poetry

Cover image of Marjorie Manwaring's book
Mayapple Press

As spring edges out winter and previously bare tree limbs are suddenly effusive with blossoms, there's a sense that almost anything -- or anyone -- deserves a second chance. In her poem "A Quiet," poet Marjorie Manwaring meditates on alternative endings and the possibility of redemption.

Colleen McElroy
Photo Credit/Ingrid Papp-Sheldon

In her poem "What Stays Here," Colleen McElroy imagines life as a female soldier who must choose between loyalty to herself, and loyalty to a military code that says "keep quiet" and "get along." Like many of the poems in McElroy's ninth collection, "Here I Throw Down My Heart," (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012) the poem awakens us to voices and stories we might otherwise never hear with such intimacy and power.

Carolyne Wright
Photo Credit/Erik Rucker

It can be hard to know how to respond to tragedies on the scale of the Newtown, Conn. shooting. We want to do something, but what?

Mapping The Human Brain

Feb 28, 2013
Brain scans
Flickr Photo/David Foltz

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a massive scientific endeavor to map the human brain. It's a multi-billion dollar, multi-year project that's meant to do for neuroscience what the Human Genome Project did for DNA. How will scientists actually achieve it? We talk with Dr. Christof Koch from the Allen Institute for Brain Science and Dr. Patricia Kuhl from the UW Institute for Learning and Brain Science.

Taps On The Walls: Poems From The Hanoi Hilton

Feb 19, 2013

Many of us have written poetry during stressful times in life. Decorated retired Air Force Major General John Borling wrote his while imprisoned for six and a half years at the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam. He joins us to share the poetry that helped him and his fellow POWs survive.

Cover of Alice Derry's 'Tremolo.'
Red Hen Press

Mourning begins in a kind of thick non-seeing,
only later clarified, gradually lightening,
until we recognize what our lives must carry.

So begins "The Planet Closest To Us," Alice Derry's frank and moving poem about grieving the loss of someone who it was not always easy to love -- her mother. Derry reads her poem, and talks about the unexpected gift in her mother's passing.

Poet Suzanne Edison
Seedison.com

Poet Suzanne Edison knows the ups and downs of chronic illness too well. Her daughter has juvenile myositis, a rare autoimmune disorder. Today she reads two poems about the way her child’s illness affects her parenting: “Betrayal” and “Bloodwork.”

Poet Suzanne Edison
Seedison Designs

Learning that your child has a serious, chronic illness is like falling off a cliff, without knowing how — or if — your feet will ever find the ground again, says poet Suzanne Edison.

Portrait of poet Elissa Ball
Olivia McCausland

Performance poet Elissa Ball comes from the  ethos of Riot Grrrl and punk.  She distributed her poems via do-it-yourself zines beginning in her early teen years. Her poem "Analog Love" offers exuberant praise for the pre-digital sensual world.

Hanford B Reactor
Wikimedia

In childhood, our allegiances, our loves, are often black and white, simplistic. One of the difficult parts of becoming an adult is reconciling ourselves to the failings and flaws in what we have loved and admired. Sometimes the task involves recognizing our own complicity in those failings.

Politics In Verse With Calvin Trillin

Dec 27, 2012
Calvin Trillin
AP Photo/Richard Drew

America's deadline poet Calvin Trillin presents this talk about the 2012 presidential election -- in verse. With wry humor, Trillin discusses politics, campaigns and poetry, including the frustrating difficulty of trying to rhyme words with presidential candidate names. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on December 10, 2012.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

Journalist Calvin Trillin is a longtime writer for The New Yorker and The Nation magazine's "Deadline Poet." He has published more than 20 books, ranging from memoir ("About Alice") to humor ("Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff"). His latest book, "Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse," is a poetic recap of the memorable milestones along the campaign trail. Trillin joins us to reflect on the people, pitfalls and promises of the 2012 campaign.

Cover of Alice Derry's "Tremolo"
Red Hen Press

In "Fooling Around," poet and translator Alice Derry considers the implications of the artistic life — whether it is chosen, or thrust upon us.

Cover of Alice Derry's "Tremolo"
Red Hen Press

Many Pacific Northwest artists feel compelled to respond to the drama of the salmon fighting their way upstream to spawn. In "Finding the Poem," Port Angeles poet Alice Derry sees in the salmon's efforts a parallel with the way we learn to accommodate each other in a long marriage — and how often it is loss that teaches us, finally, how to do it.

KUOW Photo/Elizabeth Austen

Why do we make art? and Is it worth the personal cost? are two of the central questions in Christine Deavel's poetry collection "Woodnote" (Bear Star Press, 2011). Deavel is the co-owner of a poetry-only bookstore in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood, and a graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop. "Woodnote" has even won the Washington State Book award for poetry. But even so, Deavel describes herself as someone who is almost constantly in crisis about why she, or anyone, writes. KUOW's Elizabeth Austen spoke with Christine Deavel about that ambivalence and how it plays out in her work.

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