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The sound of a poem at Ampersand LIVE

The sound of a poem at Ampersand LIVE

By Forterra NW
With E. J. Koh

Poet E. J. Koh and nine other performers explore the theme of restoration for an evening of storytelling in sound, images, words, and movement.

In times of trouble, joy, and confusion, we look to poetry, flipping through pages or scrolling across screens to find words of consolation, celebration, and sense-making. So when our lands and communities call for restoration — and offer restoration in return — Forterra looked to poet E. J. Koh. Koh is the author of the memoir “The Magical Language of Others” and the poetry collection “A Lesser Love” and is a contributor to this year’s Ampersand LIVE.

For six years, Ampersand LIVE has given artists and thinkers a welcoming and provocative stage from which to share their insights into the places and people of the Pacific Northwest. This year the event is going digital. Our stage will not be the boards of the Moore Theatre as in past years but the fields and groves of the Morse Wildlife and Duwamish Hill Preserves, where we’ll be filming the performances. Ampersand LIVE will stream October 29.

Koh looks forward to the opportunity. “I love to read my work aloud,” she says, “or maybe it’s that I have to. I do it as I write at my desk, saying each word. When I read it for an audience after years, they’re looking into the past. They can hear who I was when I’d written it and who I am now as I read it at present. Every time, it’s different. Every moment is changed when observed again.”

Here she shares her poem “Happy.” “We are witnesses of each other,” she writes. Be a part of Ampersand LIVE. Listen to Koh and the others as they work their art and ideas to bring us closer to this land and one another. Be a witness.

E. J. Koh poem Happy, Ampersand LIVE
"Happy" by E. J. Koh