poetry

CEO Satya Nadella told the Seattle Chamber of Commerce this week that he has a shorter attention span now that he is running Microsoft.

But now that he's busier and his attention span is limited, he has switched to reading poetry, "because it's easier."

What does a poet make of that? Bill Radke asks former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, who is in Seattle for Seattle's Favorite Poems.

Susan Rich
Kelli Russell Agodon

Seattle-based poet and human rights activist Susan Rich reads two poems concerning the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

The first is "The Wall" from her 2000 collection "The Cartographer's Tongue," winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry. 

The second is "What We Were Taught / What We Have Lost," written in response to the most recent violence.

Poet Michelle Peñaloza
Dawn Tyler

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.

Book cover Reckless Lovely
Saturnalia Books

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.

Poet Christine Deavel
Rebecca Hoogs

Poet Christine Deavel trains her empathetic eye on two familiar places: North Seattle's Thornton Creek ("In Your Care") and the grocery store checkout line ("Each Day on the Verge").  

As she transforms these places through unexpected language and imagery, she also holds open questions about what it means to be whole, to be a neighbor, to be in one another's care. 

Paul Morigi/AP Images for National Portrait Gallery

Marcie Sillman talks to Colleen McElroy and Jen Marlowe about the legacy and impact of Dr. Maya Angelou on their lives.

McElroy is a writer and lecturer emeritus at the University of Washington. Marlowe is a Seattle writer and activist.

Courtesy of Rebecca Hoogs

In "50th & Sunnyside" and "Poem of Our Good Fortune," poet and Seattle native J.W. Marshall  proves that getting out of your car — whether to become a pedestrian or a bus rider — changes everything.

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.

April is National Poetry Month — and at Code Switch, we like poems. We will be exploring a set of broad issues of race and ethnicity in modern poetry for the duration of the month.

About Face cover
Floating Bridge Press

Poet Ann Gerike combined years of research with an empathetic imagination to write "About Face: World War I Facial Injury and Reconstruction." Her poems bring to life the stories of terribly disfigured soldiers and surgeon Major Harold Gillies, whose wartime innovations helped restore their faces.

Garrison Keillor's book, "O, What A Luxury."

Steve Scher talks with Garrison Keillor about his first collection of original poetry, "O, What A Luxury: Verses Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound.”

This interview originally aired on November 6, 2013.

Kim-An Lieberman
Matt Corddry

The gravitational pull of one generation on another resounds throughout Kim-An Lieberman's second collection of poetry, "In Orbit." As in her first collection, "Breaking the Map," Lieberman mines the complexities of her Vietnamese and Jewish heritage to evoke a multi-layered identity.

A Belated Valentine From RadioActive

Feb 27, 2014
KUOW Photo/Jenny Asarnow and Sophie Ding

In honor of Valentine’s Day, RadioActive hosts Ann Kane and Sophie Ding bring you stories of young love. We find out what love means to preschoolers and retired folks, hear what the Greeks had to say about love and enjoy a love poem written to the world. Plus, Nina Tran plays a love song for her wisdom teeth on the banjo.

Michelle Obama and 2013 National Student Poets
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Elizabeth Austen features Nathan Cummings, a senior at Mercer Island High School, as he reads his poem "Proteus" and describes what being named as one of five National Student Poets in 2013 has meant to him.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman sits down with "America's most popular poet" Billy Collins about his new book "Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems." And, he treats us with a reading of one of his new pieces.

This interview originally aired on November 4, 2013.

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