All posts filed under: Afterwords

Event reviews from around the region

Afterwords // Unauthorized Whitman

by Jack Chelgren Poetry Northwest Staff   The Unauthorized Readings: Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself August 13, 2013 at Fremont Abbey Arts Center   On Thursday night, poets Adam Boehmer, Christine Deavel, James Hoch, and Janie Miller kicked off a new poetry series, the Unauthorized Readings, with a hearty and variegated performance of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”  A crowd of about fifty gathered in the basement of the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, where the four readers took turns delivering selections from the poem, each with no small measure of zeal.  Theirs was a skillful and imaginative rendering of Whitman, with each poet’s distinct reading style highlighting the competing tones that cycle throughout the work: playfulness and hysteria, didacticism and uncertainty, mysticism and sexuality.

Afterwords // David Wagoner at Seattle Arts & Lectures

by Jennifer Crowder Poetry Northwest Contributor David Wagoner appeared January 16, 2013 as part of SAL’s Poetry Series, reading from After the Point of No Return, (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). An audience of devotees nearly filled the Nordstrom Recital Hall and Wagoner, an icon among the northwest poetry community, did not disappoint. The poems in this latest collection are reflective in a manner that only a half-century’s backward glance could provide.  Although Wagoner ranges across familial relationships, generational transition, nature, what was done and what left undone, collectively, the poems have an atmospheric stillness and balance.  They offer clear-eyed, unsentimental, but generous insights. The most striking poems are those about the difficulties of aging. Wagoner writes of finding that his body “…disobeyed / its own commands to its own purpose,” and his tone in these poems blends regret, disbelief, levity, and transformation.  In “Listening,” Wagoner considers hearing loss:  “…vibrant / with the white noise and the equally beautiful / white silence of snow.” Most poems reveal a poet who, if not yet fully at home …

Afterwords // Last Year in Quotes! (We’re Glad We Took Notes.)

January 5 Jason Witmarsh, Writers on Writing Lecture Series “Occupy that critical part of your brain–the thing that says, ‘this is useless’–and give that part of your brain a crossword puzzle, while the other part writes.” (J.W. on: writing in form) January 6 Rebecca Albiani on Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Frye “William Blake couldn’t stand falsity in anyone . . . and so he was a difficult companion.”  March 11 Barbara Courtney, Tiny House Reading Series, hosted by Emily Johnson “You will have to learn . . . how to dispense with teachers, even me.” April 14 Troy Jollimore, Seattle Arts & Lectures “Any really good poet has to be philosophical . . . if you pursue any field long enough you eventually end up doing philosophy.” April 16 Andrew Feld, Open Books “I don’t think there are that many people these days writing narrative-poems-in-heroic-couplets-that-are-visionary-quests. So, I sort of enjoy doing that.” April 22 Gregory Laynor, Tiny House Reading Series “I think I’m more of a worry doll than a poet . …

Afterwords // The Falconer-Poet

Andrew Feld’s new book of poems, Raptors, revolves around his time working in a bird rehabilitation center in Oregon, where he learned to do things like “trim a golden eagle.” Last night at Open Books he explained that what drew him to write poems about raptors is that it’s such a rich metaphor, such a “flexible and generative emblem,” whether for the beloved, for the wilderness, or for the unknowable. “You have them, they’re domesticated, but you never have the slightest indication that they love you.” Feld read mostly out of the new book, but also shared one brand new, birdless poem, which he described as an obituary from the future: “Unsurprisingly, I’m writing a whole new series. I never seem to be capable of writing just one poem.”  

Afterwords // Jeanine Walker Takes on the Thirsty Masses at Cheap Wine & Poetry

     Last night at the always packed CW&P reading series we pushed our way up to the front row and chatted with writer Jeanine Walker before she took the stage. Tara Hardy, Kristen McHenry and Kathleen Flenniken followed.  PoNW: How did you decide what you were going to read here tonight? Jeanine Walker: Well, I went through the 100 poems that I thought I could potentially read without being super embarrassed and then revised the order over and over and over again. I only planned one joke, but it’s towards the beginning of the set, so the whole rest of it might not be funny. PoNW: One joke. So, do you feel like you need to tell jokes here? JW: I do feel like I need to tell jokes here. PoNW: How come? JW: Because it’s a crowd that wants to laugh. It’s like half stand-up comedian/half poet here tonight. But that’s good because I always wanted to be a stand-up comedian. It works for me. PoNW: Perfect. JW: I hope it works for me, …