Jessica Johnson on the poems of Franny Choi and Jena Osman
“How can poetry, with only words at its disposal, work on us the way the world works on us?”
Jason Whitmarsh on the poetry of Richard Kenney
I try not to want // too much.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
stars and stars with no designs
Editor’s note: Our objective is to determine whether the relationship between poetry and science is field-specific, or something. We hypothesize that a sentence will grow best when infected by the same ideas, images and methods that occur within either field. Preliminary results have been published in the Poetri Dish [experiments in verse] section of Poetry Northwest, Spring & Summer 2012 (v7.n1). Here, doctors Ink and Owning of Vis-à-Vis Society offer further findings: — Scientific Method: Am I In Love? Question: Am I in love? Research: I sleep in a bed with another, I have held his breath in my mouth. Hypothesis: If I run away, I will know. Experiment: Fog up the window and see whose name your finger writes. Observation: Made it all the way to Vancouver: wrote one name, smudged it out. Results: It is true, the finger moves. Report: Scientists in their lab coats leap to their feet in applause! +++ Scientific Method: Noir Sestina From a broken phone booth she called our her question, under-eye circles purple as bruises told of …
Poetry Northwest presents The Science Issue The editors of Poetry Northwest are pleased to present the Spring-Summer 2012 edition of the magazine, a special theme issue exploring the intersections of poetry and science. As languages approaching the mysteries of existence and advancing the limits of human understanding, poetry and science have more in common than is commonly believed.The Science Issue presents a variety of poets who engage directly and indirectly with the sciences—from astrophysics and quantum mechanics to geology, botany, ornithology, and marine biology. It includes poets who are also scientists, like Katherine Larson (a molecular biologist, and recent Yale Younger Poets Prize and Kate Tufts Discovery award winner) and Amit Majmudar (who serves in the honorable tradition of the poet-physicians). It also includes a meditation on poetry by historian of science and University of Puget Sound professor Mott Greene. Featured writers include: Linda Bierds, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Timothy Donnelly, Forest Gander, Amy Greacen, Bob Hicok, Richard Kenney, Katherine Larson, Sarah Lindsay, and many more. “I’ve always taken a deep interest in the sciences—biology, astronomy, and physics in particular,” says editor Kevin Craft. “And I’m fascinated by the representational overlap between poetry …
For November we feature Eva Heisler’s “Lover’s Manual,” which appears in Poetry Northwest Fall-Winter 2007-08 v2.n2. The poem is part of a longer series of prose poems entitled “Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic.” According to Heisler, “‘Lover’s Manual’ originated as journal entries written during the first three years of a nine-year period in Iceland. This was a period in which the romance and astonishments of a foreign land were challenged by the difficulties of earning a living as a foreigner. I was constantly faced with just how deeply language shapes perception and, as I struggled to learn Icelandic, the blind spots proliferated.
At the Edge of the Known World When Sarah and Bill gin-whispered their invitation, my starved groin growled. Back in the surf we kissed down to skin, plunge- riding the beach pink. Ribbed mussels swung in the splash tide, caves glistened, legs curled and straightened under night’s warm blanket. Look, there’s a seal, I said next morning, twisting to the rolled horizon. Oh, it’s a surfer—confusing them like hungry sharks at the edge of their known world. An honest and thorough writing can challenge those boundaries and walls that separate our public and private lives, it can reveal things that we might only tell a best friend, a lover, or no one at all. Boccacio The bocacio, a large-mouthed rockfish found along our Pacific coast, was not named after Giovanni Boccacio, a fourteenth-century Italian writer famous for the Decameron. Drop the c and dive deep from Florence kelp to an undulant octave of choral anchovy hovering above the grotto. Flushed, bigmouthed and bassy, you fin vino and piped liturgies between Santa Barbara’s oily legs, where …
barback / have filled sinks with ice, the town is primping its diversions