the crooked land-grabber. Guns don’t shoot themselves anymore, but people...


A poem by Arturo Sarmiento    “When I came to the States from Mexico,” says Arturo, “my first job was fighting forest fires.  It was a completely new world for me.  No race or skin color.  All you see is people who love nature...

De Las Lumbres

por Arturo Sarmiento                                     I Abatidas las campanas, Sus repiques se amotinan en la medianía del espanto. El fuego no afina su mirada, dispara a la montaña. Su arco un dolor atravesando la boca del...

Richard Wilbur: Dervish and Poet

Commentary by R.S. Stewart One of the pleasurable highpoints of my writing life was receiving a personal letter from Richard Wilbur dated September 12, 1988, from Cummington, Massachusetts, in response to a packet of poems I had...

How Poetry Makes Sense of Science

Poems by Alvaro Rodriguez Someone asked me not long ago about the source of my inspiration and I couldn’t answer that question until I sat down and reflected on my poetry. Poetry has many shapes and forms. We give the gift of...


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December 2018

Salem Poetry Project Featuring Holiday Poems

December 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
IKE Box, 299 Cottage St NE
Salem, OR 97301 United States
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You are the featured reader! Bring your favorite poem about Christmas, Hanukah, Thanksgiving…Festivus and maybe a little story about it. The infamous open mike will follow. Featured reader begins at 7:00 and the open mic will directly follow. Our hosts, the Ike Box, feature a wide variety of beverages and snack options! The Ike Box is located at 229 Cottage St NE in Salem, at the intersection of Chemawa and Cottage.

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Last Friday Poetry Group: Last Open Mic of 2018

December 28 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Book Bin – Salem, 450 Court St NE
Salem, OR 97301 United States
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We're ringing in the New Year! Join us for a Last Friday Poetry Group that's all about YOU! We'll start off the evening with an open-mic, and continue the evening with an open-mic. Bring a poem, by someone other than you, that inspires you for the new year, and then read us some of your own poetry!

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