Arts & Entertainment

Pendleton poet to join Portland Cello Project for concert

The Portland Cello Project returns to the Red Room on Nov. 6 and this time the nine-member group will be joined by a Pendleton poet.

Shaindel Beers is an English teacher by day, but after the school bell rings, her prose flows.

The cello project borrowed a few of Beers' poems from her book The Children's War, and put them to music. "The poetry is based on pictures created by kids who are survivors of war in their home countries," said cellist Doug Jenkins. "I chose three poems from the book and composed some music based on those poems."

Beers will read two of the three poems, then the Portland Cello Project will play the musical version of each.

"Her poems didn't have titles at the time, but I gave the pieces of music titles based on the lines from her poems," Jenkins said. "Writing the music was really just like trying to capture colors and moods. But it's heavy stuff. There was a lot of weight and emotion to translate from the world of pure words to the world of pure sound."

Beers has won numerous awards, including the Karen Fredericks and Frances Willitts Poetry Prize in 2008; Grand prize and co-winner of the Trellis Magazine sestina contest in 2008; and first place in the Dylan Days Poetry competition in 2007. Her poem A Brief History of Time also was nominated for a Pushcart prize in 2004.

Her writing has appeared in national journals and anthologies. In addition to teaching, Beers is poetry editor for Contrary Magazine.

Portland Cello Project is made up of several cellists, ranging from four to 20. About six musicians will appear at the Red Room gig. The event is open to all ages. Admission is $6 in advance or $8 at the door. Tickets at the Red Room, 711 Vineyard St., Kennewick.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;