Author: Kevin Craft

Carol Light: “Postcards from Ponza, The Prison Island”

To celebrate the passage of the winter solstice, we asked poet Carol Light to brighten our days with postcards from sunny places. Here’s what she she sent us, from a hotspot off the Italian coast… “Ponza is one of the islands of the Italian Pontine archipelago, near Cape Circeo, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The island may have been the haunt of Homer’s infamous sorceress, Circe. Inhabited since Etruscan times, the island served as a place of exile for Romans plotting against emperors, as a penal colony, and as a dazzling vacation spot for celebrities, including Gina Lollobrigida. While visiting Ponza, I became fascinated by the idea of prisons, especially the idiosyncratic prison that contains the self, no matter where one is lucky enough to be. The poem began as a series of postcards written in blank verse.” Postcards from Ponza, the Prison Island   1. My panoramic lens apprehends a hammock slung between two lemon trees. Beyond the terracotta potted palms, grapes cluster, plump slubs twisting through the vineyard’s unwound skeins. Damp towels flap in …

Fall & Winter 2012-13 Issue Now Available

Our Fall – Winter 2012-13 Issue is now available. Featuring cover art by Seattle artist Gala Bent, word sculptures by California artist Cheryl Sorg, and a raft of new poems by Rebecca Hoogs, Troy Jollimore, Karl Kirchwey, Nate Klug, Stanley Plumly, Ed Skoog, Melissa Stein, Kary Wayson, and many others,  it’s essential reading for lyrical travelers everywhere. Three occasions to celebrate with us! WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 7 pm: We’ll unveil the new issue with a special RELEASE READING at ELLIOTT BAY BOOKS, in conjunction with the local debut of POETRY magazine’s centennial anthology OPEN DOOR. Poetry Northwest Editor Kevin Craft and Poetry Senior Editor Don Share will read selections from both publications, along with contributors Rebecca Hoogs, Richard Kenney, Matthew Nienow, and Emily Warn. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 7:30 pm: Our annual Fall Social at NAKED CITY TAPHOUSE, featuring readings by Julie Larios, Laura McKee, Megan Snyder-Camp, and Kary Wayson, music by the Shawn Mickelson Quartet, an epic raffle, and Naked City’s fabulous selection of beer. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 5 pm, Everett, WA: Our annual Holiday Social and Community Poetry …

Sci-Po reading features Katherine Larson, Wednesday, May 9 and Thursday, May 10

We’re pleased welcome recent Yale Younger Poetry Prize and recent Kate Tufts Discovery Award winner Katherine Larson for her northwest debut. Ms. Larson is a featured contributor to the spring Science Issue. She will read from her poetry at The Big Bang, our issue launch party at Liberty Bar on Wednesday, May 10, at 8 pm, alongside fellow Yale Younger Poetry Prize winner and local favorite Richard Kenney. On Thursday, May 10, she’ll participate in Poetry Northwest‘s annual spring symposium, at Everett Community College (at the ORCA lab, located at the Port of Everett Waterfront Center). Click here for more info. In anticipation of her visit, we share the article “Science & Stanzas” that she wrote for The Scientist, about her work as both poet and molecular biologist, and the interesting things they have in common. We also call attention to her recent appearance on the NewsHour, where she talks about her research and writing, and reads several poems in dramatic natural settings, like they did in ancient Greece. Above all, we invite you to join us …

The Science Issue — now available

As languages approaching the mysteries of existence and advancing the limits of human understanding, poetry and science have more in common than you may think. The Spring & Summer 2012 issue is devoted to the theme of the sciences as poets encounter them, and vice versa. Featuring: Linda Bierds, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Timothy Donnelly, Amy Greacen, Bob Hicok, Richard Kenney, Katherine Larson, Sarah Lindsay, and many more. Subscribe now, and we’ll start you off with the best in left brain/right brain thinking. Meanwhile, catch contributors Linda Bierds and Bob Hicok at The Skagit Valley Poetry Festival, Friday & Saturday, May 18 & 19. We’ll be there too. Stop by our table and say hi!

Defending the Territory

Editor Kevin Craft discusses Poetry Northwest, past, present, and future, with Catherine Richardson in the November – December 2011 issue of Poets & Writers. Here’s an excerpt: Despite a brief hiatus, Poetry Northwest has been around for a long time. What’s the key to its longevity? Partly it’s the distinct personality of this part of the world and the poets here who have been involved in the magazine. It’s a voice for the community, a forum for dialogue between this region and other parts of the world. We’re all so socially networked now that Seattle and Minneapolis and New York City seem part of the same circuit, but when you’re out here you do feel a long way from the East Coast. Being a flagship magazine calling attention to what’s going on out here has always been an important part of the magazine’s success. Read the entire interview online, here. Photo Credit: Frank Huster

Marvin Bell: “The Book of the Dead Man (The Northwest)”

Marvin Bell’s nineteenth book was the wartime collection, Mars Being Red (2007). His twentieth is 7 Poets, 4 Days, 1 Book, a collaboration of seven poets from five countries. Long a member of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop faculty, he teaches now for the brief-residency MFA program based in Oregon at Pacific University. The first incarnation of Bell’s The Book of the Dead Man appeared in 1994 (Copper Canyon). A second volume, Ardor, was published in 1997. “About the Dead Man and the Northwest” is from a new, forthcoming collection of “Dead Man” poems. Look for more of Marvin Bell’s poems in Poetry Northwest in the months ahead. ◊ The Book of the Dead Man (The Northwest) +++ Live as if you were already dead. +++ Zen admonition +++ And the fish swim in the lake / and do not even own clothing. +++ Ezra Pound, “Salutation” 1. About the Dead Man and the Northwest Picture the dead man in two rooms in the northwest corner of his being. In the one, it is day, and in the …