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

if you shop…

November 25, 2016

Small Business SaturdayShop Small. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday. Many independently owned stores, possibly including your favorite local bookstore, participate with author appearances, snacks, activities for kids, and much more. Visit Shop Small to find businesses in your area. (Paying with cash helps indies avoid credit card fees.)


November 24, 2016

Mark Mcginnis - Thanksgiving

Thanks to you for your visits, likes, subscriptions, and comments on The Poetry Department, and thanks to The Poetry Foundation for offering a feast of poems for our Thanksgiving table.

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illlustration by Mark McGinnis

more poetry on film

November 23, 2016

DIE GETRÄUMTEN (The Dreamed Ones)

Here’s another film for your watch-for-it list: DIE GETRÄUMTEN (The Dreamed Ones) is a “docudrama” in which two actors in a recording studio read from the dramatic exchange of poems, letters, postcards, telegrams and drafts between poets Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan, who came to know each other in post-war Vienna. Through their reading, the actors’ own lives and stories become layered with those of the poets.

Referring to Bachmann and Celan as “the most important German poets of the second half of the 20th century,” director Ruth Beckermann calls theirs “a great modern love story.” Learn more on the film website or read a review in The Guardian.

big news in Bellingham

November 21, 2016

Village Books

Following is the full text of an email that arrived last night from Chuck and Dee Robinson:

On January 1st, 2017, the ownership of Village Books and Paper Dreams will transfer to three current employees of the business. While the news may come as a bit of a surprise, we assure you that the time is right for us to pass on the company to the next generation. There has been a net gain of independent bookstores in each of the last seven years, including our expansion to Lynden. Our business is doing well in Fairhaven and we’re thrilled with the success of the Lynden store. And, most important, we have the right team in place to carry this business forward. They not only have the talent and skills to operate the business, they are deeply committed to the community values on which this company has been built.

Kelly, who has been with the store for five and a half years, brings many years of general retail, buying, and interior design experience, and has worked in three other independent bookstores since 1989. She, in addition to her general management duties, has been the Gift Buyer and Merchandise Manager. Paul, who came to the company at that same time, first as the Community Outreach Director then becoming General Manager, was for fifteen years the Manager of Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island. Before that he worked for several years in bookstores in Illinois and in the Seattle area. Sarah began her bookselling career after college, becoming an inventory specialist for Borders. She came to Village Books and Paper Dreams eleven years ago and has been the store manager for more than seven years. Until recently she was also the children’s book buyer.

Dee retired from everyday involvement in the stores two years ago but has continued to be involved in all strategic decisions. Chuck, who in the past few years has worked more from his home office and in the larger community, will continue to consult with the stores over the next several years and direct special projects. He also intends to do some business consulting with bookstores and other retail businesses around the country. Both of us will continue our involvement with the Chuckanut Radio Hour.

We’re both in good health and we want to spend more time traveling, working in community organizations, enjoying our new home in Lynden, and reading the books we’ve stockpiled over the years. Dee has even begun to take up gardening.

A combination reception for the new owners and farewell for Chuck and Dee will take place at the Fairhaven store on Saturday, February 4, 2017, and at the Lynden location on Sunday, February 5. Kelly, Paul, and Sarah will also hold a series of meet-and-greets over coffee and pastries in Book Fare Café at Village Books in Fairhaven, and at Avenue Bread in Lynden during the month of February. Dates will be announced on the website and in email newsletters.

We will be eternally grateful to you for the support you’ve given us over the years and for helping us build a community of readers. We know you’ll continue to support Kelly, Paul, and Sarah as they continue to build community, one book at a time.


Chuck and Dee
Village Books and Paper Dreams
360-671-2626 • 800-392-BOOK (2665)

bricks and indies

November 20, 2016

Chin Music Press, Seattle

“Why Indie Presses Are Opening Bookstores” was published in LitHub back in June, but we’re big fans of independent bookstores, so we thought we’d give it a mention. As the title suggests, the article talks about the recent opening of bricks-and-mortar bookstores by independent presses. Not mentioned in the article is Seattle’s Chin Music Press and one of the originals, City Lights Books in San Francisco.

For more on this encouraging topic, see articles on Milkweed Books (Minneapolis) and Pages (the first Arabic-language bookstore in Istanbul). A twist on this approach is POST, a bookstore in Tokyo that offers titles from one publishing house at a time (more here).
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photo: Chin Music Press, Seattle

fresh Cash

November 19, 2016

Forever Words

Between Bob Dylan’s Nobel and Leonard Cohen’s death, the words of singer-songwriters have been much on our minds of late. Now Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, has published Forever Words, a collection of previously unpublished poems by Johnny Cash. Edited and introduced by Pulitzer-prize winning poet Paul Muldoon with a foreword by John Carter Cash, the book is illustrated with reproductions of Cash’s own handwritten pages. Read more about Forever Words in The New York Times.