Making poems is a central part of my life. Much of my writing involves English-language versions of Japanese poetic forms including haiku, haibun, senryu, and tanka. During the last few years, I’ve also found myself exploring in my own poems how the failure of form might function as a metaphor for form.
I share more of my thoughts about poetry in a short interview with Drew Myron on her blog, Off the Page.
Poetry also informs by editing, research, and teaching, and finding moments where these interests align is always gratifying. An example is my involvement with the republication of Seal Rock by John Haislip. Seal Rock received the first Oregon Book Award for Poetry by Literary Arts and yet the book has been out of print for several years.
When John’s widow, Karen Locke, decided to reprint the book, I offered to distribute it from Mountains and Rivers Press. I chaired a panel, “John Haislip’s Seal Rock: Thirty Years Later,” that Karen and I set up at the Oregon Poetry Association Conference in September 2016. I also helped Karen organize a reading by some of John’s former students at Tsunami Books, and made it an Honors Program event, giving away copies of the book to students and inviting them to the reading.
I’m grateful to Karen for making sure that this important book is still in print and available to readers.