Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two Poets Meet at the Skagit River Poetry Festival

James Crews, Poet
I love when the world makes sense. When dates and geographies collide so that two poets who previously had not known of the other's existence get a chance to meet in person at the Odd Fellows Hall in La Conner, WA.

So here's the story: a poet friend in London, Kelly Davio, sent me a FB post of my poem "Different Places to Pray" which had been published 8 years ago in the Times Literary Supplement (London). Alongside the poem, someone named James Crews had written an accompanying piece explicating the poem and excerpting an essay on travel that I wrote long ago...

I wondered who this James Crews character was ---- I assumed by the London publication and his name that Crews was English and London based. After all, Sara Crewe was a favorite book of mine when I was a child and it sounds almost the same.

Instead, James Crews turns out to be an outstanding American poet. Instead, the same week that the Times Literary Supplement republishes "Different Ways to Pray," I meet James at the Skagit River Poetry Festival and have the pleasure of hearing him read his work.

Sometimes the world works with a lyric lift, a serendipitous surrender.

God Particles
Related Poem Content Details


I could almost hear their soft collisions

on the cold air today, but when I came in,

shed my layers and stood alone by the fire,

I felt them float toward me like spores

flung far from their source, having crossed

miles of oceans and fields unknown to most

just to keep my body fixed to its place

on the earth. Call them God if you must,

these messengers that bring hard evidence

of what I once was and where I have been—

filling me with bits of stardust, whaleskin,

goosedown from the pillow where Einstein

once slept, tucked in his cottage in New Jersey,

dreaming of things I know I’ll never see.


  1. Yes, James is an amazing poet --- so glad our paths crossed!