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May 5, 2015 – 9:57 am |

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About This Project

The editors of Poetry Northwest will produce six audio interviews with poets each year. What we have in mind is fun: we’ll be accompanying the …

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Interview // Jane Hirshfield

July 11, 2015 – 8:00 am |

By Maggie Trapp

Jane Hirshfield is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently The Beauty (Knopf, 2015), as well as two books of essays, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Knopf, 2015) and Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (Harper Perennial, 1997). Hirshfield’s honors include The Poetry Center Book Award; fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets; Columbia University’s Translation Center Award; and (both twice) The California Book Award and the Northern California Book Reviewers Award. In 2012 she was received the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry. In fall 2004, Jane Hirshfield was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets, an honor formerly held by such poets as Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Elizabeth Bishop. In 2012, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

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I have been reading Jane Hirshfield’s poetry for years, but it was only relatively recently that I was introduced to her critical prose when I was told by a friend to read Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry two years ago. Reading this collection of essays on poetry was eye opening, and it has changed my teaching and informed my own writing in numerous ways. When I learned that Hirshfield was coming out with a new book of essays that carry on the work done in Nine Gates, I knew I wanted to talk with her about her ideas as well as her process. Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World is a gorgeous book, and I feel honored to have been able to talk with Hirshfield about it. (Maggie Trapp)

In Ten Windows you write, “This book continues the investigation begun in an earlier volume, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. The questions pursued by poems themselves are speckled, partial, and infinite. These books, though, pursue as well a single question: How do poems—how does art—work? Under that question, inevitably, is another: How do we? Inside the intricate clockworks of language and music, event and life, what allows and invites us to feel and know as we do, and then to increase our feeling and knowing?” (vii–viii) What spurred you to write Ten Windows? What need in you, and/or what lack in the world, do you see this book as addressing?

Philip Larkin published a book of essays under the title, Required Writing. I suppose my essays are “required thinking,” because I write them when asked to speak thoughtfully about poetry in public—each of the pieces in the book began as a talk. But if I’m going to spend two or three months writing, and if some number of people will spend an hour of their lives listening to and later reading what I’ve written, I want that quotient of life to go toward something interesting, and, I hope, a little new, a little unusual. Tap-root questions are where my curiosity lies. How do poems help us carry the uncertainty that is part of the human condition? Why is paradox such a ubiquitous route to enlarged knowledge? If you begin with nothing at all, what goes into the making of poems? How is it that poems we’ve read a hundred times still have the capacity to move us to tears? A good question is for me the start of discovery—it focuses attention, the way a physical window invites and governs the direction of looking out that will happen through it. Read the full story »

The Subvocal Zoo: Michael Bazzett – Finding the Inner Weird

June 20, 2015 – 8:00 am |

Poetry Northwest‘s monthly podcast series, The Subvocal Zoo, features editors and friends of the magazine interviewing poets. Each episode features lively conversation between writers in a different location.

Episode 7 features Michael Bazzett in conversation with Justin Boening. Topics of discussion include …

Interview // Sandra Lim

April 27, 2015 – 7:35 am |

By Diana Khoi Nguyen | Contributing Writer
Sandra Lim is the author of two collections of poetry, Loveliest Grotesque (Kore, 2006) and The Wilderness (W.W. Norton, 2014), winner of the 2013 Barnard Women Poets Prize, selected …

Emily Bedard: “Reading Lucie Brock-Broido in Mexico”

April 20, 2015 – 8:00 am | One Comment

Seattle Arts & Lectures is delighted to be partnering with Poetry Northwest to be launching a series of original essays and reflections on some of the speakers in our Poetry Series. This first installation, poet and …

AWP Minneapolis 2015: Photo Essay

April 18, 2015 – 3:48 pm |

Photography by: Aaron Barrell, William Camponovo, Bill Carty, Matthew Kelsey, Katharine Ogle

Interview // Dorothea Lasky

March 9, 2015 – 10:49 am |

By Diana Khoi Nguyen | Contributing Writer
Dorothea Lasky was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She earned a BA at Washington University and an MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has published …

~ New Issue Release Reading ~

February 28, 2015 – 5:33 pm |

March 4
7:30 pm
Phinney Books
7405 Greenwood Ave. N
Featuring local luminaries
Elizabeth Austen, Suzanne Bottelli,
Jessica Gigot, Laura Shoemaker,
and Kary Wayson
free!  come celebrate the new issue
in style…

“Dismal Situations”: Loneliness, Racism, and Knowing the Present Through Verse

February 24, 2015 – 7:18 pm |

By Jack Chelgren | Special Projects Intern and Contributing Writer
As a word is
mostly connotation,
 matter is mostly
(The same loneliness
that separates me
 from what I call
“the world.”)
— Rae Armantrout, “A Resemblance”
It’s afternoon not long ago. I’m listening to …

A Celebration of Carolyn Kizer

January 17, 2015 – 12:57 pm |

Sunday, January 18, 2015, 4:00 pm

Poets from across the country come together for a memorial celebration of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and former Seattleite Carolyn Kizer. Readers include Willis Barnstone, Kevin Craft, Carol Muske-Dukes, Tess Gallagher, Judith Emlyn Johnson, Sierra Nelson, David Rigsbee, Tree …

Interview // Bob Hicok

December 21, 2014 – 8:05 am |

By Diana Khoi Nguyen | Contributing Writer
Bob Hicok was born in 1960 in Michigan and worked for many years in the automotive die industry. A published poet long before he earned his MFA, Hicok is …

Afterwords // Patricia Lockwood: The Hour of Bewilderment

November 6, 2014 – 11:33 am |

By Elizabeth Cooperman and Matthew Kelsey
On July 10, 2014, Patricia Lockwood read at avicheattle’s Elliot Bay Book Company from her most recent book of poems, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals. The room–a book-lined basement annex with a …