• New Oregon Poet Laureate: Kim Stafford

    On May 15, 2018, Governor Kate Brown named Kim Stafford the ninth Poet Laureate of Oregon.


    We are lucky to have such an accomplished Poet Laureate with a diverse background in teaching and writing poetry. Kim Stafford grew up in Oregon and received his Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Oregon. His resume includes printer, photographer, oral historian, editor and visiting writer. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children.


    His book Having Everything Right: Essays of Place won a citation for excellence from the Western States Book Awards in 1986. Stafford has received creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Governor’s Arts Award, and the Stewart Holbrook Award from Literary Arts for his contributions to Oregon’s literary culture. Additionally, his work has been featured on National Public Radio. In his most recent book, 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do, an account of his ... Read all of this item.

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  • Posted: May 15, 2018

    Nancy Christopherson

    “Water as Much as Anything,” “Migrants Immigrants Welcome,” “Greater Good,” and “At the Human Test Site” recently published in MOMENTS BEFORE MIDNIGHT, Oregon Poets Write for Ecological, Social, Political, and Economic Justice, an anthology by Bob Hill Publishing, edited by Amalie Rush Hill.

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  • Before Dreaming: Poems by Arn Strasser, reviewed by Gigi Cooper

    Before Dreaming

    by Arn Strasser


    Budding Branch Books, an imprint of Asher & Merriman Publishers

    ISBN# 978-0-9841874-1-6

    2015, 89 pp., $19.95



    Before Dreaming almost is correct; Between Dreaming would be accurate. Arn Strasser’s collection investigates the interaction between the dream state and wakefulness. He approaches the enigma of the dream world with both wonder and dread, exploring the boundaries between living and dead, youth and age, adventure and solace. Without magniloquence, he takes the reader on a journey from as close as the dining room and sofa to the markets and shores of Sardinia.

    For Strasser, sleep is not a separate condition, but a way to access both memories and the future. Dream and memory inextricably intertwine in the book, most literally in the penultimate set of poems

    called “The Wanderers.”


    1. Night

    … so we may wander

    the landscapes

    of our dreams … .


    these constellations of our

    desires, a twilight of



    1. Awakening

    Do you hear


    of the dead,


    who speak in memory … .


    In ... Read all of this item.

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  • 2018 Spring Contest Winner: 1st Place, Theme–Borders and Boundaries

    June 2, 2018

    Cross-Country Bus

    by Charlotte Abernathy


    Miles beyond midnight, beyond another state line,

    past service station signs glaring from high pylons,

    beyond remnants of a weary town, one last overhead

    reading light clicks off. In the dark, drowsy voices

    merge with the droning motor, the roaring tires.

    Cold window glass rumbles hard against my forehead

    as I watch moonlit hills rise and fall like ocean swells.

    Distant farmhouses appear and disappear like small

    boats afloat in a heaving sea. Fleeting images of shelter

    comfort me all through the long unwinding night.




    Judge’s comments

    I was drawn to the category, Borders and Boundaries, because it is a subject that I ponder often and I often have lived in between places: countries, regions, cultures. These poems didn’t disappoint. The poets explored a lot of ground, figuratively and literally. And it was fun to explore with them. The poems that really stuck with me were those that took me someplace. The first-place poem reminded me of many ... Read all of this item.

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