P4: slam home

December 3, 2016

The Performance Poetry Preservation ProjectIf you’re interested in slam poetry, you should definitely keep an eye on The Performance Poetry Preservation Project (P4).

P4 is in the process of collecting audio, video, print, and other artifacts from the first 25 years of poetry slam, with the intention of creating an accessible library of slam history. “Our first goal is to convert the original material, where feasible, into digital files to protect the content from media degradation and obsolescence.”

The collection currently includes more than 570 media items with over 3,500 audio and video recordings of performances by over 1,100 poets. P4 is in the process of developing a long term partnership agreement with an academic repository, such as a college or university library for the perpetual storage and preservation of the archive. This is good.

Learn more at The Performance Poetry Preservation Project website or the P4 Facebook page.

Denise LevertovA plaque to honor the memory of internationally-renowned poet Denise Levertov will be unveiled in a ceremony at 10:00am, Saturday, December 3, 2016, at her former Seattle home, 5535 Seward Park Avenue S.

The memorial is being presented by SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) and the Rainier Valley Rotary, the two organizations that helped raise funds for the plaque. More than forty individuals and organizations contributed. Longtime Levertov friend and University of Washington Professor Emeritus Colleen McElroy is scheduled to attend and address the participants.

SPLAB Founder Paul Nelson comments, “Denise Levertov was one of the most gifted poets to ever call Seattle home. That there is no public acknowledgment of that is an oversight we felt needed correction. Thanks to the Rotary’s efforts and to the crowdfunding campaign that included some of her longtime friends and fans, this beautiful plaque will inform the generations to come that Levertov lived here, in Seward Park, where she wrote some of the best poems ever written about Mt. Rainier. We honor her life and achievement.”

Levertov lived at the home the last eight years of her life, until her death, December 20, 1997. In her storied career, she published over thirty books of poems, essays and translations and her work clarifying the open form approach she called Organic Poetry was a huge influence on post-World War II North American poets. Her work and legacy was the subject of a tribute at the recent Cascadia Poetry Festival produced by SPLAB.

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Portrait of Denise Levertov by Elsa Dorfman

it has begun…

December 1, 2016

Best-of Season

Whatever holiday you choose to celebrate, or even if you ignore the holidays all together, one benefit of the year’s end is that publications offer up their “best-of” literary lists. It has begun, and we’ve created a best-of banner to accompany our listings of lists as they appear here. So, without further delay, let the season begin:

Oui! Merci!

November 30, 2016

The Paris Review - issue1

If you are a fan of The Paris Review, or if you’ve yet to discover its treasures, you may be happy to learn that the full contents of TPR has been digitized and is available online. You can try a ten-day free trial or subscribe for full access, or you may wish to go directly to The Paris Review poetry page, where you can browse — any time — by poet or decade.


November 29, 2016

Amy Solomon-MinarchiAnd speaking of poets laureate, congratulations to the most recent, Amy Solomon-Minarchi, who has been named the first poet laureate of Olympia, Washington. A teacher (American Literature, World Literature, Creative Writing, Philosophy) at North Thurston High School, Solomon-Minarchi grew up in New Jersey, and moved to Washington in 2005. She holds a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Rutgers University and a Master in Teaching from the Evergreen State College. Learn more about Amy Solomon-Minarchi, her poetry, and her plans for her two-year appointment, in an interview with Janine Gates on Little Hollywood.

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good advice

November 28, 2016

Tod Marshall photo by Amy SinisterraWhether (or not) you intend to submit a poem to Washington 129, Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall offers some wise advice to poets in his latest post, The Tyranny of Intention. Useful suggestions any time, whatever you write.

on poetry

November 27, 2016

Marilyn Hacker
“There is something very satisfactory about being in the middle of something.”
Marilyn Hacker
(b. November 27, 1942)
. . . . .
Photo credit: Alison Harris

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