All posts tagged: photography

Sierra Nelson: “The First Photograph”

Over the next several weeks, we will feature Pushcart Prize-nominated work from recent issues of Poetry Northwest. First up: a poem from Sierra Nelson, one of our nominees for the 2014 Pushcart anthology. The First Photograph +++Inspired by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s first image Perihelion, closest to the sun. Heliography, the image. Hasn’t there been a moment you never wanted to leave? An outward listlessness, but inwardly lit, light-sensitive? Previous tests revealed how a feeling, made transparent, could be transferred to stones. Hold still, we said to the trees, the slanting rooftops. Uncap the lens and we are in France. Through the pinprick it all came to us, how close we were, upside down, several hours on the windowsill. We were surfaces arranged to receive. The pewter plate revealed buildings turning into salt, sliding away from themselves, what we could see but did not know, the graininess of the shadows. Later we passed through many hands, centuries. We had to leave. Yet I capture you. Close to the sun. I coated my longing in bitumen. — …

Andrew Zornoza: “Mirrors in the City of the Dead”

When I began to write my first book, Where I Stay, I was trying to erase the memory of certain photographs that had followed me my whole life.  I think everyone has objects like that — letters from lost friends, dried flowers, old keychains — these objects stay in some box at the back of a dusty drawer.  After years of struggling with the form of the book, I decided to just paste these photographs into the novel.  But putting photographs with text is problematic — it disrupts the suspension of disbelief that is critical to any viewing experience.  I came to an uneasy peace with this disruption — and learned to work with the space between the photographs and the sentences.  This was important to me, a type of absence.  I couldn’t have articulated that back then: I was just a kid. I had never been to Paris.  Rodenbach, I would have thought, a type of malt liquor; Levy-Dhurmer, a jeans store at the mall.  But, now, even after I’ve long retired Where I …

Now available: The Photography Issue

Dear Readers, We’re pleased to report that the Spring-Summer special issue is now available– The Photography Issue— our biggest and best yet. It features poetry by Sierra Nelson, Troy Jollimore, Ellen Bass, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Francis McCue, Andrew Zawacki, and Nicky Beer, photography by Doug Keyes, Nance Van Winckel, Dianne Kornberg, and a special feature on the work of Mary Randlett, including rare photos of the last days of Theodore Roethke. There’s also a special section, Film Roll: An Expose in 24 Frames, curated with contributing editor Andrew Zawacki,  featuring a film roll’s worth of short takes on the intersections of poetry & photography, including pieces by C.D. Wright, Sharon Olds, John Yau, Paisley Rekdal, Joshua Edwards, Martha Ronk, Susan Wheeler, and many others. Throughout the issue, we examine and re-envision the intersections of poetry and photography, from the origins of the photograph to the state of the image in the digital age. Now’s the time to subscribe to ensure this special reaches you. And watch for more po-photographic inquiry in this space all summer long…

Ed Skoog: “What’s Your Beef?”

Over the course of the next few weeks, as the Winter/Spring 2010-11 issue of Poetry Northwest (v5.n2) is made ready, we’ll be featuring a series of poems by Ed Skoog written in response to photographs by J. Robert Lennon. When asked bout the process of composing these poems, Ed writes that “the question on my side, once I’d agreed to the collaboration, was what form the poems would take in response to John’s photographs. He’d already taken them; I’d already admired them. The photographs were taken around Ithaca, New York, and I recognized only a few of the locations from my visits there. Here in Seattle the March through June I worked on the sequence, it was gloomy and what little light came through the leafing apple tree was lonely. These poems started spinning out from the memory of the photos rather than from direct looking. I worked on them a long time, puzzling them out, puzzling into them, and in the end took them much more seriously than I’d set out to, in order …

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 …