Even though Seattle is happily back to its normal grey drizzle, we can't forget that the eastern half of Washington is currently battling the worst wildfires in state history. We've already looked at how booksellers are surviving the fires, but here's a project that's worthy of your attention: every other day, Washington state Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen will publish a poem relating to the wildfires. Yesterday, she published a beautiful poem by William Stafford about the Tillamook Burn. Last week, she ran a poem called "Endless Summer" by SRoB contributor Kelli Russell Agodon.
Some of you may be wondering what poems have to do with wildfires. The answer is that poetry has to do with everything; Austen is raising awareness of a life-or-death issue in her capacity as our Poet Laureate. She is doing, in short, exactly what she should be doing: applying her mind to the problem and helping the public interpret the news, to give an unthinkable disaster a more human scale.