Candidate #6: Beth Coyote , 9+ in dog years, nominated by "It’s About Time Writing Series" (supporter, instigator, provacateur)

Beth Coyote.jpg

What would be your campaign's theme


Beth Coyote for Seattle Poet Populist

Number six in the series--count 'em!

Candidate #6: Beth Coyote, 9+ in dog years, nominated by "It’s About Time Writing Series" (supporter, instigator, provacateur)

Beth Coyote.jpg

What would be your campaign's theme song while running for Seattle Poet Populist?
"My Own Eyes" by Mavis Staples

Who is your favorite poet?
My favorite poet… I could name the usual or the obscure but instead I choose the poets I encountered while I was an editor for Poets Against the War, an outpouring of protest to the Iraq fiasco. I read hundreds of poems from ordinary people, men, women and children. They were from many countries. They spoke many languages. From their grief and outrage came some brilliant and impassioned poems. Ordinary people making necessary, revolutionary art.
What's your favorite poem right now?
Jorie Graham’s poem, “From the New World” is a poem that haunts me. She combines a story of her mother in a nursing home with a girl living through being gassed by the Nazis. Her language has a hallucinatory quality, dreamy and horrible. It is so masterful and effortless in its ability to shatter, to betray.

What would your campaign slogan be for running for Seattle Poet Populist?
"Poetry Saves Lives!"

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
Yoko Ono
Can you share an anecdote about poetry touching your life?
My first memory as a child, poetry being read by my father...
What movie character do you most identify with?
John Malkovitch in "Being John Malkovitch"
What is your biggest notable oddball talent?

Speed reading
If you couldn't write any more, how would you spend that excess time?

Traveling with Eden, my daughter
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I was a kid. I wrote a poem in the 4th grade and my teacher read the poem to my class. Then she made the author stand up. It was acutely embarrassing.

What poem has made you feel most uncomfortable? Has made you cry?
uncomfortable: "From the New World" by Jorie Graham.
made me cry: "Planet of Love" by Richard Siken
Have you ever used poetry to win someone over or get them in the sack?
Of course.

What's the most irritating aspect of the poetry scene?
Irritating aspect of the poetry scene: Poets that feel the need to yell.
What was the last good book you read and fell in love with?

The Known World by Edward P. Jones
What are a few lines from a poem you've written that you¹d consider one of your best? (And the title of the poem.)
a few lines from my poem "Penumbra"

                                                 Better to be translucent,

unnoticed by the divers

                                                 Better to go home, empty

handed, one of the survivors

Why should you win?
I'm willing and able to serve.  I'd love the challenge. It would be a blast.
If elected Poet Populist, what would be your first order of business?
If I were elected poet populist, and therefore could decree anything, I would declare a national day of idleness and sloth. We would have to go outside in the sun with a notebook and a pencil. First there would be much napping because we are all so tired. Then, upon waking, we would begin writing anything we wanted, grocery lists, love letters, political screeds, manifestos, declarations, rants. We could have some refreshment at this point. In looking over our writings, we would then choose which to pursue. After many revisions, poems are born.


To vote for Beth, go here. 

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