Author: Kevin Craft

Hello Goodbye Hello

Kevin Craft (Editor 2010 – 2016) Signs Off   Most poetry readers I know chuckle wearily at the steady stream of “poetry is dead” articles that have appeared with astonishing tenacity in various venues, including The New York Times, these past few years. The authors of these articles agonize in some way or another over poetry’s irrelevance to modern culture: poetry is too abstract and obscure, they argue, too much an insider’s game, divorced from the real wants and needs (to borrow a phrase from Whitman’s early review of Keats’s poems) of actual bodies in the 21st century. But why should poetry worry over its relationship to popular culture? Must it be popular (or topical) in order to be vital, in order to sustain a reader, or fortify a readership? What happens to those who win (or live by) popularity contests in the contemporary cultural grind? We know all too well that the speed of the attention-getting news cycle is debilitating. Presidential primaries come and go, talk radio blathers on, discourse hardens, partisans lob grenades …

Spring and All: New Issue, New Editors, New Books

Poetry Northwest changes editors, and adds a publishing house SEATTLE, WA – Poetry Northwest (the region’s oldest literary magazine, established in 1959) has just published volume 10.2 in its New Series, marking the completion of a vibrant decade of the magazine in its expanded format. The Winter & Spring 2016 issue features new poems from Joan Swift, who first contributed to the magazine in 1959, and Tod Marshall, who was recently appointed the fourth Washington state Poet Laureate. It includes exceptional new work from a wide range of poets, such as Laura Da’, Rebecca Hoogs, Joan Naviyuk Kane, Keetje Kuipers, Richard Kenney, Claudia Castro Luna, J. W. Marshall, Katrina Roberts, Rich Smith, Nance van Winckel, and many more. The magazine also continues a long tradition of exploring the interconnectedness of poetry and the visual arts. The current issue features three unique series of images from prominent Northwest artists, each series interwoven with the text: David Hytone supplied the gorgeous cover; Emily Gherard works shadowy wonders with graphite; and Kelly Froh, light-hearted comic genius, riffs off poems by Hoogs and Smith. …

A Celebration of Carolyn Kizer

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 Swenson, and Carolyne Wright. Co-sponsored by Hugo House, Copper Canyon Press, and Poetry Northwest. Visit Hugo House for more details, and to RSVP, here.

Seattle’s Favorite Poems – Thursday, 9/18, 7:30 pm

Seattle’s Favorite Poems with Robert Pinsky – Free Event! THU, SEP 18, 2014, 7:30 PM Town Hall Seattle Celebrate beloved poems with other local poetry lovers in this special event, which is free and open to the public. Initiated in 1999, Seattle’s Favorite Poems brings together local luminaries, poets, and community members for an evening of –you guessed it–everyone’s favorite poems. Featured readers include Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate; Poet Heather McHugh; and Aidan Lang, Seattle Opera’s General Director. Hosted by KUOW’s Marcie Sillman, the night will also feature community members reading their chosen poems. Presented by: Town Hall, Seattle Public Library, Poetry Northwest, Seattle Arts & Lectures, and Hugo House. Elliott Bay Book Company is the partner bookseller for this event. Tickets: This event is free and open to the public; no registration required.

Margin Call – printer’s error in current issue

A Note to Readers & Subscribers: We recently discovered, after mailing and distribution of the current issue (Volume 9, Number 1 – aka The Social Media Issue) that an uncertain number of copies contain a substantial printer’s error. An unknown number in our print run were trimmed to the wrong margin (10″ x 8″ instead of 10.5″ by 8″), thereby cutting into the buffer of white space around each page. Fortunately, this error does not mar, cut into, or otherwise affect any of the poems or visual art reproduced in the issue. It does, however,  cut off the title of the Back/Draft page, and make the Table of Contents look unusually crowded. The correct page / image should look like this:                   The miscut issue looks like this:                   You can also see the difference in the TOC in this comparative image:                   We sincerely apologize for this error and any inconvenience …

Poetry Northwest // AWP Seattle 2014

Poetry Northwest is proud to be a sponsor of the AWP Conference in Seattle, February 26 – March 1, 2014. Find us at the Book Fair (South Hall, Table BB40), along with students and faculty of the Everett Community College Written Arts AFA program, who help produce each print issue. Please come visit us to pick up a copy of our latest issue, and learn about our plans for 2014 and beyond to ensure that Poetry Northwest remains the most vibrant poetry magazine in the region. 

Notable Books (NW) – Reviews of Mary Szybist, Robert Wrigley, Nance Van Winckel, and more

NOTABLE BOOKS (NW) – Fall-Winter 2014 The reviews included in this feature section were first published in our fall-winter 2014 print issue. Incarnadine, Mary Szybist (Graywolf Press, 2013) Readers have waited a long while for Mary Szybist’s second book, Incarnadine, and that seems right. In an age of gush and glut, Szybist works patiently; her poems exude painstaking care, every line fleshed out (or broken), every word placed (or erased), just so. I mean this quite literally: titles like “How (Not) to Speak of God” and “On Wanting to Tell [       ] about a Girl Eating Fish Eyes” demonstrate how in Szybist’s hands words both fill and empty out the spaces they occupy (in the breath, on the page). The effect is helped by the lovely, large-format book design, which amplifies the white space around each poem. And concrete instances, like the sentence diagram “It Is Pretty to Think” or the aforementioned star-shaped “How (Not) to Speak of God,” embody the lyrical impulse to make the felt world visible with persuasive tact. But this is …

Now available: The Photography Issue

Dear Readers, We’re pleased to report that the Spring-Summer special issue is now available– The Photography Issue— our biggest and best yet. It features poetry by Sierra Nelson, Troy Jollimore, Ellen Bass, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Francis McCue, Andrew Zawacki, and Nicky Beer, photography by Doug Keyes, Nance Van Winckel, Dianne Kornberg, and a special feature on the work of Mary Randlett, including rare photos of the last days of Theodore Roethke. There’s also a special section, Film Roll: An Expose in 24 Frames, curated with contributing editor Andrew Zawacki,  featuring a film roll’s worth of short takes on the intersections of poetry & photography, including pieces by C.D. Wright, Sharon Olds, John Yau, Paisley Rekdal, Joshua Edwards, Martha Ronk, Susan Wheeler, and many others. Throughout the issue, we examine and re-envision the intersections of poetry and photography, from the origins of the photograph to the state of the image in the digital age. Now’s the time to subscribe to ensure this special reaches you. And watch for more po-photographic inquiry in this space all summer long…

Rachel Kessler: “59 Goodbyes”

  While the tang of resolution still hangs in the new year air… Poet Rachel Kessler shows us how to let go. She reports: “This poem was written during a Vis-à-Vis Society experiment. The Vis-à-Vis Society is a group of poet-scientists dedicated to the analysis of the everyday.”           59 Goodbyes   Goodbye serious Goodbye writing overly serious poems Goodbye taking everything so seriously Goodbye making everything into a joke Goodbye shame Goodbye dog poop in the basement Goodbye talking shit while doing naught Goodbye plot Goodbye pee in the wrong place Goodbye credit card debt Goodbye hip-hurting shoes Goodbye cold feet Goodbye shed dog hair drifting Goodbye drinking wine too quickly Goodbye dehydration Goodbye hoarding thriftstore clothes Goodbye feeling sad about being fat Goodbye fitness fantasy Goodbye falling asleep while driving Goodbye too-tight pants Goodbye taking it personally Goodbye impulse control Goodbye confessionalism Goodbye yelling in the morning Goodbye Romney Goodbye worrying about silences Goodbye explaining Goodbye smiling reflexively Goodbye waking up at 2:00 a.m. Goodbye waking up at 4:00 a.m. Goodbye …