All posts tagged: correspondence

DAVID BIESPIEL To Plumly from Lummi Island

Stanley Plumly has been a mentor and friend of mine since 1988 when I took his Form and Theory class at the University of Maryland. Lummi Island is the most northeasterly of the San Juan archipelago. Located near Bellingham, Washington, it is served by a small ferry that makes the six minute crossing about once an hour. It is just two hours from Seattle, and one and a half hours from Vancouver, BC. The Lummi Nation are a tribe of the Coast Salish. The tribe primarily resides on and around the Lummi Indian Reservation. The Lummi were forcibly moved to reservation lands after the signing of the Point Elliott Treaty in 1855.

On Kizer: A Letter from David Rigsbee

In recent weeks, we’ve been publishing tributes to Poetry Northwest founding editor, Carolyn Kizer.  For additional features in the series, please visit here.  Below, a letter from poet David Rigsbee recalling a moment with his friend and former teacher. — One day Carolyn called me up and said “Let’s go over to Duke.  There’s an eminent scholar who is going to lecture on Mayakovsky and another poet you may know.”  The eminent scholar turned out to be Harvard professor Roman Yakobson, the world-famous linguist and one of the last survivors to the Soviet Union’s “New Lef” period, which roughly coincided with the flapper era here and ended with the accession of Joseph Stalin, as it did here with the coming of the Great Depression. So we piled into the Camaro and off to Durham we went. The hall was long, narrow, high-ceilinged and ornate, with floor-length curtains.  The whole effect was chapel-like, except for the chairs, which were in a kind of faux-Empire style, with pastel cushions and oval backs, the kind of furnishing my …

Rick Barot: “The Poem is a Letter Opener”

In celebration of the arrival of the Spring-Summer 2010 issue (v5.n1) of Poetry Northwest on newsstands and in mailboxes, we offer you this instrument of opening by Rick Barot, exclusively online.  “I wrote this poem during an autumn residency at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire,” notes Barot.  “Prior to the residency, I hadn’t written a poem in many months, perhaps close to a year.  And so my mind was full of half-thoughts and half-images and half-possibilities just waiting for some galvanizing energy to give them coherence.  There was a rocking chair in the studio, and I spent nearly all my time in that chair, rocking and reading.  On the day I wrote the poem, I was sitting in that chair and opened up Bill Knott’s book of poems The Unsubscriber, a favorite book.  Immediately I came across the page that had this as the first line of a poem: ‘The poem is a letter opener.’  I closed the book, knew instantly that Knott’s line was the title of a poem that I wanted to write, sat down at the desk, and …

STANLEY PLUMLY Something of the Sort: Full-bodied, paper-original, non-expedient correspondence

In the not-too-distant future those to whom it matters may look back at some point in the 1990s, when the networking of the Internet really started to take off, and wonder if at that moment the actual writing of thorough and styled and even personal letters, as a medium of one reflective silence speaking to another reflective silence (roughly Rilke’s definition of poetry), ended.

Mail, v1.n2 Fall-Winter 2006-07

Dear Editor: As a former subscriber and contributor, I was excited to receive a copy of the new Poetry Northwest in the mail along with an invitation to subscribe. But no thanks. Normally, I stay out of the fray (this is the first letter I’ve ever written to any publication) but I received a copy a few days after the one-year anniversary of the death of my mother, Margaret Hodge, a venerable “Northwest” poet who contributed to Poetry Northwest many times, and I feel I must speak through her will, as well as for myself. Though I was thrilled to see new work by Stanley Plumly, C. K. Willliams, etc., anyone who knows anything about Northwest poetry knows that beginning the issue with several poems by meta-language poet extraordinaire Richard Kenney is a screeching announcement that the new guard has triumphed over the old. Why be so blatant about your triumph in the first issue and risk alienating so many readers? And then there’s your review of the selected Roethke! (“Some Books,” Spring 2006) To …