February 23, 2018

Since 1963, the PEN Awards have honored the most outstanding voices in literature across a diverse range of genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. With the help of partners, PEN America confers over 20 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes each year, awarding nearly $315,000 to writers and translators.

This week, PEN named the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards winners as well as the 2018 PEN America Lifetime and Career Achievement Honorees. Among the former is poet Layli Long Soldier’s debut collection, Whereas. Among the latter is poet Kamau Braithwaite for his body of work including Elegguas, Born to Slow Horses, and Ancestors.

Congratulations to these two important voices in poetry.


on poetry

February 19, 2018

“These days, poetry is often thought of as a mode of self-expression; the subject for a lot of poets is their own self-absorption. Poems are thought of as acts of individualism. What we have forgotten, however, is that the roots of poetry are deeply social. The earliest poems were songs of ritual that celebrated the resources of the world around us; the earliest poems were also a means of recording tribal histories.”
Rick Barot
(b. February 19, 1969)

. . . . .
Quote from “Tribute to Lawson Inada”

O, pen

February 18, 2018

Now and then we like to update you on poetry submission deadlines for Cascadia-based publications.
NOTE 1: This list does not include contests.
NOTE 2: This is not a list of all the literary publications in the region, only those with open or nearly-open submissions. To see more, see the NW lit scene links in the sidebar at right.
NOTE 3: Read the publication and read the guidelines before submitting. Please.

Here’s the latest:

on poetry

January 30, 2018

“I have always wanted to write a book that ended with the word ‘mayonnaise’.”
Richard Brautigan
(January 30, 1935 – ca. September 16, 1984)

more new

January 29, 2018

Here’s another batch of new and “most anticipated” poetry books, thanks to Craig Morgan Teicher and NPR: The Personal Is Always Political: A 2018 Poetry Preview.

on poetry

January 22, 2018

“If I do not write to empty my mind, I go mad.”
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
(January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824)

. . . . .
Lord Byron painted by Thomas Phillips in 1813. Venizelos Mansion, Athens


January 16, 2018

The Poetry Department would like to join the chorus of congratulations for Ocean Vuong, who has been awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize for his debut collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press). Read the story in The Guardian.

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