“In the background always a lake, / always the one you kept trying to row across.”
“baptized in loose silt / of Mississippi relish”
By Erin Malone | Editor
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 …
and you in jersey gown and bare feet seek the same spot
The form itself gives me hope.
The Winter-Spring 2016 issue is upon us at last. Hey, we still have a few days until the equinox, right? Or, as one reader recently joked: “Winter in the Northwest lasts until June,” so we can stand by our timing with pride. And we are especially proud of this issue. Volume 10.2 of the New Series, it marks the completion of a vibrant decade of weaving together poetry, civic culture, and the visual arts. We have taken great joy in exploring our roots as a Northwest trading post while reinventing ourselves for the global digital age. This issue concentrates our best efforts over the last ten years to ensure that Poetry Northwest remains a vital part of print culture in this region and everywhere that poets roam. We’re pleased to feature new poems from Joan Swift, who first contributed to the magazine in 1959, and Tod Marshall, our newly minted Washington state Poet Laureate. In between, you’ll find exceptional new work from a wide range of thoughtful, big-hearted, energetic poets, including Laura Da’, Rebecca Hoogs, …
The eye leans out to those white wings / Molded in flight like waxen things / To slender stems.
Featuring Keith Leonard interviewed by Poetry Northwest editor Kevin Craft.