About Lyn Coffin
Lyn Coffin, nominated by PEN - Washington, located in Seattle, is part of PEN - USA, an international organization of writers committed to literary excellence and fighting censorship world-wide. It was founded in 1921 by D.H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad and others to protect the rights of writers around world to stimulate interest in the written world and foster a vital literary community among diverse writers, journalists, critics, editors and translators.
Seven of Lyns books have been published: three of poetry, four of translation (Czech and Russian). She advises Circle of Friends for Mental Health, mentors teens through Center for Spiritual Livings Coming of Age program, taught meditation at Purdy Prison. Lyn has read at Bumbershoot, Burning Word, Elliot Bay, Hugo House, Frye Art Museum, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared in Real Change; she was featured on a television show about homelessness. Lyn was a Words' Worth poet. She won a Bart Baxter, a Jeanne Lohmann, and a Francine Porad award, and taught Creative Writing at Renton High, through WITS. Namaste.
Why I Moved to Seattle
Two years ago, on a Michigan Valentines Day, I waited at the cleaners with my bag of soiled clothing while a nice young man gave explicit instructions on how he wanted his shirts to be starched-
Lightly, he said, so I wont feel constricted, The younger counter-woman leaned forward, blushing-
I wanted to shout, Hey, Girl with a bosom, and you, half-starched Shirt-boy! Quit messing with words.
Go to it-just do it! They were cuter than puppies, though, big-eyed and wriggling: for a moment, it seemed life might work for us all: they would marry, have kids. Id start liking my husband. SUDDENLY from the back of the store came a voice like a fist as it's choking a chicken. "Tilda? Tilda! The three of us cowered, caught red-handed in the bloody till of romantic illusion.
We knew our collective goose was a cinder, turning on the end of the stick of that voice. A great laundry Mamoo burst through from the back. Tilda! she said, Theres a customer waiting! The words were like moths (kamikaze, clichéd): for though Tilda was pretty, and no more than twenty, one could see in her mother what she would become! I looked, horror-struck, as did never-now-lover-boy; Tilda shrank in our stares like warmed-up Saran wrap--
Young Lochinvar grabbed back his shirts and he fled. Tilda was crying. I slunk out the door... Back at the car, my meter had hoisted the cherry-red flag of new Violation… So I got in the car and drove straight to Seattle, my flight from the Midwest both final and fast… At 62, Ive found unpaid employment--
escaping a future chockful of my past.