For the first time, the festival is devoting an entire day, Sunday, May 20, to writing workshops with our renowned poets and storytellers. These three-hour sessions, $60 each, will fill up fast, so if you’re interested, sign up now.

— Jericho Brown: “Jump-Start Your Engines”

— Tony Hoagland: “Layering”

— Will Hornyak: “Telling Stories, Changing Lives”

— Mark Schafer: “Recycling Poetry”

— Elizabeth Austen: “Poems From Poems”

— Ellen Bass: “Discovery”

— Lorraine Ferra: “Writing a Love Poem”

Also on May 20 is a special “Poetry and Culture of Fishtown Event” with poet Tim McNulty and artist Bo Miller leading a voyage down the Skagit River in a 36-foot Salish-style canoe owned by North Cascades Institute. The day includes six hours of storytelling, poetry readings, writing exercises, paddling, and discussion. Cost is $175, which includes a closing-night barbecue. Information and registration at

The festival will close May 20 with a 5-9 p.m. barbecue at Pioneer Park that includes a panel discussion on the poetry, culture, and art of Fishtown and the Lower Skagit River. Cost is $30 (it’s included in the ticket price of the “Poetry and Culture of Fishtown” canoe trip).

Tickets are on sale now for the workshops and all other events at and at The Next Chapter Bookstore, 721 S. First Street in downtown La Conner, Washington. All proceeds from the festival help the Skagit River Poetry Project put poets in school classrooms throughout the year, boosting literacy and student engagement in the arts.