New Poets of the American West

I’m pleased to have two poems, “Highway” and “Then I Packed You Up the Ridge Like a Brother on My Back,” featured in the extensive and fascinating anthology New Poets of the American West. Here’s a bit more about the project from the publisher:

New Poets of the American West

an anthology of poets
from eleven Western states

Edited by Lowell Jaeger

Kim Addonizio • Sandra Alcosser • Sherman Alexie • Jimmy Santiago Baca •Ellen Bass • Jim Barnes • Marvin Bell • James Bertolino • Sherwin Bitsui • Judy Blunt • Christopher Buckley • Henry Carlile • Maxine Chernoff • Marilyn Chin • Katharine Coles • Mary Crow • Matthew Dickman • Gary Gildner • Raphael Jesús Gonzáles • Dana Gioia • Samuel Green • Mark Halperin • Sam Hamill • Joy Harjo • Jim Harrison • Jane Hirshfield • Garrett Hongo • Christopher Howell • Linda Hussa • Lawson Fasao Inada • Mark Irwin • Lowell Jaeger • Ilya Kaminsky • Melissa Kwasny • Lance Larson • Dorianne Laux • David Lee • Philip Levine • Adrian C. Louis • Clarence Major • Ron McFarland • Sandra McPherson • Jane Miller • Dixie Partridge • Simon Ortiz • Carol Muske-Dukes • Robert Pack • Greg Pape • Lucia Perillo • David Ray • Lois Red Elk • David Romtvedt • Alberto Rios • Pattiann Rogers • William Pitt Root • Wendy Rose • Vern Rutsala • Kay Ryan • Reg Saner • Leslie Marmon Silko • Maurya Simon • Floyd Skloot • Gary Soto • Kim Stafford • David St. John • Primus St. John • Luci Tapahonzo • Rawdon Tomlinson • Bill Tremblay • David Wagoner • Robert Wrigley • Al Young • and many more!

New Poets of the American West is a panoramic (and revealing) view of the West through the eyes of more than 250 poets and 450 poems, including poems in English, Spanish, Navajo, Salish, Assiniboin, and Dakota languages. Collected here are poems about horse racing, mining, trash collecting, nuclear testing, firefighting, border crossings, buffalo hunting, surfing, logging, and sifting flour. In these pages you will visit flea markets, military bases, internment camps, reservations, funerals, weddings, rodeos, nursing homes, national parks, backyard barbecues, prisons, forests, meadows, rivers, and mountain tops. In your “mind’s eye,” you will meet a simple-minded girl who gets run over by a bull, two mothers watching a bear menacingly nosing toward unsuspecting children, and children who “have yet to be toilet trained out of their souls.” You will learn to “reach into the sacred womb, / grasp a placid hoof / and coax life toward this certain moment.” You’ll teach poetry to third graders, converse with hitchhikers, lament for an incarcerated brother “trying to fill the holes in his soul / with Camel cigarettes / and crude tattoos.” You will sit at the kitchen table where perhaps the world will end “while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.” In the short time each of us has in this world, here’s your chance to experience life widely and to reflect on your experiences deeply. Lowell Jaeger, Editor In New Poets of the American West, we hear from Native Americans and first-generation immigrants, from ranchlanders and megaopolites, from poet-teachers and street-poets, and more. In fact, the West is so big, and home to such diversity that the deeper one reads in this anthology, the more voices and world views one encounters, the more textures of thought, emotion, and language one discovers, the less we may find ourselves able to speak of a single, stable something called the American West. Rather, we may find ourselves living in (or reading into) not one West, but many.

Brady Harrison, Professor
University of Montana

Tar River Poetry

The latest issue of the always excellent Tar River Poetry is out, and in those pages you’ll find my poem “Now That It Has Been Many Years, and I Have Moved Far from Mississippi.”  Here’s a bit more about TRP from their website:

A nationally ranked magazine of verse (the Dictionary of Literary Biography listed it as one of the top ten poetry magazines in the country), TRP publishes interviews, reviews, and poetry by emerging writers as well as Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners. Past contributors include William Stafford, Claudia Emerson, Sharon Olds, Leslie Norris, William Matthews, Louis Simpson, Betty Adcock, John Logan, A. Poulin Jr., Paula Rankin, A.R. Ammons, Carolyn Kizer, Albert Goldbarth, Patricia Goedicke, and many others.

Poems in High Desert Journal

I have two poems in the current issue of High Desert Journal, the beautifully-designed literary journal out of Bend, Oregon. Lots of great stuff in this issue, including an essay by Amy Irvine and a poem by Brandon Schrand.

And here’s a bit about HDJ from their website:

High Desert Journal is a literary and visual art magazine dedicated to further understanding the people, places and issues of the interior West. Its pages help define this region in literary and artistic terms, and represent a collection of work that charts the changes of a distinctive, unique region. High Desert Journal is one of the first publications to give readers another way to understand and think about the high desert: through the stories and images that spring from the memories and imaginations of writers and artists.

Two Poems taken at Poetry Northwest

My poems “On the Beginning of Winter in Some Lost Industrial City of the North River Country” and “Poem Thinning out into Prayer” were just picked up for publication at Poetry Northwest. This one means a lot to me, as Richard Hugo was one of the original editors of the magazine! Here’s a bit about PNW from their website:

A History of Poetry Northwest

est. 1959

 Poetry Northwest was founded as a quarterly, poetry-only journal in 1959 by Errol Pritchard, with Carolyn Kizer, Richard Hugo, and Nelson Bentley as co-editors. The first issue was 28 pages and included the work of Philip Larkin, James Wright, and William Stafford.

Poetry Northwest soon gained an international reputation for publishing some of the best poetry by established and up-and-coming poets in the U.S, Canada, Britain, and beyond, including such notables and award winners as Stanley Kunitz, Thom Gunn, Phillip Larkin, May Swenson, Theodore Roethke, Hayden Carruth, W.S. Merwin, John Berryman, Czeslaw Milosz, Philip Levine, and Anne Sexton.

In 1963, Poetry Northwest became a publication of the University of Washington. In 1964, Carolyn Kizer became the sole editor of the magazine, and held that post until 1966, when she resigned to become the Literature Director at the National Endowment for the Arts. David Wagoner then assumed the role of editor, a position he held for 36 years.

During Wagoner’s tenure, the magazine continued to publish established poets alongside new and emerging writers.  Writers such as Harold Pinter, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Dillard, Raymond Carver, James Welch, Ted Kooser, James Dickey, Robert Pinsky, Richard Wilbur, Wendell Berry, Charles Baxter, Mary Oliver, Edward Hirsch, Stanley Plumly, Linda Pastan, Stephen Dobyns, Stephen Dunn, Jorie Graham, Michael Harper, and Mark Strand were among the major contributors to its poetry-only pages.

In 2002, after several years of dire financial circumstances, Poetry Northwest — at the time one of the longest-running poetry-only publications in the country — temporarily ceased publication.

since 2005

In August 2005, the University of Washington appointed David Biespiel the new editor of Poetry Northwest, with an agreement that the editorial offices of the magazine would relocate to the Attic Writers’ Workshop in Portland, Oregon. The new series resumed publication in March 2006, in a larger, trade magazine format, appearing biannully as a print edition, with new monthly features published online. The magazine was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in March 2007. Circulation quickly rebounded, surpassing pre-2000 levels as dedicated readers rediscovered an old favorite, and new readers enbraced the innovative new format.

In January 2010, the  Board of Directors appointed Kevin Craft the fifth editor of Poetry Northwest. Craft returned the editorial offices to the greater Seattle area, reaching an agreement with Everett Community College to house and publish to magazine at Everett, where it will play in integral role in EvCC’s Written Arts AFA Program. Even so, Poetry Northwest remains an independent, autonomous nonprofit organization dependent on subscriber and community support.

According to Craft, “Our mission remains what it has been for more than five decades. In the words of founding editor Carolyn Kizer, ‘We shall continue to encourage the young and the inexperienced, the neglected mature, and the rough major talents and the fragile minor ones.’ We remain as committed as we were in 1959 to publishing the best poetry we can find, and to expanding the role and scope of poetry in ways both public and private, innovative and traditional, as an art and as a clear and necessary dialogue in a world overrun with noise.”

Poem Taken at Willow Springs

My poem “Theodicy Envoy” will be appearing in this summer’s issue of Willow Springs, a literary journal I’ve long admired. Here’s a bit about them from their website:

Willow Springs publishes the finest in contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as interviews with some of the most notable authors in contemporary literature, including Marilynne Robinson, Stuart Dybek, Aimee Bender, and Robert Bly. Founded in 1977 and published twice yearly, Willow Springs features two interviews per issue, as well as arresting essays, fiction, and poetry by a diverse variety of writers—from the unknown and up and coming, to U.S. Poet Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners. An indispensable resource for writers and readers, Willow Springs engages its audience in an ongoing discussion of art, ideas, and what it means to be human.

In our 30 years of publication, Willow Springs has looked for and published fresh and established voices in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including those of Tobias Wolff, Jorge Luis Borges, Yusef Komunyakaa, Louis Jenkins, Denise Levertov, James Grabill, WS Merwin, William Stafford, Charles Bukowski, Chris Offutt, Robert Olmstead, Michael Martone, Robert Hass, Michael Heffernan, Tomaž Šalamun, Bret Lott, Sam Hamill, Naomi Shihab Nye, Alice Derry, Paulann Peterson, Osip Mandelstam, Patricia Henley, Thomas Reiter, Bill Tremblay, Tom Crawford, Mark Halliday, D. Nurkse, Elizabeth Murawski, and hundreds of others from around the world.

“Hayrake” to Appear in BPJ

Just heard from the editors of Beloit Poetry Journal that they’d like my poem “Hayrake” for an upcoming issue. Here’s a little bit about BPJ from The Literary Magazine Review:

Once in a while, I’ll pick up a lit mag and read a great poem by someone I’ve never heard of. A poem that knocks me down and steals my shoes and makes me walk back to my own poor town over rocks and thorns. A poem that knocks the oomph out of my status quo. A poem I want to read to everybody. One that works and risks while it works. The Beloit Poetry Journal offers such poems.

The Literary Magazine Review