All posts tagged: David Biespiel

Interview // David Biespiel

By Kevin Craft | “The literary voice is the embodiment of individual dignity. Because both writing and reading require mutual interaction, the literary is communal. That’s the paradigm I’m reiterating. The writer’s interior consciousness is tethered to the aspirations of other people.”

David Biespiel: Pssst… A New Era Dawning for Poetry Northwest

Dear Friends: Arriving on our office doorstep today are a dozen cardboard boxes filled with copies of the newest issue of Poetry Northwest. It sports a sensational cover with art work by our staff artist, Philip Sylvester. As a nod to the magazine’s original legacy as a poetry-only journal for over four decades, I had intended this issue to be an all-poetry issue, and my staff has cringed every time I made the lame joke, “How’s The Poetry Issue coming?”

David Biespiel: “A Sense of Form and a Sense of Life”

Here’s hoping it’s not too late to finally answer the question,   “What is it you’re looking for in a poem?” David Biespiel In your hands is my last issue as editor of this magazine. Before I pass along the inky reins and Internet codes to the next editor, however, it’s with enormous gratitude that I thank you for allowing me into your homes and libraries. No one values the contemporary reader of poetry more than an editor of a magazine of contemporary poems, and that includes me. Since I was appointed editor almost five years ago and charged with resurrecting Poetry Northwest from the dead, the staff of the magazine—and let me pause here to say what an outstanding staff they are, far superior to their editor, I assure you, from lifers William Bernhard, Edward Derby, Heather Guidero, Roger Leigh, Phil Sylvester, and to veterans Caitlin Dwyer, Franny French, Liz Fuller, Shanna Germain, Jade Pekkala, David Robinson, Claire Sykes, Amanda Turner, Kate Wheatcroft, and Chalcey Wilding, to newcomers John Blackard, Jeff Lytle, and the many …

Old Masters, Neglected Masters, Non-Masters, and Gems

For Dust Thou Art by Timothy Liu Southern Illinois University Press, 2005. $14.95 No bland heterosexist suburban poems of backyard sparrows here, Timothy Liu’s latest book, For Dust Thou Art, offers a smorgasbord of impudent isms: onanism, terrorism, “jism,” and solipsism. Titillating perhaps, but stick to the salad bar. The book’s title from Genesis 3:19 misleadingly window dresses a store of randy words, from “good head easier to get than a vintage Merlot” from the first section of the book to “linen falling off our laps as boytoys bathe” from the last section of the book. They sandwich some unsurprising poems in the middle that fetishize 9/11—“A fireman’s boot / exhumed at last—strange trophy / from rubble still too hot to touch” or “Every possible pleasure to be indulged for the world was at an end.” The middle section’s mediocrity begs the question: what of the failure of any poet so far to achieve a “Wasteland” from 9/11? While these poems may stimulate, they fail to surprise, much less catalyze new understanding of people and …