Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Weathered Pages Cliffnotes

Weathered Pages is anthology of work that was brought to individuals through a truly unique and extraordinary means—the pole. A six-foot cedar post, the word POETRY carved on both the east and west sides, planted in a garden on a street corner in Yakima, Washington, pushpins stuck in the wood. For ten years, hundreds of people have pinned thousands of poems to the Poetry Pole at Blue Begonia Press. Weathered Pages is a sampling of the work of those who have used the Poetry Pole as a source of inspiration.”

Weathered Pages has a wide variety of themes and big ideas. Many poems seem to show that love and friendship are an important part of life, for example "Agnes & Pat," "Merry Christmas," and "This Place." Other poems showed a sense of anger and betrayal, for example "The Democratic Way," "Chicken Fricassee," and "Please Post." The ideas these poets expressed came from a large variety like religion, death, expressing your self and feelings to the simple pleasures in life. Some examples would be "A Prayer for Your Cat Scan," "Brothers and Sisters," and "Night Shift." Some poems like "In the Third Drawer of My Dresser" or "Women Gather" aren't as deep into feelings like some of the others mentioned. This collection of poems from all sort of poets gives you a little taste of all types of writing to enjoy.

  1. Would you suggest a method to read all the poems of this book?
  2. Would you suggest reading the “Notes on contributors” prior to before reading their poetry?
  3. There seem to be several different ways these poems could have been categorized how did you decide to use this approach?
  4. How did poets who do not live in the Valley submit poems to the pole?
  5. Do you consider all of the pieces poetry and –there are no prose pieces?
  6. What made you decide to publish the poems from the poetry pole, was it part of a vision that started with the creation of the poetry pole or a different time?
  7. In choosing the poems there where originally over 3000 poems how were you able to limit yourself to choosing the few that you did?
  8. Where there any poems that looking back that you wish were included?
  9. With the pole being part of a vision or a calling to poetry, where do you see this leading you, is your vision complete with this anthology?


Jim Bodeen

Jim Bodeen is a literature and writing teacher of Latino students at Davis High School in Yakima, Washington, the publisher and editor of Blue Begonia Press, and the author of several books of poetry including Whole Houses Shaking, Impulses to Love (poems set in North Dakota, Chile and Vietnam), and most recently, This House: A Poem in Seven Books. His plan with This House was to write a single poem about a single morning spent in his garden, listening to "In This House, On This Morning" by the Wynton Marsalis Septet. The poem, an epic narrative, is based on dreams, interactions with his wife, his children, his students, his friends–- but it evolved into a book that took ten months to write.

Jim, who writes in both English and Spanish, edited the book, With My Hands Full, a bilingual anthology of transformational poems by thirty-five young Latino writers. These pieces are witness to loss, migration and arrival. They explore border crossings that are geographical, political and personal. Jim calls these writers abrecaminos–-those who make a way where there is no way.

Jim received a BA in Education and a BA in History, plus a Masters in English from Central Washington University and a Master of Religious Education from Seattle University. As part of the Lincoln County School District Goals 2000 grant, Jim taught a workshop yesterday at Waldport High School.

Bodeen says of his work, "Being called to poetry is being called to listen. It is listening to the deepest sounds. The principles are basic–-extreme sobriety, practicality and courage."

Jim Bodeen and his wife Karen, his book designer and typesetter, have devoted their lives to poetry and poets.

Terry Martin

ELLENSBURG, Wash.-- "Probably my greatest strengths as a teacher are my commitment to lifelong learning, my willingness to try new things and the spirit with which I approach the work." So says Dr. Terry Martin, Central Washington University English professor.

For those reasons along with her "extraordinary dedication to teaching, commitment to students and innovative teaching methods," Martin has been named the 2003 Washington state Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

She was recognized today (Thursday, Nov. 13) during an awards luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and at a Congressional reception on Capitol Hill. With 25 years' teaching experience, Martin, 46, has been in education for more than half of her life. After graduating from Western Washington University in 1979, she taught in Bellevue and La Center schools. She joined the Central faculty in 1986, after earning her Ph.D. in English education from the University of Oregon. Martin was named the university's Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2000 and received the CWU Presidential Award for Leadership in 2002.

In nominating her for the Professor of the Year award, Central President Jerilyn S. McIntyre, who called Martin the "consummate teacher-scholar-mentor," noted, "She has been a leader in moving our institution from one in which lecture is the primary pedagogical technique to one in which students, working cooperatively and in authentic settings, discover their own knowledge and understanding of important topics."

CWU English faculty colleague Paulus Pimomo echoes those sentiments, labeling Martin, "the teacher's teacher."

"Like many of us in the profession, Dr. Martin is familiar with and works hard to meet the demands of the fast evolving curricula and student body," Pimomo pointed out. "But unlike most of us, she has gone on to become a leader in meeting those demands."

Current and former students also are quick to credit Martin as an exemplary teacher and mentor.

"Dr. Martin has an innate ability to motivate students," Jessica Carter, a 1995 CWU graduate, says. "She causes students to dig deeper, think at higher levels, reach into depths of creativity they didn't know existed, and produce work at a quality they didn't know they were capable of. I have heard students say more than once, 'I want to be Dr. Martin,' and there is no hint of jest in that statement."

Martin says she enjoys working at Central because "teaching is the very heart of its mission. CWU offers me the opportunity to teach an interesting mix of general education, major and graduate classes. I enjoy the challenges inherent in attempting to address the diverse interests, needs and abilities of a wide range of students."

Patsy Callaghan, CWU English department chair, says: "I am not aware of another professor whose student evaluation results can compare with Dr. Martin's, yet her standards and expectations are some of the most challenging in the department, contradicting a general assumption that asking students to work hard will often elicit critical comments and negative responses."

About eight years ago, Martin, a native of Spokane who now lives in Yakima, began branching out from publishing scholarly and academic articles to also writing personal essays and poems. During the past several years, her creative writing has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Blue Begonia Press, as part of its Working Signs Series, published her first book of poetry, "Wishboats," in 2000.

Now, she says her creative writing has become a vital part of her teaching.

"I'm a learner; I try things that scare me," Martin points out. "Taking these risks helps me remember there's dignity in being a beginner."

That risk-taking spirit has also helped make her the very best Washington state has to offer its students in the collegiate classroom.

Rob Prout

Rob Prout teaches high school photography courses at Davis High School in Yakima, Washington. His personal work concerns intimate details of the natural and man made environment. His work is represented in private and corporate collections. An award-winning photographer, his combined vision is helping to shape the press through book design, and digital imaging as well as photography. Prout is re-inventing the poetry broadside with photography in the way he combines image and text.

Prout loves the collaborative process and what it contributes to original work.

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