A sad day for Northwest poetry: Joan Swift has died

We're very sad to share the news that Edmonds poet Joan Swift passed away on March 13th. She was 90 years old. We'll share details of the memorial as soon as we hear them.

If you're unfamiliar with Swift, I would encourage you to read this interview between Tania Pryputniewicz and Swift, which frankly covers topics including Swift's history of sexual abuse, and how her strength informs her work. She also offers her advice to young women who write, and discusses her time as a student of Northwestern poetry cornerstone Theodore Roethke.

Kathleen Flenniken ran a good poem of Swift's titled "Listening to My Bones" a few years ago. It starts with a doctor's visit, in which Swift feels the same kind of nervousness that we all feel when we're sitting in the office. And it ends with Swift's musings on corporeality versus consciousness (or, if you'd prefer, spirituality.) This passage is just phenomenal:

he is listening to the sound of bones

the way NASA turns its telescopes far over our heads on Mauna Kea

and hears the universe move.

Swift is a poet who moved the universe.

We'll have more to say soon. For now, we send our condolences to her friends and families.