Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poet Sheryl Noethe

Poet Sheryl Noethe, winner of the William Stafford Memorial Poetry Award, has a new book, As Is, coming from Lost Horse Press. (The book is so recent it's not yet listed on the publisher's website: follow the link above to inquire.)

Here is a bio of this remarkable, under-read, ever-emerging and enduring writer:

Sheryl Noethe is both Artistic Director and a writer-in-residence for the Missoula Writing Collaborative. She is co-author of the teaching text Poetry Everywhere, reviewed in Kliatt and English Journal as an informative and tremendously valuable resource for teaching poetry, now in its third printing. A recipient of a Montana Arts Council Fellowship, she also has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the CutBank Hugo Prize in Poetry, the Emerging Voices Award from New Rivers Press, a McKnight Prize for Literature, and an American Academy of Poetry Award, as well as an honorable mention for the Pushcart Prize. She is a recipient of a 2004 Cultural Achievement Award from the Missoula Cultural Council for her work in Missoula schools. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, and she has published two collections of poetry, The Descent of Heaven Over the Lake (New Rivers Press, 1984) and Ghost Openings (Grace Court Press, 2000), which won a Northwest Publisher's Best Book Award. Her latest collection, As Is, will be published by Lost Horse Press in 2009. She teaches at Hellgate Middle School for the Missoula Writing Collaborative.

I knew Sheryl years ago, when she and I gave our first poetry reading (with writer Mary Karr) at the Weyerhauser Chapel at the campus of Macalester College. I remember creating a broadside with a drawing I made of 3 women pouring water from a jug out a window. While I eventually stopped trying to make my way through the world as a poet, Sheryl continued on that arduous path: transparency – and a life in poetry – is not for the squeamish.

Lyle Daggett has written a thoughtful, very insightful tribute to Sheryl, talking about the impact of her work on his own, at his blog A Burning Patience. I am not surprised that Sheryl continues to inspire children and others to write poetry: she has a spectacular gift for that. She has co-authored a book with Jack Collum called Poetry Everywhere: Teaching Poetry in School and Community. She says "Writing is a grip on existence, an empowerment, and a way to listen to the inner truth of the self. " It's a way to pour water out of a jar, out of a window, into the road, to see where those rivulets go..

Lyle's piece, "The weight of dreams", takes you to a few of Sheryl's fluid, incandescent poems. (They mention water, too, it turns out.)

1 comment:

Lyle Daggett said...

The publisher Lost Horse Press actually does have a webpage for Sheryl Noethe's book As Is now, here.

I found As Is last month at the bookfair at the annual AWP conference in Chicago. I had no idea the book was out, I just stumbled across it at the publisher's table.

I've been reading it (together with a host of other items I brought back with me), am about halfway through it, it's absolutely great.