Afterwords, Commentary

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

A Synesthete’s Calendar

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 . . .”

May 12

Melissa Dickey & Zach Savich, Open Books

“On the way here I passed a stained glass store and thought, oh, I should get some information about glass and write a whole book about it. But I’m always going to prefer having that moment of thinking I’m going to write a book about stained glass.” — Z.S.

“I was interested in what was invisible at that time, and now I’m not interested in that anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m a mother now and really grounded in the world of people.” — M.D., on a poem written several years ago

May 15

Michael and Matthew Dickman, Seattle Arts & Lectures

“I find it really important to advocate for older poets who were important to me along the way. For example, Diane Wakoski. I’m always wearing t-shirts that say ‘I Love Diane.'” — Matthew Dickman

August 18

A Reading of Oulipian Writing, Spine & Crown

“I inquired into the roots of the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novels from the 1970s and couldn’t find an originator of the form. Then I realized that the form is as old as human thought. Isn’t it human to wonder what might have happened if you’d traveled a different route?”   — Doug Nufer 

September 27-30

Convergence on Poetics Conference, UW Bothell

“I’ve always been more interested in lineage than affiliation.” — Peter O’Leary

“I think of poetics as the conditions for the possibility of a poem.”         –Barrett Watten

“Sounds are insubstantial and mean everything.” — Leonard Schwartz

October 7

Tiny House Reading Series, hosted by Emily Johnston

“Whenever I see a slug I cover it with a leaf…”— Jane Wong

October 18

Seattle Lit Crawl, City Arts Fest

“Nothing has hurt you as bad as an idea.” — Vanessa Vaselka

November 1

Plume Anthology of Poetry, 2012 Group Reading, Elliott Bay Books

“When life really gives you punches, it tends to steal your words, and you don’t know what to say back.” — Tess Gallagher (on writing about tragedy)

“It’s strange being walked over…” — Brian Culhane (of reading in Elliott Bay’s basement)

 November 11

Poesciposium Reading, UW Friday Harbor Labs

“I have touched one or two beautiful faces in my time…” — Kevin Craft (from a poem about a Mark Rothko painting)

November 15

Maggie Nelson & Eileen Myles: Poets on Painters, Seattle Arts & Lectures

“In James Schuyler’s diaries he wrote about weather like it was art. I tried to begin a series of stories that started with Provincetown skies, but they never became stories…” — E.M. (on the origins of Skies, a book of poems)

“I never think about genre…I look for the shape things want to come in.” — M.N.

December 1

PageBoy Magazine Release Party, Kaleidoscope Vision

“Is PageBoy Magazine a solid, liquid, or gas?” — Thomas Walton

“Yes!” — audience

“Is an online journal a solid, liquid, or gas?” — T. W.

“No!” — audience

(excerpt from a “scientific proof” amassed by Editor Thomas Walton on the difference between print lit. and web lit.)

December 2

Afternoon Poetry II, Blindfold Gallery

“You will make me look as if I don’t love you even when I find your hairs in my books.” — Sarah Galvin