Alive at the Center, Anthology of Northwest Poets

 Alive at the Center

I’m thrilled to be included in an upcoming anthology featuring poets of the Pacific Norhtwest due out on Ooligan Press in April, 2013. Called Alive at the Center, the collection concentrates on poetry from the three major Northwest cities: Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, BC.

The scale of this undertaking is stunning. From the Ooligan website: Alive at the Center was compiled by three well-known poets from each city, who worked together to select and compile the most representative work of their communities. They are: Susan Denning, Jesse Lichenstein, and Leah Stenson (Portland); Cody Walker, Kathleen Flenniken, and David D. Horowitz (Seattle); and Daniela Elza, Bonnie Nish, and Robin Susanto (Vancouver).

I promise more thoughts once I get my contributor’s copy in the mail. For now, learn more about the collection and about smaller editions focused on each city, check out the Ooligan Press website.

The Pacific Northwest is home for so many poets that metaphor isn’t just a literary device but a way of life, yet often in the discussion of great literary cities in North America, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver are rarely spoken of with the same adoration as New York, Boston, or even Los Angeles. The modesty and politeness of the Northwest certainly doesn’t help. But Alive at the Center, a collection of the finest living poets working in the Pacific, eschews the quintessential Northwest politeness through poems that are clever, inventive, sexy, and rich with the spirit of a region that won’t be forgotten the next time you talk about great literary cities. If Alive at the Center proves anything about Northwest poetry, it’s that we aren’t some ragtag group of poets in the upper left corner of a map— we are, in fact, at the center. We are the home of the next generation contemporary North American poets. Read this book, and you’ll think so, too.
Brian McGuigan, program director at Richard Hugo House


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