R272. The Long Distance Race: Making a Life in Poetry

Room 618/619/620, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
Thursday, February 27, 2014
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Poetry is a long distance race, Hayden Carruth once advised. What do you wish you’d known about professional and personal stamina when you first discovered your devotion? Five poets, some emerging, some at mid-career, discuss the difficulty of achieving and sustaining a life in poetry. Topics will include rejection, success, mentorship, community, and the kinds of negotiations poets must make to establish themselves artistically and professionally. Experiences will be shared, scrapes confessed.



Dana Levin is the author of In the Surgical Theatre, Wedding Day, and Sky Burial. A recipient of honors from the Rona Jaffe, Whiting, and Guggenheim Foundations, she co-chairs the Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Richard Siken is the author of Crush, which was the 2004 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. He is the recipient of and NEA fellowship and Two Arizona Commission of the Arts grants. He is an editor at Spork Press.

Tyehimba Jess’ first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” She is an assistant professor of English at College of Staten Island.

Carmen Giménez Smith is the editor of Beyond the Field: New Latin@ Writing and, most recently, the poetry collections Milk and Filth and Goodbye, Flicker. She teaches in the MFA program at New Mexico State University, edits Puerto del Sol, and is publisher of Noemi Press.

Cate Marvin


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center