Author: Kevin Craft

Notable Books (NW) – Reviews of Mary Szybist, Robert Wrigley, Nance Van Winckel, and more

NOTABLE BOOKS (NW) – Fall-Winter 2014 The reviews included in this feature section were first published in our fall-winter 2014 print issue. Incarnadine, Mary Szybist (Graywolf Press, 2013) Readers have waited a long while for Mary Szybist’s second book, Incarnadine, and that seems right. In an age of gush and glut, Szybist works patiently; her poems exude painstaking care, every line fleshed out (or broken), every word placed (or erased), just so. I mean this quite literally: titles like “How (Not) to Speak of God” and “On Wanting to Tell [       ] about a Girl Eating Fish Eyes” demonstrate how in Szybist’s hands words both fill and empty out the spaces they occupy (in the breath, on the page). The effect is helped by the lovely, large-format book design, which amplifies the white space around each poem. And concrete instances, like the sentence diagram “It Is Pretty to Think” or the aforementioned star-shaped “How (Not) to Speak of God,” embody the lyrical impulse to make the felt world visible with persuasive tact. But this is …

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…

Rachel Kessler: “59 Goodbyes”

  While the tang of resolution still hangs in the new year air… Poet Rachel Kessler shows us how to let go. She reports: “This poem was written during a Vis-à-Vis Society experiment. The Vis-à-Vis Society is a group of poet-scientists dedicated to the analysis of the everyday.”           59 Goodbyes   Goodbye serious Goodbye writing overly serious poems Goodbye taking everything so seriously Goodbye making everything into a joke Goodbye shame Goodbye dog poop in the basement Goodbye talking shit while doing naught Goodbye plot Goodbye pee in the wrong place Goodbye credit card debt Goodbye hip-hurting shoes Goodbye cold feet Goodbye shed dog hair drifting Goodbye drinking wine too quickly Goodbye dehydration Goodbye hoarding thriftstore clothes Goodbye feeling sad about being fat Goodbye fitness fantasy Goodbye falling asleep while driving Goodbye too-tight pants Goodbye taking it personally Goodbye impulse control Goodbye confessionalism Goodbye yelling in the morning Goodbye Romney Goodbye worrying about silences Goodbye explaining Goodbye smiling reflexively Goodbye waking up at 2:00 a.m. Goodbye waking up at 4:00 a.m. Goodbye …

Carol Light: “Postcards from Ponza, The Prison Island”

To celebrate the passage of the winter solstice, we asked poet Carol Light to brighten our days with postcards from sunny places. Here’s what she she sent us, from a hotspot off the Italian coast… “Ponza is one of the islands of the Italian Pontine archipelago, near Cape Circeo, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The island may have been the haunt of Homer’s infamous sorceress, Circe. Inhabited since Etruscan times, the island served as a place of exile for Romans plotting against emperors, as a penal colony, and as a dazzling vacation spot for celebrities, including Gina Lollobrigida. While visiting Ponza, I became fascinated by the idea of prisons, especially the idiosyncratic prison that contains the self, no matter where one is lucky enough to be. The poem began as a series of postcards written in blank verse.” Postcards from Ponza, the Prison Island   1. My panoramic lens apprehends a hammock slung between two lemon trees. Beyond the terracotta potted palms, grapes cluster, plump slubs twisting through the vineyard’s unwound skeins. Damp towels flap in …

Fall & Winter 2012-13 Issue Now Available

Our Fall – Winter 2012-13 Issue is now available. Featuring cover art by Seattle artist Gala Bent, word sculptures by California artist Cheryl Sorg, and a raft of new poems by Rebecca Hoogs, Troy Jollimore, Karl Kirchwey, Nate Klug, Stanley Plumly, Ed Skoog, Melissa Stein, Kary Wayson, and many others,  it’s essential reading for lyrical travelers everywhere. Three occasions to celebrate with us! WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 7 pm: We’ll unveil the new issue with a special RELEASE READING at ELLIOTT BAY BOOKS, in conjunction with the local debut of POETRY magazine’s centennial anthology OPEN DOOR. Poetry Northwest Editor Kevin Craft and Poetry Senior Editor Don Share will read selections from both publications, along with contributors Rebecca Hoogs, Richard Kenney, Matthew Nienow, and Emily Warn. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 7:30 pm: Our annual Fall Social at NAKED CITY TAPHOUSE, featuring readings by Julie Larios, Laura McKee, Megan Snyder-Camp, and Kary Wayson, music by the Shawn Mickelson Quartet, an epic raffle, and Naked City’s fabulous selection of beer. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 5 pm, Everett, WA: Our annual Holiday Social and Community Poetry …

Sci-Po reading features Katherine Larson, Wednesday, May 9 and Thursday, May 10

We’re pleased welcome recent Yale Younger Poetry Prize and recent Kate Tufts Discovery Award winner Katherine Larson for her northwest debut. Ms. Larson is a featured contributor to the spring Science Issue. She will read from her poetry at The Big Bang, our issue launch party at Liberty Bar on Wednesday, May 10, at 8 pm, alongside fellow Yale Younger Poetry Prize winner and local favorite Richard Kenney. On Thursday, May 10, she’ll participate in Poetry Northwest‘s annual spring symposium, at Everett Community College (at the ORCA lab, located at the Port of Everett Waterfront Center). Click here for more info. In anticipation of her visit, we share the article “Science & Stanzas” that she wrote for The Scientist, about her work as both poet and molecular biologist, and the interesting things they have in common. We also call attention to her recent appearance on the NewsHour, where she talks about her research and writing, and reads several poems in dramatic natural settings, like they did in ancient Greece. Above all, we invite you to join us …

The Science Issue — now available

As languages approaching the mysteries of existence and advancing the limits of human understanding, poetry and science have more in common than you may think. The Spring & Summer 2012 issue is devoted to the theme of the sciences as poets encounter them, and vice versa. Featuring: Linda Bierds, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Timothy Donnelly, Amy Greacen, Bob Hicok, Richard Kenney, Katherine Larson, Sarah Lindsay, and many more. Subscribe now, and we’ll start you off with the best in left brain/right brain thinking. Meanwhile, catch contributors Linda Bierds and Bob Hicok at The Skagit Valley Poetry Festival, Friday & Saturday, May 18 & 19. We’ll be there too. Stop by our table and say hi!