Judith Kitchen

Judith Kitchen passed away on 6 November 2014, just days after completing work on the essay-review in Spring 2015 Georgia Review. The contributor’s note she supplied read as follows: “Judith Kitchen has three new forthcoming essays—in the Harvard Review, Great River Review, and River Teeth. Her most recent book, The Circus Train, was the lead publication in a new venture—Ovenbird Books, at ovenbirdbooks.org.” To that we respectfully add this brief overview of her writing and teaching career: Kitchen began as a poet, publishing the volume Perennials as the winner of the 1985 Anhinga Press Poetry Prize. She then shifted to prose writing of several sorts, with emphases on essays and reviews. Her four essay volumes are Only the Dance: Essays on Time and Memory (University of South Carolina Press, 1994); Distance and Direction (Graywolf Press, 2002); Half in Shade: Family, Photographs, and Fate (Coffee House Press, 2012); and The Circus Train (Ovenbird Books, 2013)—which appeared first, almost in its entirety, in the Summer 2013 issue of The Georgia Review. In 1998 Kitchen published a critical study, Writing the World: Understanding William Stafford (University of Oregon Press), and in 2002 a novel, The House on Eccles Road (Graywolf Press). She also conceived and edited three important collections of brief nonfiction pieces, all published by W. W. Norton: In Short (1996), In Brief (1999), and Short Takes (2005)—the first two coedited by Mary Paumier Jones. Kitchen also founded State Street Press in the early 1980s, bringing out over the next twenty years seventy-six poetry chapbooks, two pamphlets, five full-length poetry volumes, two collections of translations, and a poetry anthology—the State Street Reader. After teaching for many years at SUNY-Brockport—not all that far from her birthplace of Painted Post, NY—Judith retired and moved with her husband Stan Sanvel Rubin to Port Townsend, WA, from which they founded and co-directed for a decade the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. The collection What Persists
Selected Essays on Poetry from The Georgia Review, 1988–2014 was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2015.

Uncategorized

Fourteen Ways of Looking at Selecteds (on The Darkness Around Us Is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford, edited by Robert Bly; Hinge & Sign: Poems, 1968-1993 by Heather McHugh; Velocities: New and Selected Poems, 1966-1992 by Stephen Dobyns; New and Selected Poems, 1974-1994 by Stephen Dunn; Study for the World’s Body: New and Selected Poems by David St. John; Firekeeper: New and Selected Poems by Pattiann Rogers; Walking to Cootehill: New and Selected Poems, 1958-1992 by John Engels; and A Marvin Bell Reader: Selected Poetry and Prose by Marvin Bell)

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Anthologizing—the Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent (on Word of Mouth: Poems Featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, edited by Catherine Bowman; Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, edited by Billy Collins; Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology, edited by Charles Harper Webb; Hammer and Blaze: A Gathering of Contemporary American Poets, edited by Ellen Bryant Voigt and Heather McHugh; The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, third edition, edited by Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellmann, and Robert O’Clair; Good Poems, edited by Garrison Keillor; and Poems to Read: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology, edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz)

Uncategorized

Raindrops on Roses . . . (on The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972–2007 by Albert Goldbarth; Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986–2006 by Carl Phillips; Earthly Meditations: New and Selected Poems by Robert Wrigley; Deep Light: New and Selected Poems, 1987–2007 by Rebecca McClanahan; The Corpse Flower: New and Selected Poems by Bruce Beasley; Crossing to Sunlight Revisited: New and Selected Poems by Paul Zimmer; and Recounting the Seasons: Poems, 1958–2005 by John Engels)

Reviews

Da Capo al Coda

From the beginning, I knew there could be trouble: a box of cheeky new books on my doorstep, all dressed in their shiny covers, waiting to be read. All week I had been ranting about the contemporary world—its lack of tradition, its misuse of grammar, its insidious technologies. One television ad talked about the motel’s […]

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Reviews

When the River Is Ice

It’s 2014, the 100th anniversary of William Stafford’s birth, and people all over the country are celebrating his life and work. Why Stafford, I wonder, when I don’t remember so much interest in 100th anniversaries for Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman? In three years, will there be this resurgence of interest in Robert Lowell? […]

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Features

Night Piece

  Sometimes the things dreamers do seem incomprehensible to others, and the world wonders why dreamers do not see the way others do. —Queen Marie of Romania, at the dedication of the unfinished Maryhill Museum of Art, 1926   Eighty-eight beams of radiation. I know, because I’ve counted, over and over, through the muted music as […]

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