All posts tagged: John Berryman

Allen Frost: “Robert Huff in Bellingham”

Birds carried fifteen years away Like an abandoned nest, put them To rest somewhere I couldn’t see —Robert Huff, from “Traditional Red.” Twenty years is a lot of birds passing overhead and almost enough time to wear away the memory of one who watched below. There is scant mention of Robert Huff in Contemporary Authors which is also out of date. It doesn’t even mention his death two decades ago. The four books published during his life are long out of print. It’s as if he’s been left in a state of limbo. For weeks, I’ve tried to track down information on him, writing to artists, professors and students who knew him here in Bellingham, Washington. There are people who helped immeasurably in the making of this. Filling in the rest of the details I had to rely on my own detective work. In the summer of 1964, Robert Huff arrived in Bellingham, hired by then-Western Washington State College as an associate professor of English. He filled out a mimeograph Thumbnail Sketch form for recent …

On PageBoy Magazine

Dear artistes, watch out, we are officially courting you, beautiful you. As of today, Poetry Northwest hereby dedicates a whole section of the Community Page to the local visual arts community—especially to artists who work symbiotically with poets and/or somehow make use of the art-of-poetry. In this space we hope to showcase existing cross-genre collaborations as well as forge new love relationships based on the laws of opposites-attract, bitter grass-greener jealousies, and the other forces that bring us together but keep us apart. The inaugural entry for Pen to Palette features an excerpt from the second issue of PageBoy Magazine, a literary journal whose work in this particular domain inspires us. PageBoy, edited by longtime Seattle resident and poet Thomas Walton, designates a portion of each issue to a Q&A with the cover artist. Several full-page color plates of additional images by the artist appear at the centerfold, alongside the aforementioned editor-to-artist banter. Below Walton chats with Portland-area artist Natalie Phillips about her early childhood forays into drawing kissing people & accordions, the power of narrative suggestion in Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World,” and the subtle differences …

David Biespiel: “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 …