Robert Bly & Rebecca Starks awarded prizes for the best work published in Poetry Northwest in 2008. 2008 Theodore Roethke Prize Robert Bly of Minneapolis, Minnesota is the recipient of the Theodore Roethke Award for his poem “War and Childhood,” published in the Spring / Summer 2008 Political Poetry issue.
This month we’re featuring Rebecca Starks’ “Gray Matter,” published in Poetry Northest Spring-Summer v3.n1, The Political Issue. According to Starks, “The poem’s impulse came from its two central images—I saw the tortoise while running in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and the cement mixer as I emerged from the subway in Times Square, on my way to work in the rain. A mushroom rain, in Russian, refers to a light rain that falls while the sun is shining, a rain favorable to mushroom growth; at the same time, the word ‘mushroom’ captures for me the feeling of walking in wet shoes, in a rush; and from rain to cloud is a short step.