As a Stegner fellow at Stanford University, Paulann Petersen drew early praise for her poetry from one of her favorite mentors, the late Denise Levertov. For several years, she taught in the public schools of Oregon, first in Klamath Falls and then in Portland. More recently she has taught for the Oregon Writers Workshop and the Creative Arts Community at Menucha. Her first trip abroad to Turkey and the Middle East so enthralled her that she chose that setting for her second book, due out sometime in 2003. Widely published in anthologies and some of the most prestigious of nation's literary magazines (The New Republic, Poetry, Poetry Northwest), Paulann has been a tireless champion of other writers, including the late William Stafford, whose poetry and example she continues to promote as an active board member of The Friends of William Stafford.
Wild Awake, The: A Reading from the Erotic Compass of the Worldby Paulann Petersen
In Paulann Petersen's much anticipated first book, the poet gathers the best work from her two limited editions and adds to them a generous selection of new poems to create a thematic link she subtitles A Reading from the Erotic Compass of the World. As Pulitzer prize-winner Carolyn Kizer notes, the poems are tenderly erotic and breathe the spirit of a woman who has learned how to live and love-and write. Although the poems are, in Lisel Mueller's words, as original as they are moving and their language richly evocative and sensuous, The Wild Awake in the title refers us to the body's intimate relationship with the earth and its rhythms, to the way we experience light and darkness, sleep and dream, love and hunger. . . . The wild and domestic gardens of the poet's native Oregon haunt the book, sometimes as subjects individualized in the form of plants (Oriental Lilies, Graveyard Narcissus) and animals (a spoonbill, a merman), other times abstracted as produce (a honeycomb, a fur coat) and labor (work, time, sleep). All poets draw on myth, John Daniel concludes, but in many of her poems, Paulann Petersen writes myth itself-stories and seeings so true you look again and again, and they're truer.
- Confluence Press, Incorporated
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- 6.52(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.31(d)
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