Though my appetite is small, I will prepare a feast.
In June 2014, poet Mathias Svalina promises to operate a Dream Delivery Service. “I will write the dreams, without consultation with the dreamer, & deliver them daily,” Svalina writes. “Each dream is unique to the dreamer/subscriber.” Subscriptions cost $40 if you live within three miles of Svalina’s house, $55 for everyone else. Dream Delivery Service as social media. * Svalina is an editor with Octopus Books. A while ago, another Octopus editor, Zachary Schomburg, started posting portraits of his friends on his blog, The Lovely Arc. He’d honor each as “Person of the Week” and write a brief profile. “Jesse got Clyde Drexler’s autograph three times between fifth and seventh grade,” Schomburg wrote. “He went to a Waldorf school from kindergarten through third grade, so he learned to knit, crochet, paint with watercolor, sculpt beeswax, play the recorder, and count in German before he learned arithmetic.” “Person of the Week” as social media. * Discussions of social media and poetry often focus on poetry’s absorption of—or reduction to—familiar virtual modes.
Poetry Northwest‘s monthly podcast series, The Subvocal Zoo, features editors and friends of the magazine interviewing poets during the 2014 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Seattle. Each episode will feature lively conversation between writers in a different Seattle location. Episode 4 features Kevin Craft interviewing Zach Savich. Their conversation takes place at the Washington Convention Center in Seattle. Topics of discussion include George Oppen, where the eyes go after reading a great line of poetry, creative community and collaboration, and Zach Savich’s most recent collection of poetry, Century Swept Brutal.
May 12, 7:30 pm at Open Books. Two very talented poets with local roots read from their new books. Highly recommended!
Severance Songs Joshua Corey Tupelo Press, 2011 — Put anything in fourteen lines, and someone will call it a sonnet; although each poem in Joshua Corey’s third full-length collection, Severance Songs, shares that number of lines (often with visual variations that slide the tree line of the volta up and down the poems’ slopes), his poems are sonnet-like less for their containers than for the bright shapes they contain. The sense of a sonnet, these poems suggest, isn’t in formal configuration but in a manner of speaking, of talking to oneself, of talking things through. In Severance Songs, this manner reels through landscape to render the “pool of newsworthy airs” that “surrounds my perception.” For Corey, such perception typically comes from pastoral inspiration that he is both suspicious of (“Building sorrows / on a plan of pastoral affection”) and beholden to (“I do not reject terrain”). Early in the collection, a poem begins with a walk; throughout Severance Songs, one sees the record of a mind sent outside by some fever, and what it sees, …
Iteration Nets Karla Kelsey Ahsahta Press, 2010 In the second movement of her sophomore collection, Iteration Nets, Karla Kelsey details the process of echo and alteration by which she remixes lines from authors including John Clare, Graham Greene, and Lyn Hejinian: what was said? Parison? Comparison uttered after a silence dampening off the corn? Pair a son. Pear in sun. Pare the sun so that the roses glow forth. Bad this son. Pad a song. Sad too long in higher red asking to thank, to atone, to bask the centuries away. This associative stammer pops delightfully, like letters in a Boggle board, as it hotwires a misheard phrase. But Kelsey’s sonic playfulness is hardly free play. She anchors meaning as each iteration shoots forth, not refreshing the slate but adding to it: the pared sun circles back to bask us; the roses’ red returns after sadness. Because language lives in time, Kelsey’s playfulness thanks and atones for each move it makes, whatever freewheeling half-prattle forged it. Although our speech may be fragmented, such “speaking / …
“A good book of scholarship suggests where scholarship could go next. And with Roethke, what comes next is often return.” —Zach Savich
Events featuring David Hernandez, Camille Dungy, Erika Meitner, Geffrey Davis, Keetje Kuipers, Leila Chatti, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Sierra Nelson, Supritha Rajan, Troy Jollimore, Sierra Nelson, Kary Wayson, Wendy Willis, David Biespiel, Heather Altfeld, Laura Read, Zach Savich, and more
by Zach Savich | Contributing Writer
Zach Savich on Andrew Grace’s Shadeland