Archives

Matthew Rohrer: “Hey There, Mr. Blue”

The third issue of Poetry Northwest, our special Music Issue, features prose by poets on the subject of music. This month we preview this Spring-Summer 2007 (v2.n1) special issue with an online exclusive: poet Matthew Rohrer writing about his all-time favorite band, Electric Light Orchestra. Rohrer has been listening to ELO since 1978, even through the dark times, when it was decidedly uncool. Hey There, Mr. Blue It was over a hundred degrees outside because it was Oklahoma, but inside our house it was perfectly cool, sometimes too cool, like something out of the future. And everyone’s house was this cool, and everything else was too, so essentially one moved through town (only when necessary) in an air-conditioned car, from chilly house to chilly movie theater to chilly grocery store. We might as well have been living on a moon colony because we needed advanced technology just to survive. Which I only mention because that day when I stood in the living room with the stereo—my parents’ stereo, the one made to look like wood—and …

Floyd Skloot: “Signac at Castellane, 1902”

Oregon’s Floyd Skloot is the subject of this month’s feature exclusive to Poetry Northwest Online as a part of our recurring series on Northwest poets. The series began with the June 2006 feature on Kevin Craft. Skloot, a native of New York, has been living in Oregon for the past twenty-two years. His poetry has appeared in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, and Poetry. We’re delighted to feature two of his poems: “Signac at Castellane, 1902” and “Recurrence.”

Meghan O’Rourke: “Elegy, 1972”

Meghan O’Rourke’s “Elegy, 1972” appears in the Fall-Winter 2006-07 (v1.n2) issue of Poetry Northwest. Of her poem she writes: ” ‘Elegy, 1972’ was written after I had been thinking a lot about the fact that most elegies are for people the author knew, but sometimes it is the people one doesn’t know for whom one feels the most poignant or pressing sense of melancholy. Elegiac loss, in other words, is a metaphor for bigger kinds of spiritual loss, and it’s possible to represent that loss by writing an elegy for the unknown—in this case, say, by writing about a grandfather who died before the speaker was born. “It’s common to wonder (or worry) about what we will miss out on after we die, but much less common to worry about the events that took place before our birth. This seemed both natural and odd to me — natural, because we know certain things about life before our arrival, and odd, because of course we don’t really know all that much about it. It took a …

Mail, v1.n2 Fall-Winter 2006-07

Dear Editor: As a former subscriber and contributor, I was excited to receive a copy of the new Poetry Northwest in the mail along with an invitation to subscribe. But no thanks. Normally, I stay out of the fray (this is the first letter I’ve ever written to any publication) but I received a copy a few days after the one-year anniversary of the death of my mother, Margaret Hodge, a venerable “Northwest” poet who contributed to Poetry Northwest many times, and I feel I must speak through her will, as well as for myself. Though I was thrilled to see new work by Stanley Plumly, C. K. Willliams, etc., anyone who knows anything about Northwest poetry knows that beginning the issue with several poems by meta-language poet extraordinaire Richard Kenney is a screeching announcement that the new guard has triumphed over the old. Why be so blatant about your triumph in the first issue and risk alienating so many readers? And then there’s your review of the selected Roethke! (“Some Books,” Spring 2006) To …

Phillis Levin: “A Rhinoceros at the Prague Zoo”

Phillis Levin’s “A Rhinoceros at the Prague Zoo” is one of the lead poems in the Fall-Winter 2006-07 (v1.n2) issue of Poetry Northwest. When asked to submit a few comments about the piece, she provided us with an illuminating overview: “‘A Rhinoceros at the Prague Zoo’ was provoked into being by a photograph on the front page of the New York Times on August 14, 2002. When I picked up the paper that morning, I saw the picture of a rhinoceros hanging mid-air, his eyes covered by a blindfold, his belly surrounded by big red straps that looked just like suspenders (and they were, quite literally). The image appeared bizarre, almost comical. But the blindfold was disturbing, though it, too, possessed an aura of the absurd, since its pattern was so familiar (at first glance I did not comprehend what it actually was, one of those typical checkered napkins so common in pubs and taverns). “The caption explained the reason for the blindfold, and the dire nature of the situation in Prague, where the Vltava …

Fall & Winter 2006-2007

Yves Bonnefoy watches lightning Meghan O’Rourke on grief in 1972 Phillis Levin finds an acorn and puts “on a hat like that” Charles Wright: “The mind’s the affliction” Walk the Line screenwriter Gill Dennis listens to Johnny Cash & considers poetic voice Plus: Elizabeth Bradfield, Venus Khoury-Ghata, Albert Goldbarth, & David Wojahn Cover art by Timothy Chapman Get new issues in your mailbox. Subscriptions are available starting at $15.