Get to Know a Local Poet: Paul Nelson

Oh boy. The Hugo House blog people suspected I’d kick up some shit and I probably did. (I do without knowing it! HA!) Anyway, here is the link to their latest profile of Your Wily Splabman.

And below, I’ve pasted in the portions THEY put in bold, to give you a little taste, but be sure to go to their blog and at very least see Sam Hamill’s block quote. It’s a beauty.

“A Time Before Slaughter” looks upon the history of a place with a gaze that strives to be both critical and understanding—in equal measure—from the perspective of someone who is personally invested in the actual place.

I feel the poet’s main role in such a political stance is to learn the local history and tell it in verse. If poets do not tell the story, we’re at the mercy of Fox News and other propagandists.

Sometimes you think you can get a poem out of a certain event, but the energy is not made available. Sometimes poems fall right into your lap.

We had a highly successful Teen Slam, which culminated in taking a group of young poets to San Francisco to compete in the National Teen Poetry Slam Championships.

Society has so marginalized itself with cheap entertainment and useless diversions, such as “American Idol,” talk radio, video games and technology so that if someone is not a household name, there is an education process required to illustrate why a certain poet deserves wider attention.

Many people are trying to fill some kind of personal lack through becoming some kind of poetry star

That said, Seattle has some of the most attentive and appreciative audiences you’ll find anywhere.

About Splabman

Poet/interviewer Paul Nelson: Founded: SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival Wrote: American Sentences (2015), A Time Before Slaughter (2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme Editions, Brazil, 2013). His 2015 interview with José Kozer was published in 2016 (Ranchos Press) as Tiovivo Tres Amigos. Interviewed: Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Anne Waldman, Ed Sanders, Diane di Prima, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Brenda Hillman, among others and is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, including the festival, a MOOC (Innovative Cascadia Poetry), interviews with Cascadia poets indigenous elders and activists, and the anthology Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia. Paul is co-editor of that anthology as well as 56 Days of August the poetry postcard anthology and writes an American Sentence daily. *MOOC = Massive Open Online Course
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