Arts and Entertainment

Brave New Words hosts poetry with jazz at Greenbank Farm

Nashira Priester’s first solo book of poems, “Mystic Glyphs from Onyx Larynx,” was recently released by Ion Drive Publishing.   - Photo courtesy of Rob Schouten Gallery
Nashira Priester’s first solo book of poems, “Mystic Glyphs from Onyx Larynx,” was recently released by Ion Drive Publishing.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Rob Schouten Gallery

Brave New Words, the poetry festival for everybody, is back with a series of poetry events that shifts the focus from one large annual festival to a continuum of poetry happenings throughout the year.

Producer and poet Victory Lee Schouten welcomes everyone to check out the intimate spoken word and music performances at Greenbank Farm and to get inspired by words, no matter what their experience with poetry may be.

The next Brave New Words event is a book launch party for Seattle poet Nashira Priester, who recently published her first solo book of poetry, “Mystic Glyphs from Onyx Larynx.” The reading is at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 17 at the Rob Schouten Gallery at the farm.

In “Mystic Glyphs from Onyx Larynx,” Nashira Priester mines her memory of her Mississippi childhood and combines them with contemporary life to create poems that reveal the experiences of her family, the history of the African diaspora, racism and even the war in Iraq.

Priester’s methods delve not only into the experiences of her life, but also explore the detail of the way words are used in sequence and on the page. She uses words the way a chess master uses his pieces — cleverly with a strategy in mind.

In one poem titled “how you effect me this morning” she piles words on top of each other creating both a visual and emotional representation of the deeply rooted:







deepest hymnal









deeply criminal

in a




Appearing with Priester and providing improvised music to accompany her words will be internationally known jazz artist Julian Priester, a jazz trombonist and composer who has played with many recognized jazz artists such as Sun Ra, Max Roach, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock.

Priester will also be joined by a special guest, Cuban poet Jorge Enrique González-Pacheco.

González-Pacheco is author and editor of several books and anthologies, including “Poesía Ilustrada,” “Antología de la Décima Cósmica de La Habana,” “Notaciones del inocente,” and “Tierra de Secreta Transparencia,” an anthology of poems by Cuban poet Serafina Nuñez. His most recent published book of poems is “Bajo la Luz de Mi Sangre.”

Priester is a veteran producer of public broadcasting programs in the San Fransisco Bay area and in Seattle. She has been the host of a variety of live radio broadcasts that showcase jazz artists for more than 30 years.

Her poetry and essays have appeared in a number of anthologies and publications.

“Mystic Glyphs from Onyx Larynx” is available here and at here .

Admission is by donation, with all donations going to the performers.

For more information, call 360-222-3070 or e-mail

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