Paulann Petersen, Oregon's Poet Laureate
Poems collected in this volume were gifts the poet sent out individually each Valentine’s Day to friends and family over a period of nine years. The book’s title is taken from a line in one of the poems; it’s a metaphor for a signature, for the uniqueness of each human sensibility. The book and it's accompanying broadsides will be on display in the gallery through March 10, 2012.
Another Paulann work we have in stock is a lovely letterpress broadside titled Use, designed and printed by Joseph Green of Peasandcues Press in Longview, Washington. This is a brand new edition that will appeal to bird lovers and letterpress fans as well as Paulann's loyal poetry fans. (Read the poem below.)
Oregon’s sixth Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen has five full-length books of poetry: The Wild Awake, Blood-Silk, A Bride of Narrow Escape, Kindle, and The Voluptuary, published by Lost Horse Press in 2010. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and the recipient of the 2006 Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts. A current Associate Fellow at the Attic Institute, she serves on the board of Friends of William Stafford, organizing the January Stafford Birthday Events.
Use A bird’s beak. Recurved, decurved, serrate, hooked. Each to its purpose. Dark, pale, honeyed, dun, of use. Stabbing, probing, it keeps its size, its shape, by balancing constant growth and constant use. A small and honed proof. Onward it grows, fed by a heart’s swift little engine that’s fed by what the beak can dislodge. Outward—against grit or bark— it wears away as much of itself as it adds. The use of use: to keep a beak as beak, exactly. Worn to perfection.
—Paulann Petersen The Bellingham Review, Spring 2010 The Voluptuary, Lost Horse Press, 2010