Poems For Las Vegas
This book project was initiated and organized by Richard Walker, managing editor at Sound Publishing, Inc. The original post of the poems appeared in the Kitsap Daily News
Profits from the sale of this book will go to the National Compassion Fund, established by Clark County, Nevada, and the National Center for Victims of Crime for the collection and distribution of funds to benefit the victims and their families.
On Oct. 1, 2017, a lone gunman in a 32nd-floor room of a Las Vegas hotel opened fire on a crowd attending a music festival on the Vegas Strip. Fifty-nine people died, as of this writing. Another 527 were injured.
The mass shooting left the nation grasping to understand how such an atrocity could happen. These Kitsap poets responded with words that might provide some comfort or help readers process the tragedy and horror of Oct. 1, 2017.
Message From the Publisher
Did 58 people die for no reason in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017? Quickly we might say, yes – we can’t see an obvious reason for their deaths and the gunman must have been out of his mind to do what he did. It seems to be a random act of terror committed by a confused individual.
This tragic event has prompted authors and public figures from the Northwest to write these poems to express their feelings. We thank all these authors for their contribution and we hope to inspire all generations to listen to each other and to preserve what our wonderful country has achieved since the times of our Founding Fathers. Today, we enjoy maybe the strongest democracy the world has ever seen. This book may provide an emotional foundation to better understand all our fellow citizens, strengthen our democracy, and help unite against all forms of evil.
Our sympathy and love go out to all of those who have been affected by these terrible shootings.
— Ingemar Anderson and team, Kitsap Publishing
About the Authors
Michelle Bombardier is a Northwest poet whose work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Raven Chronicles, Artemis, Fourth River, Poetry International Online and nearly 30 others. Her book, “Leaving Damascus,” is a finalist and contender for Write Bloody Press 2017. She earned her MFA in poetry at Pacific University. She works on Bainbridge Island as a speech-language pathologist in her clinic after working in Seattle hospitals. She has lived in Kitsap since 1991 and is developing Fishplate Poetry, an offering of workshops and retreats for poets while raising funds for humanitarian relief.
Kent Chadwick is a poet living on Bainbridge Island. He self-published “God comes to us like a caterpillar: Jesus’ stories retold for kids” and “A Balance of Shadows: Gregg Chadwick’s Paintings” through Wisdom Press in 2010. His poetry has appeared in Floating Press Review/Pontoon, World Haiku Review, Switched-on Gutenberg, The Raven Chronicles, Left Bank, Sojourners, and the anthologies “Burning the Midnight Oil: Illuminating Words for the Long Night’s Journey into Day” and “Deep Down Things: Poems of the Inland Pacific Northwest.”
Jennifer (Jenny) Coates moved to Bainbridge Island with her husband Samuel Brody, a classical pianist, and now 17-year-old daughter, Cymbeline Brody, in 2006. She is an international and domestic tax and business lawyer by trade but has many other interests which round out her days, including writing poetry. She works out of her own law practice, Jenny Coates Law, and likes that her employer gives her time to pursue her diverse interests. Jenny’s poems have been published in several anthologies and collections, including “Just a Little More Time” as part of the Grief Dialogues project and as part of the yearly Poetry Corners and Ars Poetica events occurring during National Poetry Month.
Cathy Cuenin is retired from nursing and tug-boating, and now enjoys painting, writing, and reflections on soul matters. Her first book, “The Way I Walk, from Tugboat to Transplant,” is a moving story of challenge and adventure. A deep relation to the natural world and concerns for social justice are reflected in her prose and poetry.
Marsha Cutting is a semi-retired psychologist from Bainbridge Island who sails, advocates for disability issues, and is involved in anti-racism and environmental work.
John Davis is the author of two collections, “Gigs” and “The Reservist.” His work has appeared recently in DMQ Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, One and Rio Grande Review. He teaches high school and performs in blues bands.
Neil Doherty is a retired economics professor from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He favors traditional rhyming and metric verse and writes on a variety of subjects, including science (an avid reader) and religion (a skeptic). He lives on Bainbridge Island with his wife Caroline and dog Codie.
Carol Despeaux Fawcett earned her MFA degree from Goddard College. She is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in many journals. In the Pacific Northwest Writers Contest, her memoir and her poetry have won first place and her current work-in-progress, a fantasy novel, was a finalist. Her poems have been finalists in the Writer’s Digest Annual Poetry Competition and the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. She received a poetry grant from Return to Creativity and co-writes a blog for writers at OneWildWord.com. She is publishing her first book of poems, “The Dragon and The Dragonfly,” later this year. Her website will be www.cdfawcett.com.
Amy K. Genova is a new resident of Poulsbo and has several poems published in a variety of journals.
Bev Hanson’s creative outlet focused solely on digital art and photography until she became the coordinator for Ars Poetica (art and poetry combination) in Kitsap County for two years. She became intrigued with the writing portion because she read so many wonderful poems and illustrated some of them. With encouragement from poet and publisher, Nancy Rekow, she ventured to another creative discipline, poetry. Beverly now enjoys the written word besides the illustrative end of creating and loves the challenge. A far departure from her career in finances and tax preparation, she revels in both forms of expression at this time in her life.
Jay Inslee is governor of Washington. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999-2012, and in the Washington state House of Representatives from 1989-1993. He lives on Bainbridge Island.
Anne Kundtz writes with her students in Creative Writing and sophomore English on Bainbridge Island. Her poems have appeared in Writing All Morning, Ars Poetica, Poetry Corners, Mountain Mail, and other print and online publications.
Diane Lee Moser has written poems all her life but never shared them until the past two years. She’s a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She’s been a social worker, crisis counselor, bookkeeper, traveler, and started a food bank and the first B&B on Bainbridge Island. Life experience has been her teacher, she said, and she has now discovered the joy of sharing heartfelt words with others.
Nancy Rekow, a Bainbridge Island resident, is a widely published and award-winning poet. She has taught poetry and creative writing workshops for all ages for more than 40 years. She’s also edited, helped design, and published various books, many with her late poet/teacher husband, Everett Thompson. Along the way, she’s helped organize and publicize the annual San Carlos Poetry Readings (now in their 34th year); monthly Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse Poetry Readings (now in their 25th year); Ars Poetica, featuring artwork interpreting poems (now in its seventh year) and various other poetic/artistic events.
Aliona Roman is one of Anne Kunitz’s Creative Writing students.
Tamera Roza is a Bainbridge Island native and a mother of two children. She has a lifelong passion for poetry in particular but finds all forms of writing gratifying and cathartic. “In making and sharing art, we heal and grow,” she said.
Sharon E. Svendsen’s fiction, articles, and more than 200 poems have been published in literary magazines and many other periodicals and anthologies. Her work has most recently been published in Plainsongs, Rat’s Ass Review, Feathertale #15 and #16, Spank the Carp, Decasp, Poetry Corners, and Ars Poetica. She has a BA in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from the University of Washington.
Val Tollefsen is a retired trial lawyer currently completing his term as mayor of Bainbridge Island. He has often found peace and meaning in the poetry of others and is honored to have made a seventeen syllable contribution to this healing gesture.
Diane Walker is a contemplative photographer, painter, playwright, and poet who produces a daily blog of poems and photos (www.facebook.com/contemplativephotography). A former Seattle marketing executive, Walker lives on Bainbridge Island and serves as volunteer station manager for Bainbridge Community Broadcasting.
Jeff Wenker is a writer and winemaker. He worked last year in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, a region featured in his latest novel, “The Russian Books.” He studied Russian History at the University of California, Berkeley, and was featured in “When I Was There,” a collection of essays and stories about Cal. Recently, he completed a vintage at Siduri Winery in Santa Rosa — a place also traumatized by tragedy — which will be featured in his upcoming novel, “Mad Crush,” a work in progress. His other books are available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Wenker/e/B00IQRKU0Y