All posts filed under: Features

Features from previous issues of Poetry Northwest

Gabrielle Bates: “Sexy & Self-Quarrelsome”—On Zoe Dzunko’s Selfless

Selfless Zoe Dzunko TAR Chapbook Series, 2016 Yeats proposes that poetry springs from a quarrel with the self, and in Zoe Dzunko’s chapbook Selfless, this inciting act is present in the poems’ final iterations. Expectation and limitation—Dzunko brings to life the internal push and pull of both. The speaker slides in and out of her female bodies and all the expectations—socially prescribed, historically mandated, deeply absorbed—that come with them. By proclaiming the self’s absence in the title, the poet establishes a central, paradoxical desire the poems use as kindling. Selfless’s constant, cerebral burn flares thrillingly in the first short sentence: The time you fucked my face it felt like a feather. Profane and lovely, bodily and abstract, human and animal—as Dzunko continues to pair such dichotomies together, the lines between them blur. At once violent and delicate, the speaker becomes, over the course of the book, a vessel inside which contrasting entities battle, swap fluids, and fuse. Time, fucked. Feather, face. When I say this slim volume offers up, poem after poem, a violently sexy …

Alan Chong Lau: “where the lights are low”

doom’s business / falls in a rag pile / lined with bones

The Subvocal Zoo: Alan Chong Lau and J. W. Marshall – Painting Beyond the Canvas

In this episode, J.W. Marshall talks with Alan Chong Lau at the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle.

Philip Rafferty: “the boldness of our going”—On Linda Russo’s Participant

Participant Linda Russo Lost Roads Publishers, 2016 The relationship between poet and environment is, as Linda Russo says in her title poem “Participant,” “kind of Euclidean.” This Euclidean space—the space between a set of points that satisfies a certain relationship—makes up the wonderful drama of Russo’s book. Her work reads as a contemplative stroll, a responsive and interrelational experience with nature and the world. Participant opens with an epigraph and a definition: Rain All interspersed with weeds, […] Rain Gathered from many wanderings- Rain – Emily Dickinson Rain Wan’der-ing (n.): peregrination; a traveling without a settled course;… Rain – Noah Webster’s American Dictionary (1844) The 19th century dating of Webster’s dictionary represents her first engagement with the Euclidean space she is exploring. We are prompted to imagine a fourteen-year old Emily Dickinson in her Amherst home turning to Webster’s to look up the word. The frame exemplifies the relationship between Dickinson’s “wanderings” and Webster’s “peregrination.” Russo is interested in what she calls “inhabitory” poetics. The poetic mode is one entrenched in place as well as associations, …

The Subvocal Zoo: Daniel Khalastchi and Justin Boening in the Landscape of Poetry

In this episode, editor emeritus Justin Boening talks with Daniel Khalastchi.