Salem, “Shalom.” It’s humbling news stories like these which prove that we are truly working towards creating “a city at peace with God.” (This introvert had *zero* intention of being in the spotlight! But if it helps further the shared vision of a better community, then the surprise embarrassment was absolutely worth it.)
Honestly, though, to organize events like these, it takes more than just one person. Thank you to Luke and Daniel and the entire village staff at Broadway Coffeehouse/Salem Alliance Church for opening your doors to this last-minute event, and for keeping those doors open year-round to welcome all who enter with genuine warmth and hospitality. Special thanks to my gracious conversation partner, Officer Cheyne Galusha, and to all the officers and staff at the Salem Police Department, especially Superwoman Angie, who have worked so hard to make these get-togethers happen on a regular basis.
The article weaves through an insightful interview with the ever gracious poet and author, Henry Hughes, who has just released a new collection of poetry, Bunch of Animals, as well as a memoir, Back Seat with Fish. Hughes’ writing continues to capture his ongoing love affair with fishing, people, nature, and the Pacific Northwest in exquisite detail and accuracy. Both his poetry and his nonfiction are highly recommended. You can read reviews for Hughes’ Back Seat with Fish by clicking here. For reviews on Bunch of Animals, click here. Both books are available for purchase on Amazon.com.
(Cover image for Bunch of Animals is an original piece by local artist Gregory Poulin.)
I had the immense pleasure of reading and reviewing a new work of nonfiction, released by Skyhorse Publishing earlier this month. Back Seat with Fish is a refreshing take on the fishing memoir, written by the magnanimous Henry Hughes. Hughes’ book is dynamic and engaging, plunging into the art of angling, of navigating relationships and traveling the world. There is no shortage of entertainment, nor thoughtful execution. Hughes is a brilliant storyteller, reviving the once-unpalatable genre of ‘the fishing memoir’ for men and women of all ages and origins to enjoy. Click here to read the full review on Amazon before purchasing a copy for yourself or for a friend. (There’s no such thing as buyer’s remorse when a novel is this good.) #supportlocal
Poetry is “on the house” this Saturday, courtesy of the amazing Brooks Winery! Come to their gorgeous tasting room for some exquisite wine flights, a phenomenal view, and excellent conversation. Ask me to type up a poem on my vintage typewriter for you, or as a gift to someone! Give a subject; get a poem. It’s that easy. And what pairs better than wine and poetry? Donations accepted, and don’t forget to tip your server! See you there!
As a teaser for the 2:00 p.m. event “Poetry in Performance,” I will be busking Pop Up Poetry at the Coffeehouse for a special Valentine’s Day treat. Be sure to support the Broadway Coffeehouse with a drink purchase, and tip your baristas!
Enjoy a totally relaxed environment this Valentine’s evening at Vagabond Brewery. There will be cheese, beer, and wine in abundance. Grab a beer, grab a poem, grab a valentine tonight, and salute the Love of friends, of family, and of significant or not-so-significant others. Cheers!
“Salem” is an original poem written by Jessica Murdoch, published in the Salem Weekly newspaper on September 3rd, 2015. As requested by #PopUpPoetry customer, Christine, the poem is a sonnet (specifically a Shakespearean-style sonnet) written in iambic pentameter, with the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEFGG.
On Wednesday, October 28th, John Stumbo, the Alliance Board of Directors, and Salem Alliance Church hosted the The Alliance’s fourth Livestream Praise and Prayer event based on “Is Anyone Thirsty?” Isaiah 55:1 (NLT). Area churches were welcomed to attend in Salem, Oregon, while the entire Alliance family around the world was invited to participate online. The livestream video can be viewed here. (Poem performed at the 11:30 time-stamp.)
The following original spoken word poem was written and performed by Jessica Murdoch for the aforementioned event.
This post includes links to my articles published in the Salem Weekly newspaper. (For those of you who are able to snatch a physical copy from one of our 700+ drop sites in the Willamette Valley, awesome. For those who are sadly out of the area, online will have to do. However, if any of you really like one of the articles online–mine or not mine–I would be more than happy to mail you a physical copy of the newspaper. We have extras at the office.) Thanks for reading!
Articles are listed in reverse chronological order:
“Poetry Has a New Name” (An interview with local poet, Henry Hughes, and a pseudo-review of his newest poetry book, Bunch of Animals; 03/17/2016)
(No article 03/03/2016 — the Salem Weekly only prints twice a month; this was a “skip week”)
(For the 11/12/2015 issue, I wrote an article to preview Thanksgiving weekend, “A Wine Country Thanksgiving,” but it was rejected by the editors of the Salem Weekly. I type this without shame or regret because this is proof that every writer has their good days and bad. And that rejection is normal, and gives me a chance to learn and grow. I may or may not rework it and post it to the blog.)