This dream the world is having about itself
includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail,
a groove in the grass my father showed us all
one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell
something better about to happen.
William Stafford, “Vocation”
- The Great Hunt and Other Poems, by Patty Wixon, reviewed by Paulann PetersenPatty Wixon’s collection The Great Hunt and Other Poems begins with a poem in which wildfire smoke dissolves/the sun…leaving the day black. In the final poem, a bright star flickers before sliding behind a lifting sunrise. Indeed, Wixon’s poems move back and forth freely from darkness to light, from past to present, from joy to sorrow, from catastrophe to blessings.
- Stronger Than the Current, by Mark Thalman, reviewed by M. Ann ReedThe title of Mark Thalman’s chapbook, Stronger Than the Current, emerges from the dominant character trait of Helen McCready, a native Oregonian. When the rising Siuslaw River drowns McCready’s prize tulips, she keeps her rowboat tied to the back porch from which she fishes for salmon. Her patience is stronger than the current (“Mapleton”). Not a patience of necessity for survival, not a patience of placid waiting for the fish to bite, hers is rather a steadfast mindful trust in and love of the remaining beauty, which surpasses necessity.
- The 2022 Conference is Open for Registration!OPA is bringing our annual conference to you through Zoom! Come celebrate poetry in our region by attending workshops, browsing through our virtual bookroom, and listening to our keynote speaker Jessica Mehta on our theme of Poetry in Troubled times. Go to our events calendar and see the link on October 8th to register.
- OPA Board Minutes, July 12, 2022Board minutes: July 12th, 2022
- Firefly Lanterns: Twelve Years in Kyōto, by Margaret Chula, reviewed by Ce RosenowI have known Maggie for almost thirty years, having met shortly after her return from living in Japan. I found several of the stories in Firefly Lanterns to be familiar tales she shared while we visited beneath the copper beech in her back meadow in Portland or shared a meal. Other stories were new to me, and even the ones I had heard before took on new life because of her decision to write them as haibun. This Japanese form began as a type of travel writing, making it particularly appropriate for sharing Chula’s memories of her time abroad. It combines prose paragraphs with haiku, allowing the poet to craft detailed vignettes punctuated with crystalized images in the haiku. Chula is a longtime practitioner of haibun and even invented the form of linked haibun with Rich Youmans in their book Shadow Lines. In Firefly Lanterns, she takes varied approaches, sometimes concluding the haibun with haiku and other times interspersing haiku throughout a longer prose narrative.
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