Michael Bazzett, Jehanne Dubrow, Gemma Gorga, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Danusha Laméris, Stanley Plumly, Octavio Quintanilla, Alberto Ríos, Arra L. Ross, Taije Silverman, Nance Van Winckel, & more
Join us at Open Books to hear poems from recent contributors and to celebrate 60 years of Poetry Northwest.
Look, then, and see / the roots of the sky.
There was nothing comic about this
I was reading John Le Carré this past summer, the slender early volumes with such great momentum in which nearly everything crucial remains unsaid. There are no wasted words; you can really feel the thickness of silence in those books, the subtext. I’ve always been fascinated by tales of Cold War espionage, the hollow nickel holding microfilm, the wallpaper-pattern laced with blueprints. I won’t belabor the metaphor, but there’s no doubt a parallel between poets and spies: effective ones live invisibly on the margins and quietly alter the world. The whole idea is to get the right information to the right people. The poem began as interrogation and morphed rather quickly into a job interview, replete with awkwardness, jokes landing sideways and coded signaling. I thought the Horizon, as a shifting entity that is everywhere and nowhere, might make a good double-agent. But the espionage sort of fell away. This Horizon seemed a bit too yearning and honest, somehow. He simply wanted to get close to someone, to connect. It seems a dubious prospect, given …
Poetry Northwest‘s monthly podcast series, The Subvocal Zoo, features editors and friends of the magazine interviewing poets. Each episode features lively conversation between writers in a different location. Episode 8 features Michael Bazzett in conversation with Justin Boening. Topics of discussion include a review of Michael Bazzett’s book published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesotan/Eastern European irony, the etymological opposite of “to remember,” recreating delight, Robert Hass; translating the Popol Vuh, and Mark Strand.