• Mark Doty
  • Kwame Dawes with Jefferson Rose Band
  • Derek Sheffield
  • Emily Warn
  • Festival Workshops
  • Students sharing poetry
  • Fritha Strand-Davern paints to poetry
  • Tim McNulty
  • Sherman Alexie
  • The Jefferson Rose Band
  • Tony Curtis in Schools
  • Red Pine
  • Oliver de la Paz
  • Robert Hass
  • Paul Hunter and Rachel Rose in session with students
  • Patrick Lane
  • Students read at open mic
  • Tom Robbins
  • Nikki Giovanni
  • Jericho Brown
  • Oliver de la Paz
  • Kurtis Lamkin in schools
  • Matt Gano and students
  • Students at 2014 festival

Our mission is to support lifelong literacy and cultural diversity through the writing, reading, performing, and teaching of poetry in Northwest Washington schools and communities.



SAVE THE DATES
9th Biennial Skagit River Poetry Festival
May 19-22, 2016
La Conner, WashingtonNDiaz

Celebrating Poetry

Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes, attended Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship. After playing professional basketball in Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey she returned to ODU for an MFA in writing. Her publications include Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, Crab Orchard Review, among others. Her work was selected by Natasha Trethewey for Best New Poets and she has received the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She lives in Surprise, Arizona.

My Brother My Wound
By Natalie Diaz
He was calling in the bulls from the street.
They came like a dark river —
a blur of chest and hoof —
everything moving, under, splinter — hooked
their horns through the walls. Light hummed
the holes like yellow jackets. My mouth
was a nest torn empty.

Then, he was at the table.
Then, in the pig’s jaws —
he was not hungry. He was stop.
He was bad apple. He was choking.

So I punched my fists against his stomach.
Mars flew out
and broke open or bloomed —
how many small red eyes shut in that husk?

He said, Look. Look. And they did.

He said, Lift up your shirt. And I did.

He slid his fork beneath my ribs —
Yes, he sang. A Jesus side wound.
It wouldn’t stop bleeding.
He reached inside
and turned on the lamp —
I never knew I was also a lamp — until the light
fell out of me, dripped down my thigh, flew up in me,
caught in my throat like a canary.
Canaries really means dogs, he said.

He put on his shoes.
You started this with your mouth, he pointed.
Where are you going? I asked.
To ride the Ferris wheel, he answered,
and climbed inside me like a window.
Source: Poetry (March 2014).