Oregon’s current Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen has four books of poetry: The Wild Awake (Confluence Press); Blood-Silk (Quiet Lion Press); A Bride of Narrow Escape (Cloudbank Books), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; and Kindle (Mountains and Rivers Press). A fifth full-length book, The Voluptuary, is scheduled to be published by Lost Horse Press in late 2010. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and the recipient of the 2006 Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts, she serves on the board of Friends of William Stafford, organizing the annual January Stafford Birthday Events.
Her poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including Poetry; The New Republic; Prairie Schooner; Poetry Northwest; Willow Springs; Notre Dame Review; Bellingham Review; and Wilderness Magazine. Credits in Oregon publications include Calyx; The Grove Review; Basalt; Burnside Review; Oregon English Journal; Windfall; VoiceCatcher; and Hubbub. Anthology credits include Long Journey, Contemporary Northwest Poets; A Fierce Brightness; Portland Lights; Deer Drink the Moon; Walking Bridges Using Poetry as a Compass; From Here We Speak, An Anthology of Oregon Poetry; O Poetry! Oh Poesia! Poems of Oregon and Peru; and Florilegia. POETRY IN MOTION, which places poems on the Tri-met busses and lightrail cars in the Portland area, has featured her poems.
Paulann has given readings in hundreds of spots ranging from Powell’s City of Books to Osmania University in India, from Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls to The Museum Hotel in Central Turkey, from Fishtrap House in Enterprise to the tiny Agness Library on the Rogue River, from the Corvallis Library to Newport’s Visual Arts Center.
Recognizing the need for poetry in our lives, the Oregon Poetic Voices Project (OPV) has begun to create a comprehensive digital archive of poetry readings that will complement existing print collections of poetry across the state.
"We each carry lines of poetry with us. Words that others have written float back to us and stay with us, indelibly. We clutch these "life lines" like totems, repeat them as mantras, and summon them for comfort and laughter."
-Academy of American Poets