Mid-January Events Worth Considering

Author and knitter extraordinaire Christen Mattix, along with her colleagues Shannon Laws and Summer Starr, host an evening of inspiring poetry and camaraderie with 2017 Poem Booth poets from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at the upper level of Community Food Co-op, 1220 N Forest St. For the history of the Poem Booth, go to http://poembooth.weebly.com.
I’ve read “Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist,” by Sunil Yapa, the selection for this year’s Whatcom Read county-wide book group, and it’s not lengthy, but it’s bound to provide some provocative discussion. There are a couple of opportunities to share your thoughts this month, before Yapa comes to Whatcom County March 8-10. Books on Tap, led by Deming Library staff Erin Suda and Katrina Carabba, meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, at North Fork Brewery, 6186 Mt. Baker Highway. For more information, contact the Deming Library at 360-592-2422. Bring your lunch if you want, to Books and Bites, from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at the Blaine Library, 610 Third St. 360-305-3637.
Also, there’ll be a number of other Whatcom READS 2018 events, including performances by local musicians playing songs of protest, social justice, compassion, and hope in February and March. For details, go to whatcomreads.org, or check http://www.ennw.info/ under Bikman’s Best Bets later this month.
Bellingham historian and author Janet Oakley reads from her third historical novel, “Mist-Chi-Mas: A Novel of Captivity,” set in the San Juan Islands the year after the Pig War, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at Seaport Books, a recently opened bookstore in La Conner, at 106 First St. Here’s a teaser for the book’s plot from Oakley: “An innocent woman fleeing scandal not of her own making. A lover once a captive to the northern tribes. An island under joint military occupation. Everyone is bound to something.”
Bellingham Parks and Recreation hosts a mother-daughter travelogue at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Nicole Oliver and Chloe Fearing spent 16 days in September and October of 2017 exploring Prague, Krakow, Levoca, Kosice, Eger and Budapest. Their trip was intentionally balanced between city and countryside, with an emphasis on seeing historic sites, frugality, and getting the most out of each day and each location. Suggested donation is $5; it’s free for members of Whatcom Museum and Whatcom County Historical Society.
And a few events coming up in our region’s lively music world:
Jazz, blues singer and pianist Cheryl Hodge is back after a seven-month gig and workshop tour for her Singers Saturday gig, from 4 to 7 p.m. every Saturday starting this Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Fireside Martini and Wine Bar, in Bakerview Square, 416 W. Bakerview Road. She’ll feature some of the most talented vocalists in our area, and even lead some singalongs, each week. For other gigs at the Fireside, call 360-738-1000 or go to the Fireside on Facebook  or www.firesidemartini.com. Out of courtesy to your hosts, J.D. and Becky Merris, please consider making at least a $5 purchase, tip your server, and remember to give generously to the musicians!
Musical energizer Cayley Schmid once again hosts the Bellingham Folk Festival, Jan. 19-21, based at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St., but with other events happening at the Honey Moon Mead and Cider,  in the alley at 1053 N. State St., Lovitt Restaurant, 1114 Harris Ave. and  Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. Entry ranges from $10 on up for the workshops, performances, dances, and jams for all ages and abilities. For details, call 360-739-7027 or go to www.thebellinghamfolkfestival.com.
The Good Lovelies return to the Lincoln Theatre, 712 S First St., in Mount Vernon, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. They’ll perform from their new album “Shapeshifters.” The first half of the album was recorded last February in the depths of Canadian winter, snowing them in for two days, but they finished up tracking the album with Dan Ledwell in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia, with sun and swimming, so it should make for a stellar album. Details and tickets: 360-336-8955,  http://www.lincolntheatre.org.
ENNW contributor Marla Bronstein says she’s ready to start recruiting and scheduling music for the annual Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series. She’ll be scheduling bands in the next few weeks. The free, family-friendly concerts take place from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday June 21 through Aug. 23 at the Columbia neighborhood park. Bands hopeful of getting in the lineup should give her at least three available Thursday dates. For details, email her at marlaken19@aol.com or go to the Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series on Facebook.