All posts tagged: Sierra Nelson

The Subvocal Zoo: Sierra Nelson – The Brink

Poetry Northwest‘s monthly podcast series, The Subvocal Zoo, features editors and friends of the magazine interviewing poets. Each episode features lively conversation between writers in a different location. Episode 10 features Sierra Nelson with Johnny Horton rowing around the edge of Seattle’s Union Bay. Topics of discussion include finding the right director for your dream-poems, silence, frog song, collaboration, John Donne’s “Relic,” humor & wit, poetry as technology, and encountering the brink.

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. — …

Vis-à-Vis Society: “Scientific Method: Am I In Love?” and “Scientific Method: Noir Sestina”

Editor’s note: Our objective is to determine whether the relationship between poetry and science is field-specific, or something. We hypothesize that a sentence will grow best when infected by the same ideas, images and methods that occur within either field.  Preliminary results have been published in the Poetri Dish [experiments in verse] section of Poetry Northwest, Spring & Summer 2012 (v7.n1).  Here, doctors Ink and Owning of Vis-à-Vis Society offer further findings: — Scientific Method: Am I In Love? Question: Am I in love? Research: I sleep in a bed with another, I have held his breath in my mouth. Hypothesis: If I run away, I will know. Experiment: Fog up the window and see whose name your finger writes. Observation: Made it all the way to Vancouver: wrote one name, smudged it out. Results: It is true, the finger moves. Report: Scientists in their lab coats leap to their feet in applause! +++ Scientific Method: Noir Sestina From a broken phone booth she called our her question, under-eye circles purple as bruises told of …

Sierra Nelson: “We’ll Always Have Carthage”

This month, sent from one of the round earth’s imagined corners, a poem by Sierra Nelson, who writes that “‘We’ll Always Have Carthage’ was inspired in part by images from Virgil’s The Aeneid. In that epic poem, the hero Aeneas and his battered fleet take shelter in Carthage, and Aeneas begins a romance with the Carthaginian Queen, Dido. He stays happily with her, helping her efforts to rebuild her city, but when the god Mercury comes to Aeneas to remind him of his destiny elsewhere, the hero decides to slip away in the middle of the night. Dido catches on to the plan and confronts him, but chooses not to detain him or harm his ships, although at certain points it crosses her mind. Instead she builds a large funeral pyre for herself, a conflagration Aeneas and his men see as they are sailing away. This poem isn’t meant to retell that story, but does resonate with some of its tone and imagery, especially as imagined from Dido’s perspective. The image of the lion’s skin …