All posts tagged: David Rigsbee

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 …

Robert McNamara: “Thwarting the Barbarian”

Dreamless and Possible: Poems New and Selected Christopher Howell University of Washington Press, 2010 The Red Tower: New and Selected Poems David Rigsbee NewSouth Books, 2010 For more than twenty years I have been reading the poems of Christopher Howell and David Rigsbee, so the appearance of their handsomely produced and thoughtfully edited volumes of new and selected poems – Dreamless and Possible, by Christopher Howell, and The Red Tower, by David Rigsbee – has been more delight than revelation. They are very different poets, with very different gifts and ways of engaging both language and the world – the one lyrical, metaphorical, intense, heir to the poets of the deep image; the other more meditative, allegorical, philosophical, whose ancestry one would most likely trace back to Stevens, among others. There is also much they share, and at the moment my reading is shaped by a recent collection of essays by Alessandro Baricco, I Barbari, originally published in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The barbarians of his title are not invading others, but are us, …