April is, among many other things (including the occasional delivery of surprise snowstorms), National Poetry Month, a celebration brought to life in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets and carried out with rhythmic regularity every year since. The occasion has prompted Portland photographer K.B. Dixon, a frequent ArtsWatch contributor and a portraitist of note, to search his files for previously unpublished studio photos of ten distinguished Oregon contemporary poets. See them here, then follow the links to discover these writers’ poetry:
Kim Stafford, 2019
Oregon’s Poet Laureate 2018-20, and founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis &Clark College. His latest collection of poems is Singer Come From Afar.
Susan Moore, 2022
Moore is a poet, editor, and Director of Programs for Writers at Literary Arts, and the winner of the Juniper Prize in Poetry for her full-length collection That Place Where You Opened Your Hands.
Floyd Skloot, 2019
Poet, novelist, memoirist, and science writer. Far West is his latest book, and his ninth poetry collection.
Samiya Bashir, 2019
Poet, professor, and founder of the advocacy group Fire & Ink. Her latest collection is Field Theories.
David Biespiel, 2019
Poet, literary critic, memoirist, and founder of the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters. Republic Cafe is his latest book of poetry.
Zachary Schomburg, 2019
Poet, novelist, illustrator, publisher and editor of Octopus Books. His latest book of poetry is Fjords Vol.2.
Janice Lee, 2021
Essayist, poet, and novelist. Her newest collection, Separation Anxiety, will be published in August 2022.
Don Colburn, 2021
Journalist and poet, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. His latest book of poems is Mortality, with Pronoun Shifts.
John Beer, 2021
An award-winning poet, Beer is the author of Lucinda and The Waste Land and Other Poems. He is the editor of Poems 1962–1997 by Robert Lax, a one-time theater critic, and the Director of Creative Writing at Portland State University.
Anis Mojgani, 2019
Oregon’s current Poet Laureate; spoken-word artist, two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. His latest book of poems is In the Pockets of Small Gods.