…more than a pool / of smudges and parts.
One of the most complicated and interesting friendships in American literature.
This month we’re featuring Danielle Chapman’s poem “Meet Me in Hollywood,” which appears in Poetry Northwest Fall-Winter 2008-09 v3.n2. According to Chapman, “If there’s anyone lurking in the shadows of this poem, it’s probably Allen Ginsberg. I’ve always felt a bit conflicted about his work; of course as a teenager I guzzled down “Howl” as if it were a ritual libation; then, as a college student, I dismissed it as dated and a bit silly; but, when I reread it again as an adult, I was overcome by the power of its ecstatic perception. While its peyote-dream quality can seem schticky to an ironic reader, it’s ultimately triumphant in harnessing visionary experience, territory which is uniquely suited to poetry. This poem pays homage to the sort of mystical openness that Ginsberg accessed, but it’s also an indictment of the flophouse romanticism that we’ve inherited from his generation. “
“Love, Lorena” appears in the current issue of Poetry Northwest, our sixth in the new series. Of his poem David Ciminello writes, “as a writer I am most concerned with the musicality of language and how certain notes can be struck with the right word choice and word order.I also consider myself a visual writer. I like to work from images.
“His Perfume” appears in Poetry Northwest Fall-Winter 2008-09 v3.n2, our sixth in the new series. Of her poem Kelly-DeWitt writes, “we usually think of perfume as something attractive—so I wanted to play off of that idea in this poem. It’s a poem about the body as flesh, a thing in and of itself, that has a life of its own apart from the consciousness that inhabits it, with a death and a perfume of its own making. The poem is written in unrhymed tercets; tercets have a shape and pacing I’m comfortable with.
For January & February we’re featuring P.K. Pages “Improbable Concept,” which appears in the current issue of Poetry Northwest. Page writes, “‘Improbable Concept’ is written in the seductive and challenging glosa form, which dates back to the l5th century Spanish Court. The lines of the opening quatrain are chosen from the work of another poet; they are followed by four ten-line stanzas, whose concluding lines are taken consecutively from the quatrain; their sixth and ninth lines rhyming with the borrowed tenth—I suppose a liking for crossword puzzles helps!”
Robert Bly & Rebecca Starks awarded prizes for the best work published in Poetry Northwest in 2008. 2008 Theodore Roethke Prize Robert Bly of Minneapolis, Minnesota is the recipient of the Theodore Roethke Award for his poem “War and Childhood,” published in the Spring / Summer 2008 Political Poetry issue.