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2008 Poetry Finalists

Pictured above, left to right, are the 2008 finalists for the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry :

Judith Barrington, for Postcards from the Bottom of the Sea. Judith says her favorite place to write is “the Sterling Writers’ Room at the downtown branch of Multnomah County Library. I have written a good part of several books in there, and it works its magic as soon as I sit down at one of the four desks.” Some of her favorite poets are Mimi Khalvati, Adrienne Rich, Seamus Heaney, and Maxine Kumin.

Brian Doyle, for Thirsty for the Joy. Brian says, “I love making scribbled notes on envelopes and the backs of kids’ homework and the corners of dollar bills, the little shreds and shards and seeds from which proems come, the flutter of their wings going by, and then I shuffle right quick to my office soon as I can to pull the thread with my fingers and see what kind of song comes out.” His favorite poets include Mary Oliver, Pattiann Rogers, Linda Pastan, Billy Collins, and Auden. Brian says he “likes poets that are direct but have music in their spleens.”

Kate Gray, for Another Sunset We Survive. Poems by Kate can be found online at Born magazine, and at the Cedar House Press web site. Kate teaches at Clackamas College and is part of Portland’s Dangerous Writing Community.

John C. Morrison, for Heaven of the Moment. John’s current favorite poets are Rainer Maria Rilke, Elizabeth Bishop and Tony Hoagland. John says his favorite place to write is “at my desk, in the unfinished basement, right next to the water heater.”

Penelope Scambly Schott for A is for Anne. Her favorite place to write is “in my own study with my big floppy dog on the floor, a painting-in-progress on the easel, and a view of the coast range beyond the windows.” Her favorite poets include Sir Thomas Wyatt, Robert Herrick, A.E. Housman, Lucille Clifton, and, she adds “of course, my dear friends Judith Barrington and Kate Gray.”

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