All posts tagged: voice

Carolyn Kizer’s Voice: A Student’s View

  I am over-the-moon happy that Poetry Northwest is celebrating my friend and mentor, Carolyn Kizer. I am blessed to have had her in my life at Eastern Washington University, where I attended evening grad school and where she served as the guest instructor of poetry workshops. I have loved her since 1989 and own every book she’s written, each lovingly inscribed with some personal notation suited to the time and events of our meetings. Not enough people understand just how kind and funny she is. I remember, once, when several wickedly talented author/instructors joined Carolyn’s class and were all foot-to-foot packed together at one table, she held up a student’s prose poem—every sentence prefaced with the “eff” word—and calmly said: “Well, what we have here is a great poem about salmonberries. We just need to get rid of a bucketful of ‘eff-its.’” After she edited out every four-letter offense it was quite a lovely poem, and our mixed group was a riot of laughter. In Carolyn’s classroom, all writing was treated with dignity served up …