As poets, we are inspired — directly and indirectly — by the words and teachings of other poets. As human beings, and as poets, we struggle to find ways to honor losses that often seem overwhelming. This page finds itself at the intersection of inspiration and loss. It is not meant to be comprehensive (or morbid), but to offer a small selection of apt words of recollection and consolation. The poets represented here have lived in, been inspired by, or had a powerful influence upon, the Cascadia region. The list will expand as time allows.

Thomas Hubbard

June 15, 1938 – May 30, 2023
Thomas Hubbard’s goodbye message on Facebook, May 30, 2023: “Today is the day. Thanks to all the folks around me and to all my friends who have to be somewhere else. Special thanks to those with whom I have shared love. And thanks to this round world for being a good teacher. It’s been a wild ride, and now my stop is coming up. Be kind to one another. Travel easy.”

Remembrance by Lenora Rain-Lee Good.

Bill Yake

March 9, 1947 – December 12, 2022

David Wagoner

June 5, 1926 – December 18, 2021
Remembrance: Poetry Northwest
Obituary: Best American Poetry
Obituary: The New York Times
Remembrance: Knute Berger in Crosscut

Lee Maracle

July 2, 1950 – November 11, 2021
Obituary: The New York Times
Obituary: CBC
Remembrance: The Globe and Mail
Barry Lopez

January 6, 1945 – December 25, 2020
Obituary: The New York Times
Obituary: The Washington Post
photo: David Liittschwager
Marvin Bell

August 3, 1937 – December 14, 2020
Obituary: Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Little Village
Obituary: Copper Canyon Press

photo: Sam Roxas-Chua

Judith Roche

September 9, 1941 –
November 14, 2019

Paul Nelson remembers Judith Roche

Obituary: The Seattle Times
Tom Jay

1943 – 2019

Mourning Tom Jay: ‘watershed shaman,’ poet, bronze artist

Tom Jay Walks On
Jim Milstead
“The Bard of Bellingham”

1927 – 2019

In his own words, Jim Milstead was “Born in Chicago. Moved to Fresno, CA. Entered the Marine Corps, occupying northern China. Graduated from Fresno State College. Worked at the Linear Accelerator in Livermore, CA. Entered graduate school, spending 35 years as a biological control researcher at UC Berkeley. Moved to Bellingham in 1992. Now I write.” A prolific poet of gymnastic language, tickling humor, acute insight, and profound emotion, Jim was author of the poetry books Collage (Independent Writers Studio Press, 2015) and Scenario (Akimbo Publications, 2015), was a three-time Boynton winner, a vigorous participant in local open mics, and for years an inspiring sight, walking miles each day through Bellingham, notebook in hand.

Patrick Lane

March 26, 1939 –
March 7, 2019

Obituary: University of Victoria
Obituary and interview: BC BookLook
Reflections: Vancouver Sun

photo Chris Hancock Donaldson


Sam Hamill

September 5, 1943 – April 14, 2018

Obituary: The New York Times
Obituary: The Seattle Times
Ursula K. Le Guin

October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018

Obituary: The New York Times
Additional tributes
Madeline DeFrees

November 18, 1919 – November 11, 2015

Obituary: The Seattle Times
Conversation: Image Journal
Carolyn Kizer

December 10, 1925 – October 9, 2014

Obituary: The New York Times
Video tribute: The Cortland Review
Jack McCarthy

May 23, 1939 – January 17, 2013

Obituary: Boston Globe
Obituary (PDF): Dartmouth College

Robert Sund

November 29, 1929 – September 29, 2001

Biography: Robert Sund Poet’s House Trust
Obituary: The Seattle Times
Denise Levertov

October 24, 1923 – December 20, 1997

Obituary: The New York Times
Obituary: The Seattle Times
William Stafford

January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993

Obituary: The New York Times
Commentary on Stafford: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington
Raymond Carver

May 25, 1938 – August 2, 1988

Obituary: The New York Times
Bio: Poetry Foundation
Richard Hugo

December 21, 1923 – October 22, 1982

Reflection: The Paris Review
Profile: HistoryLink
Theodore Roethke

May 25, 1908 – August 1, 1963

Stanley Kunitz on Theodore Roethke
Life and Career: Modern American Poetry
Ella Rhoads Higginson

~1862 – December 27, 1940

Profile: HistoryLink
Interview with Higginson scholar, Laura Laffrado

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