In "Three Dreams from the Eastside of the Mountains," a sprawling, rollickingly Whitmanesque love poem, Tod Marshall summons the wildly various landscapes and identities of Washington state.
"Ask the swirling dirt rising in spirals/from dusty furrows just outside of Ephrata"
Describing how he came to write the poem for the 2014 Bedtime Stories fundraiser for Humanities Washington, Marshall said the prompt was "things that go bump in the night," which inspired him to craft a "dreamscape."
"I've always been fascinated by myth and larger-than-life figures," Marshall said. "This poem plays with the mythic vision of ourselves that we cultivate in the Northwest: great coffee drinkers, fly fishers, beer brewers, mushroom foragers, software makers, trend setters and so on, and also utters sincere longing at the divides (ideological and visionary) that split our state."
Marshall's newest collection, his third, is "Bugle." His previous volumes include "The Tangled Line" and Dare Say,' and the anthologies "Range of Voices" and "Range of the Possible."
He's a professor of English at Gonzaga University, where he directs the writing program.
Our thanks to Verne Windham at KPBX, Spokane Public Radio, for recording Tod Marshall.