on poetry

October 31, 2022

“I have over the years come to believe in the poem not as a singular entity, precise, refined and complete in the space of its words on its page, but more an accumulation of the experiences those words encourage. The processes that flow in and out of them, the sonic experiences, the interior experiences, the social experiences. But even the actual things keep falling apart.”
Joshua Beckman
(b. October 31, 1971)

. . . . .
photo by Christopher Franko

searching for news

October 30, 2022

Sometimes it’s just a slow news day.

books for fall…

October 29, 2022

The poetry books, and lists of recommended titles, just keep coming!

Cozy up with a poetry book (or two)… and happy reading!

six days in November

October 27, 2022

While the graphics and the official materials suggest that the Portland Book Festival is a one-day event, on Saturday, November 5, 2022, that doesn’t begin to cover it. In addition to the Saturday main-stage and pop-up events, the Festival is offering an array of Cover-to-Cover events from Tuesday, November 1, through Sunday, November 6, including readings, book launches, online workshops, etc. Scroll through the online schedule for details or view the complete 24-page program on issuu.

your turn

October 26, 2022

Rena Priest (along with Claudia Castro Luna, Tod Marshall, Elizabeth Austen, Kathleen Flenniken, and Sam Green) has set a very high bar, but if you have the energy, personality, poetry chops, time, organizational skills, flexibility, and interest, applications (and nominations) are now open for the 2023-2025 Washington State Poet Laureate.

on poetry

October 25, 2022

“I start with sound first. I don’t have line breaks when I start. It’s just a free flow of writing that takes me all the way through. Then I have a score. The next stage is the images.”
Gary Copeland Lilley
(b. October 25)

. . . . .

Sunday evening on YouTube

October 23, 2022

Join the Alaska Quarterly Review for another episode in the Pièces de Résistance Reading Series, today featuring Michael Waters, Kelli Russell Agodon, and Erin Coughlin Hollowell. Watch today, Sunday, October 23, 2022, on YouTube at 5:00pm Pacific (4:00pm Alaska). More about the poets on Facebook.

another short video poem

October 22, 2022

taxonomy of possible last words” is a collaborative video poem that combines the graphics of Stephen Burt and the words of poet Catherine Weiss. Watch it on YouTube.

More Catherine Weiss video poems.
There Were Many,” another video by Stephen Burt.

This is a guest post by Sheila Sondik

Do you have stacks of unread poetry books? If you’re reading this blog, I’d guess that you do. The poet Nicole Sealey pledged to read a book of poems every day in August 2017 and has inspired other poetry lovers to do the same every August since. I decided to give The Sealey Challenge a try this year.

I did it! I read 31 books in August! A half dozen or so were by friends, some were by very well-known poets (Ada Limón, Ilya Kaminsky), and the rest were mostly new to me. So many exciting discoveries from my own bookshelves! I was swept up in the glory of poetry.

The most delightful surprise was finding Short Journey Upriver Toward Ōishida, a book I don’t remember acquiring, a discard from the Penetanguishene Public Library in Ontario (in spite of its winning the 2004 Governor General’s Award for English-language Poetry). The whimsical Hiroshige print on the cover may have been what led them to misclassify it as a juvenile book. That print was what caught my eye, and the contents are filled with references to Bashō and his trip to the far north of Japan, as well as a Tanizaki short story. One section of this book is written in the haibun form, combining prose and haiku-like poetry. A multipage prose poem features a full-fruited persimmon tree, passed by chance on a drive. That reminded me of our persimmon tree in Berkeley, which gave our family so much joy. There are also many poems in Roo Borson’s book that were written walking along rivers on repeated visits to Australia. Before the pandemic, I visited Australia several times to see my grandchildren. The Sealey Challenge worked in its mysterious way to bring me to many books like this one that have special meaning for me.

There’s no bureaucracy overseeing The Sealey Challenge. Just gather your stash and read. I found it fun to join the Facebook group to get a glimpse of what others were reading. I posted a weekly photo of what I’d read. The only thing I might change next year is to read some longer collections, that may need more than one day to complete. After all, who’s counting?

. . . . .
Sheila Sondik’s Sealey Challenge list, alphabetically:

Hifsa Ashraf, her deep-rooted scars
Hifsa Ashraf, Wildflowers
Rick Barot, The Galleons
Allison Blevins, Letters to Joan
Roo Borson, Short Journey Upriver Toward Ōishida
Marianne Boruch, Bestiary Dark
Cid Corman, nothing doing
Geffrey Davis, Night Angler
Giorgio de Chirico, Geometry of Shadows
Deborah Digges, Rough Music
Nava Etshalom, The Knives We Need
Linda Gregerson, Canopy
Joan Naviyuk Kane, Dark Traffic
Ilya Kaminsky, Dancing in Odessa
Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic
Laura Kasischke, Space, in Chains
Danusha Lameris, Bonfire Opera
Ye Lijun, My Mountain Country
Ada Limón, The Carrying
Ada Limón, The Hurting Kind
Nancy Chen Long, Wider Than the Sky
Amy Miller, Astronauts
Jim Moore, Prognosis
Joan Murray, Dancing on the Edge
Hoa Nguyen, A Thousand Times you Lose Your Treasure
Bethany Reid, Sparrow
Masayo Saito, Snow Bones
Caroline N. Simpson, Choose Your Own Adventure
Judith Skillman, Oscar the Misanthropist
Sarah White, Iridescent Guest
Charles Wright, Caribou

. . . . .

Sheila Sondik is a Bellingham printmaker and poet. Her poem “At Tennant Lake” was a Merit Award winner in this year’s Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. Her website is sheilasondik.com.

on poetry

October 20, 2022

“I’m always one to want to start with some fire.”
Mai Der Vang
(b. October 20, 1981)

. . . . .
photo by Andre Yang

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