Posts tagged Poetry Northwest
Interview //How a Phrase Will Find You: A Conversation with Michelle Peñaloza

Michelle Peñaloza, who was born in the suburbs of Detroit, grew up in Nashville, lived in Seattle, and now resides in rural California, offers rich, lush poetry packed to the margins with stories of her father and mother, tear-inducing fights with lovers and bouts grappling with self-doubt. Maneuvering through rivers of anger with an ability to turn a masterful phrase, Peñaloza has written a new collection of poetry, Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire, which won the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk National Prize, and will be published by Inlandia Institute in the fall of 2019. To celebrate the publication, I caught up with Peñaloza to ask about her family, her relationship to anger, and how she fell in love with the written word.

Read More
Interview // The Only History I Can Claim: A Conversation with E.J. Koh

Seattle poet E. J. Koh writes with both a delicate and brutal hand. Whether staring into the eyes of a loved one or a murderer, her work is unblinking. Her poems mine dichotomies in homes and languages, shedding light on her own difficult childhood, during which she was separated from her parents for nine years. Koh, who didn’t speak until almost five years old, now wins awards for her poetry and adoration for her translations. A Korean-American, Koh grew up with immigrant parents and when she talks about her history, she does so with a voice saturated in reflection and interpretations. We wanted to catch up with the author to talk about her recent collection, A Lesser Love (Pleiades Press, 2017), to see what she’s working on now and to glean a few insights into her illustrious creative process.

Read More
Interview // Like a Trapdoor Opening: A Conversation with Ed Skoog

It’s not often you meet someone who is both poet and podcast host, but that’s exactly what you get when you encounter the loquacious writer and Portland, Oregon resident, Ed Skoog. Thoughtful and meticulous with his words, Skoog—who grew up in Kansas and has spent time in Montana and the Northwest—muses on friendship, conversation, death and rebuilding without much prompting. His most recent books of poetry, Rough Day and Run The Red Lights, showcase strength and facility with language while differing drastically from one another in tone, presentation, and form. Skoog is currently at work on his next book, Travelers Leaving for the City, which he describes as “a book-length poem about arrivals and departures, centered around my grandfather’s murder in 1955.” Skoog, who continues to co-host his podcast with John Robert Lennon, Lunch Box with Ed and John, chatted with us about his inspirations, his thoughts of home, and how Hurricane Katrina showed him poetry is essential for rebuilding a city.

Read More
Interview // There Isn’t a Metaphor for Everything: A Conversation with Jane Wong

Jane Wong, the exceptional Emerald City poet, now lives and works in Bellingham as an Assistant Professor at Western Washington University. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Wong graduated from the University of Iowa’s MFA program in poetry, and then earned a PhD from the University of Washington. Recently, Wong was also awarded a prestigious Washington State award. But perhaps more than anything it was the restaurant her parents owned and operated in New Jersey that shaped her career. We wanted to catch up with Wong—whose poem “Aphoristic” appeared on our website, and whose first collection, Overpour, was reviewed here by Dandi Meng—to talk with her about her recent award, how her past has shaped her present, and how she moves forward through a challenging and often dark world.

Read More