Ideally, the writer is one upon whom nothing is lost, as Henry James once said. We are the antennae of the world. Obviously, something happens in the soul that seeks an echo. When the echo is heard, the poem begins. Continue Reading
Maya Jewell Zeller partners with artist Carrie DeBacker to create a multimodal work that weaves together themes of ecofeminism, colonization, astronomy, medicine, biology, and mental-health, among other things. Continue Reading
Chelsey Clammer’s Circadian equally delights the analyst and the poet in me. Clammer’s book is a lyric essay collection that draws on disciplines as diverse as biology, linguistics, genealogy, and nomenclature and combines them in unexpected ways to reevaluate her world and her place in it. Continue Reading
The work of the poem is to posit a state of awareness that readers will find themselves familiar with. That state might be called readiness, it might be called dread. Whatever one calls it, it is uniquely human, coming as it does, at the crux, the chiasmus of memory and anticipation. Continue Reading
Truth is a relationship, not a static group of fixed points. But so often poetry has been described as a beautiful illusion, a construction, and it helps me, as a writer, to think about honesty and accuracy much more than to think about making something beautiful. That also strikes me, right now, as radical—to find beauty in the attempt toward truth, not just in the attempt toward beauty. Continue Reading
I write because it’s how I respond to the world. Even little happenings keep me writing. I also write because I love language more than I can explain. Continue Reading
My husband and I work overseas, so we cannot help but be influenced by the people and places around us. Land is important to me, as is history and language. Continue Reading
We are pleased to announce our 2017 Pushcart Prize nominees! Continue Reading
In Chiem’s book, being a “private person” can happen when alone with someone who somehow speaks the same language as you, it can happen as a result of a joint smoked alone in an empty hallway, or it can happen when dancing to a Broken Social Scene song that plays over and over. It’s an intimacy all on its own. Continue Reading
The editors of the Bellingham Review are pleased to announce the publication of Issue 75, our seventh annual online issue. Inside you will find a collection of new hybrid work, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from 21 writers, as well as… Continue Reading
You hear a ding and reach for your pocket. It’s a text or an email. Or perhaps a notification from Facebook telling you that someone “liked” something you wrote. It might be an Instagram photo from a vacationing friend, awash in golden light and sipping an early morning mimosa. It might even be your spouse, reminding you to pick up pet food on the way home.
This ding reaches you everywhere—messages, alerts, and texts floating into the palm of your hand at random. They interrupt thoughts, conversations, and musings—always tearing you back to a world that demands your response. Such is life in the 21st century, where everyone is only a thumb’s tap away. Continue Reading
The following poems were generated by workshops led by Underground Writing, a nonprofit organization that leads creative writing classes in migrant, incarcerated, recovery, and other at-risk communities in Northern Washington. I belong to this group. Continue Reading
Ever since I was born you’ve been there. You were there when my biological mom would relapse and let my sister and I run around free. You were there again as I began to realize how to work on my own and take care of my mom and little sister. Continue Reading
From a black nylon rope around
her neck hangs a silver instrument
bouncing on her tummy as she walks Continue Reading
I’ve known of your existence
from the time I was 4 years old.
You were always told to me
like a scary story, something
from a dark fairy tale. Continue Reading
I, too, sing America
in hospital beds,
wires stuck to my skull
with heavy glue. Continue Reading
When I look in the mirror
I see a girl who’s hurting
but still puts a smile on her face for people. Continue Reading
I have to swallow the time they’re gonna try to give me and more
And if I don’t try to swallow they will force it down my throat. Continue Reading
Politics is remote. I want to reach it, but I can’t see it. I can’t see where it goes on. I do hear of it. And when I do, I hear Greeks talking, saying the same things, saying them more beautifully. Kalon. Beautiful and fair. “Last of all comes the tyrannical man; about whom we have once more to ask, how is he formed out of the democratical? and how does he live, in happiness or in misery?” Continue Reading
The other day, lying in bed, my son asked me, Would you rather be a circle or a line? I looked at him. He held up his hand, made a circle with thumb and first finger. Eeenie. Straight line with the finger. Meenie. Circle. Minie.
I thought about it. Continue Reading
An Interview with Susan J. Erickson
Susan J. Erickson’s debut full-length collection of poems, “Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine”, reflects her view of the world as an unpredictable mix of the serious and humorous. Erickson received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Minnesota. Susan now lives in Bellingham, Washington, where she helped to establish the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk and Contest. Her poems appear in “Crab Creek Review”, “Verse Daily”, “Sliver of Stone”, “The Fourth River”, “The Tishman Review”, and numerous anthologies. Continue Reading
Sunlight, shadows, wind. Strangely, no birds.
Out there, ice caps, cold as knives.
Steam from her mouth, his mouth, none from the boy who lay between them. She cradling the boy’s face but he knowing what.
She knowing what but not able to bear it. Continue Reading
If you ever had your Bach, Beethoven, Bartók or Britten on 33 RPM vinyl or 78 RPM shellac, you will have heard my Great Aunt Tilda—even if you’ve never heard of her.
She appeared on every prestigious classical-music label—Deutsche Grammophon, Archiv Produktion, Philips, RCA Red Label, CBS Masterworks—from the late 1930s to the mid-1970s. (She did not, fortunately, live long into the 1980s, by which time, thanks to the digital re-mastering of recordings from the vault, her legacy had been all but obliterated.) Continue Reading
The morning I first saw snow, real real snow, as it rained onto my black coat purchased the night before from Ross-Dress for Less, I stood outside my main door, frozen in place, my fists clenched to the sides in fear. Continue Reading
Something broke the spell. It was either a student’s question or an answer to one already suspended in air. It prompted our professor, a tall white man with the kindest voice and bluest eyes, to start talking about Vietnam. He gripped the sides of his chair, his words trembled, and his sobs, loud and full of sorrow filled up what had been until then just another regular classroom of my life. Continue Reading
At drift log #38 you had jogged 457 strides. That’s an average of about 12 strides per log, which you recall was a low stride/log ratio. It must have been a stormy winter to deposit all those logs, you surmised. At log #78 you noticed a group of seagulls flocking around what would be log #83. At log #80, log #83 looked less like a log. At log #82, log #83 looked more like a body. At stride 975 you confirmed log #83 was a human corpse. Continue Reading
When OJ Simpson was leading the police on the errant chase on that freeway in L.A., I was in Madison Square Garden in New York, at the famous Knicks playoff game where the monitors switched to the chase, to our astonishment, but it didn’t register as surreally or wildly as it might have otherwise because I had been in the middle of telling my brother about Ann. Continue Reading
I write the word on ice-fogged glass not yet shattered by night
raids. This is routine, one man removed and cuffed and bashed about his head. Continue Reading
Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1561.
I’m smiling right out of my face;
whether it’s the sunset or the hummingbirds,
I can’t be sure. I’m exhausted by springtime Continue Reading
Alter- / inner-ego,
to everything outside
and everything within. Continue Reading