Ross Reynolds speaks with Seattle poet Heather McHugh, who is the author of eight volumes of poetry and numerous works of translation. She won a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called genius award, in 2009. Since her retirement as a professor of creative writing at the University of Washington this year, she has been working full time on a non-profit organization called Caregifted, which provides relief for family caregivers of severely disabled people.
Waldron Island poet Sam Green reads two poems from his newest book, "All That Might Be Done." Each in its own way offers the gift of perspective.
"Constellations" tells the story of an outsider ("We knew he was different,") who prompts a group of boys playing baseball to see themselves -- momentarily -- as "stars in a field / of sky, said we should imagine each of us /a billion miles apart."
Today on Speakers Forum: poetic inspiration from your friends, neighbors and other notables.
When Town Hall Seattle opened its doors in March of 1999 ,the first gathering was a celebration of Seattle’s Favorite Poems. The event was part of a national project created and hosted by then-U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
Aylin Barbieri made an impression on Father Spencer Reece, who also happens to be an award-winning poet. Abandoned by her family, Barbieri is one of more than 70 girls living at Our Little Roses Home for Girls in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where Reece taught poetry and English in 2012.
Ever since she moved to Seattle from Eugene a little over a year ago, poet Michelle Peñaloza has been inviting volunteers to walk with her from Hugo House in Capitol Hill to a place in the city where their hearts were broken.
Along the walk, each person tells Peñaloza the story of the heartbreak. She records and maps the conversation using her phone’s GPS system, and transforms some of the walks and conversations into poems.
Seattle poet Martha Silano found inspiration in an NPR story, "An Alien View of Earth," about an image of our planet taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. The poem she wrote in response to the news story, "Pale Blue Dot," not only became part of her newest collection, "Reckless Lovely," but led her work in a new direction.
This is an excerpt from a longer interview that was originally broadcast on Oct. 19, 2011.
A few years after her younger brother John died from AIDS-related complications in 1989, poet Marie Howe wrote him a poem in the form of a letter. Called "What the Living Do," the poem is an elegiac description of loss, and of living beyond loss.