DENNIS HELD – Poet
Bio: Dennis is one of the cornerstones of Spokane’s poetry scene. He has recently hosted the seasonal reading series, Danger Live Writers, as well as worked in several local schools teaching poetry as part of Eastern Washington University’s Writers in the Community program. His books Betting on the Night (Lost Horse Press) and Ourself (Gribble Press) are frequently sold out at Aunties’ Bookstore in Spokane.
I’m a fan of porches from way back, especially those old-fashioned front porches that people used to sit on and holler out to the people who were walking by on the sidewalk, back when people still walked and hollered. Lots of good visiting got done on and around those porches. (The often-overlooked author Reynolds Price has a great book about porches, by the by.)
My friend Bea lives in West Central, and I helped paint her house, once. She has chickens and a huge garden, and my old friend Bill Wiley used to live next door, bless his belated banjo-picking heart. So I have some series West-Central time under my belt.
“Community” is actually a web of obligations and opportunities to help each other, thereby building good relationships between people. (Back in Wisconsin, when my grandpa’s neighbor, Harvey Metzger, got his tractor stuck trying to plow too early – which he did every spring – “community” meant that my grandpa had to quit what he was doing and go down there with his team of draft horses and pull old Harvey out of the mud.)
People should come to Porchfest because it has porches in it, and it’s free.