Islanders work with youth to create book
A new book, filled with poetry and paintings by refugee and immigrant youth, “We Are the Future: Poems with a Voice for Peace,” has been published by Chin Music Press and is on sale now at Vashon Bookshop.
The book is the latest fruit of a longtime poetry project taking place at Foster High School, in Tukwila, founded and co-directed by islander Merna Hecht, who is a social justice educator, teaching artist, poet and storyteller. The project celebrates and shares the voices of young poets who have come to the United States from countries including Somalia, Eritrea, the Philippines, Iraq, Mexico, Ethiopia, Uganda, Afghanistan and Kenya.
“We Are the Future” has earned the praise of Naomi Shihab Nye, the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate, who said the volume is a “must-have for every high school, community, and ESL class, where wondrous human beings from the wider world have come to reside.”
Several islanders, in addition to Hecht, contributed to the book’s creation. Richard Rogers was the book’s graphic designer and he also followed each student’s directions in integrating a poem they wrote with a painting they created. Jenna Riggs designed the background patterns for additional poems and David Lynch photographed color portraits of each young person whose work is included in the book.
Go glam at a house concert
Seán Barna, a singer-songwriter inspired by 1970s glam rock, will play a small house concert on Vashon the day after he performs as the opening act for Counting Crows at Marymoor Amphitheater, in Redmond, this month. Barna’s island performance will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, at a private outdoor location that will be disclosed to ticket buyers only. Get more information and tickets (only 60 will be sold) on Brown Paper Tickets, at barna.bpt.me.
Featured in American Songwriter, Billboard Pride, NewNowNext, and Aquarian Weekly, Barna has been credited with helping to define the art of queer storytelling through songwriting. NPR’s Bob Boilen, the host of the Tiny Desk Concerts and podcast All Songs Considered, said Barna is, “a thrill to see… wearing Ziggy Stardust on his glittery sleeve.“
Barna’s EP, “Cissy,” was called “a brilliant, giant statement about modern life and sexuality” by Counting Crows frontman, Adam Duritz.
Poultry in Motion plays next Concert in the Park
Poultry in Motion, a local band with an ecumenical setlist of Motown, rockabilly, traditional country, Cajun, Zydeco and many other types of music, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at Ober Park. The show is the third installment of this year’s Concerts in the Parks series, presented by Vashon Parks District and curated by Vashon Events.
Pete Welch, of Vashon Events, said Thursday’s concert might be the last chance to see Poultry in Motion for a while, as the band is planning to take a hiatus to pursue other projects.
The last concert of the series will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, with a concert by local blues band, One More Mile.