on poetry

June 26, 2017

“Answers are closed rooms; and questions are open doors that invite us in.”
Nancy Willard
(June 26, 1936 – February 19, 2017)

. . . . .
photo: Eric Lindbloom

Salt Fills My Mouth*

June 25, 2017

Kaylee Davenport
2017 Walk Award
By Kaylee Davenport (6th grade)

Adrenaline bubbles over into laughter,
waves try to drag me down,
my brother’s calls drift away,
thundering ocean is the only sound.

Grey skies and sea,
I am becoming numb,
salt fills my mouth,
but my body still hums.

Horizons are blurring,
my toes dig into the sand,
I can’t hear my thoughts,
I don’t remember the land.

. . . . .
“I am a 6th grader at Fairhaven Middle School and I love to read. I think it is one of the main reasons why I love to write. I wrote my poem about a beach I go to because swimming and water is very relaxing and fun to write about.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Kaylee Davenport. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

poetry in the pipeline

June 24, 2017

While it hardly seems fair to use the F word (Fall) so early in the summer, Publishers Weekly has just issued its Fall 2017 Announcements: Poetry list and we thought you might be interested. Following PW’s projected Top 10 list is a list of fall titles from many poetry publishers. That leaves you just a few months to clear some space on your poetry shelves — or, better yet, add a new one.

last 7 days

June 23, 2017

Here’s some poetry history in the making: Copper Canyon Press is running a 10-day Kickstarter campaign, Pablo Neruda: Poetry Lost + Found.

The press’s successful 2015 campaign helped publish a collection of just-discovered, never-before-published poems by Pablo Neruda, Then Come Back: the Lost Neruda Poems.

With this new effort Copper Canyon hopes to fully fund BOOK OF TWILIGHT, Neruda’s first book of poetry, which has never before been published in English in its entirety. Funding from the previous campaign moved this book into production; the current campaign will get it finished and to the printers.

There are juicy inducements for pledges and, very importantly, this is an all-or-nothing campaign: this project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Friday, June 30, 2017, 5:00 PM PDT.

Visit Pablo Neruda: Poetry Lost + Found and pledge!

gamer poetry

June 20, 2017

In the ongoing eclectic meandering that is The Poetry Department, we’ve stumbled across a new corner of the poetry world: gaming. If you’re a video gamer, you may already know about it. If not, meet Cartridge Lit, “an online literature mag dedicated to showcasing the best lit — fiction, nonfiction, poetry — inspired by video games.” Poems, online chapbooks, and more. Cartridge Lit online and on Facebook.

translated without words

June 19, 2017

Asymptote is a literary journal of works in translation. For your Monday, when words may still be elbowing their way out of the morass of the weekend, consider these non-verbal literary works of Iranian cartoonist and graphic artist Kambiz Derambakhsh (click View Slideshow).

Kambiz Derambakhsh is also on Facebook and on Instagram @kambizderambakhsh.

Early Hike with Dog*

June 18, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By David M. Laws

The day hides beneath the horizon
as we wind our way up an unkempt trail.
Possum pushes her taut terrier body ahead,
analyzing aromas of previous passers-by,
quick peek for most but full appraisal
of others. Birds brag of territorial control,
and proclaim to potential mates dual
dreams of domesticity and reproduction.
Errant branches pull at me, sometimes
a caress, sometimes a chastisement.
This is no longer a trail, they contend,
but the fragrance of freshly rain-drenched
forest infuses me with vigor, bringing
new life to my fatigued feet. Arise! Arise!
Move forward! the world seems to call.
One last fallen tree to negotiate, Possum
under, me over, and we burst out of forest
to the summit. Sun rises over Mount Baker,
sets it ablaze, painting frozen glaciers into
fiery lava, red-gold in the new morning.

. . . . .
David M. Laws is a gardener, musician, husband, father, writer, hiker and former musical instrument repair technician who practices all of the above in Bellingham. He graduated from Western Washington University in 2005, at age 58, with a degree in English — Creative Writing Emphasis.

“My poem ‘Early Hike with Dog’ was inspired by a number of hikes I’ve taken with Possum, the Glorious Little Girl Terrier who has lived with us for four years now. Her determination has pushed me through what seemed to be impassable obstacles on numerous forgotten trails, and occasionally rewarded me with something like what the poem describes — a scene of beauty and wonder.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by David M. Laws. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

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