Introducing our new Poet in Residence program

Every week for the last year and a half, we've presented new poems by Seattle-area poets. It's been a tremendous honor — we've been proud to pay poets for their work, and to meet so many of the talented individuals who call Seattle home. We hope you enjoy stopping by the site every Tuesday morning to read a new poem. But because it's a new year, we thought we'd try something new for our recurring Tuesday feature. It's not a drastic change, mind you — we're just adjusting the formula a little bit.

I'm very pleased to announce that Elisa Chavez is the Seattle Review of Books' very first Poet in Residence. What does this mean? Well, instead of publishing a new poet every Tuesday, we're going to choose a new poet every month. So we'll be running a poem by Elisa every Tuesday in January. We think this will give you a chance to get to know her work a little better — that by reading a few of her poems, you'll get a better understanding of her work, and her interests, and her many styles. We'll be running an interview with her on the site this month, too.

This does mean you're going to meet fewer poets on our site this year — rather than 52 new poets, we're only presenting 12 new poets in 2017. But instead of a drive-by poetry experience, we'll really be able to closely examine these dozen poets. (And of course the poets in residence will be paid for all their poems, too, which will result in a much heftier paycheck.) No poet's body of work can be condensed down to a single poem; we hope this way you'll be able to triangulate Elisa's writing a little more, to see what she's really like as an artist. And then in February, we'll choose a new poet to feature. And then a new poet in March, and so on.

We found Elisa through Lesley Hazleton's blog, The Accidental Theologist. Hazleton wrote enthusiastically about Elisa's poem "Revenge" in a beautiful post titled "The Poem That Stopped Me Crying." I want to thank Hazleton for bringing Elisa to our attention, and for promoting Seattle poets on her blog. Her generosity of spirit makes this city a better place every damn day.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the Poet in Residence program. You can reach us, as always, on Twitter, on Facebook, or through email. Please let us know what you think.