All posts tagged: from the editors

Hello Goodbye Hello

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 …

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

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 …