Author: EC

The Big Bang: Poetry & Science

Poetry Northwest presents The Science Issue The editors of Poetry Northwest are pleased to present the Spring-Summer 2012 edition of the magazine, a special theme issue exploring the intersections of poetry and science. As languages approaching the mysteries of existence and advancing the limits of human understanding, poetry and science have more in common than is commonly believed.The Science Issue presents a variety of poets who engage directly and indirectly with the sciences—from astrophysics and quantum mechanics to geology, botany, ornithology, and marine biology. It includes poets who are also scientists, like Katherine Larson (a molecular biologist, and recent Yale Younger Poets Prize and Kate Tufts Discovery award winner) and Amit Majmudar (who serves in the honorable tradition of the poet-physicians). It also includes a meditation on poetry by historian of science and University of Puget Sound professor Mott Greene. Featured writers include: Linda Bierds, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Timothy Donnelly, Forest Gander, Amy Greacen, Bob Hicok, Richard Kenney, Katherine Larson, Sarah Lindsay, and many more. “I’ve always taken a deep interest in the sciences—biology, astronomy, and physics in particular,” says editor Kevin Craft. “And I’m fascinated by the representational overlap between poetry …

Afterwords // The Falconer-Poet

Andrew Feld’s new book of poems, Raptors, revolves around his time working in a bird rehabilitation center in Oregon, where he learned to do things like “trim a golden eagle.” Last night at Open Books he explained that what drew him to write poems about raptors is that it’s such a rich metaphor, such a “flexible and generative emblem,” whether for the beloved, for the wilderness, or for the unknowable. “You have them, they’re domesticated, but you never have the slightest indication that they love you.” Feld read mostly out of the new book, but also shared one brand new, birdless poem, which he described as an obituary from the future: “Unsurprisingly, I’m writing a whole new series. I never seem to be capable of writing just one poem.”  

Afterwords // Jeanine Walker Takes on the Thirsty Masses at Cheap Wine & Poetry

     Last night at the always packed CW&P reading series we pushed our way up to the front row and chatted with writer Jeanine Walker before she took the stage. Tara Hardy, Kristen McHenry and Kathleen Flenniken followed.  PoNW: How did you decide what you were going to read here tonight? Jeanine Walker: Well, I went through the 100 poems that I thought I could potentially read without being super embarrassed and then revised the order over and over and over again. I only planned one joke, but it’s towards the beginning of the set, so the whole rest of it might not be funny. PoNW: One joke. So, do you feel like you need to tell jokes here? JW: I do feel like I need to tell jokes here. PoNW: How come? JW: Because it’s a crowd that wants to laugh. It’s like half stand-up comedian/half poet here tonight. But that’s good because I always wanted to be a stand-up comedian. It works for me. PoNW: Perfect. JW: I hope it works for me, …

Afterwords // Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo Honored at the SPL

Readings for Chinese writer and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20 Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium http://www.spl.org/locations/central-library/cen-events-at-the-central-library?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D98928579 Join us for a short film and an evening of bilingual readings from the work of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo. When Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he was represented by an empty chair at the ceremony in Oslo. Liu Xiaobo has been in detention in his home country of China for more than three years, following his involvement in creating and publishing the human rights manifesto, “Charter 08.” Liu is a renowned literary critic, writer, and political activist. Two recent books in English translation are No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems and June Fourth Elegies. This event is part of an international effort organized by the Berlin International Literature Festival. Cultural institutions, schools, and others will participate in a worldwide reading of prose and poems by Liu Xiaobo on March 20, 2012. Readers include: – Seattle poets: Kevin Craft, Sharon Cumberland, Kathleen Flenniken, Alan Lau, Erin Malone, and …

Afterwords // Don’t Ask and Don’t Tell; Conversations About the Weather, Bulimia, Popsicles and Acronyms

By Kristen Steenbeeke, Contributing Writer Last Friday night’s installment of the Hugo House Literary Series http://hugohouse.org/content/hugo-literary-series mixed a self-described fat, bulimic, black boy, a singing/viola-and-violin-playing musician, a blond swimmer/memoirist from Oregon, and a self-proclaimed “fag hag” (who also happens to be, as everyone pointed out that night, a MacArthur Genius). Performance artist and writer Chad Goller-Sojourner, violinist/violist Alex Guy of the band Led to Sea, memoirist and fiction writer Lidia Yuknavitch, and the famed poet Heather McHugh all read original pieces on the theme “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — both the secretive aspect of it as well as the literal, political side. Goller-Sojourner — first joking that he asked his friends what they were doing over the weekend just so he could tell them he was “sharing the stage with a MacArthur Genius” — read three brief, humorous essays on topics ranging from his adoption to failing P.E. to the moment he was forced to confront and end his bulimia. Especially relatable was his description of those giant, scratchy ropes attached to gym ceilings pinned up …

Poetry Northwest Recommends…

Yes, the rain is back–and, with it, some fantastic literary events. We’re putting up our hoods (umbrellas so unnecessary) and tromping out onto the scene, people. This is just the beginning. See you there!   Dorianne Laux reads at Seattle Arts & Lectures, Wed. Oct. 5, 7:30 pm http://www.lectures.org/season/poetry_series.php?id=314   Wordstock, Portland, OR; Oct. 6-9 http://www.wordstockfestival.com/   TagSale and Readings by Heather Christle, Zachary Schomberg, and Kary Wayson, hosted by Kate Lebo at the Richard Hugo House; Tues. Oct. 11, 7 pm http://hugohouse.org/content/tag-sale-and-readings-heather-christle-zachary-schomburg-kary-wayson   Heather McHugh: The Ecstasy of Influence; Thurs. Oct. 20, 8-9:30 pm http://townhallseattle.org/city-arts-festival-heather-mchugh-the-ecstasy-of-influence/   Wave Books’ 3 Days of Poetry: Poetry in Translation; Nov. 4-6 http://www.wavepoetry.com/   Terrance Hayes reads at Seattle Arts & Lectures; Thurs. Dec. 8, 7:30 pm http://www.lectures.org/season/poetry_series.php?id=313   Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience at the Frye; Thurs. Jan. 5, 7pm http://fryemuseum.org/event/4191/

Carolyn Kizer’s Voice: A Student’s View

  I am over-the-moon happy that Poetry Northwest is celebrating my friend and mentor, Carolyn Kizer. I am blessed to have had her in my life at Eastern Washington University, where I attended evening grad school and where she served as the guest instructor of poetry workshops. I have loved her since 1989 and own every book she’s written, each lovingly inscribed with some personal notation suited to the time and events of our meetings. Not enough people understand just how kind and funny she is. I remember, once, when several wickedly talented author/instructors joined Carolyn’s class and were all foot-to-foot packed together at one table, she held up a student’s prose poem—every sentence prefaced with the “eff” word—and calmly said: “Well, what we have here is a great poem about salmonberries. We just need to get rid of a bucketful of ‘eff-its.’” After she edited out every four-letter offense it was quite a lovely poem, and our mixed group was a riot of laughter. In Carolyn’s classroom, all writing was treated with dignity served up …