Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Steve Kowit Joins Perigee as Poetry Editor!

Perigee is pleased and excited to announce that award winning poet Steve Kowit has joined our editorial team as Poetry Editor.

Native New Yorker Steve Kowit was born in Brooklyn in 1938 and moved to San Diego over twenty-five years ago, where he teaches at Southwestern College and regularly tours with his popular poetry workshops. Kowit earned his B.A. from Brooklyn College, his M.A. from San Francisco State College, and his M.F.A. in writing from Warren Wilson College. He studied with Robert Lowell and Stanley Kunitz during his early, New York life.

In addition to authoring several books of his own poetry, Kowit has edited a poetry anthology, The Maverick Poets; written several works on the subject of writing poetry, including the highly praised In the Palm Of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop; and has had poetry in a wide range of respected journals, magazines and newspapers such as The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The Yoga Journal and The Sun. Kowit's verse is occasionally read by Garrison Keillor on NPR. His work has appeared in many anthologies including ones edited by Edward Field, Garrison Keillor, Billy Collins, and Czeslaw Milosz.

Kowit is distinguished by his many awards for poetry, some of which include the National Endowment Fellowship in Poetry, two Pushcart Prizes, the Atlanta Review Poetry Prize, the Ouroboros Book Award, the 2006 Tampa Review Poetry Prize, and most
recently the San Diego Theodore Geisel Award. His collection of poems, The Dumbbell Nebula, was a San Francisco Chronicle's Notable Book of the Year, and his most recent books of poems, Gods of Rapture and The First Noble Truth have attracted rapt attention and praise from reviewers.

Influenced by the 19th century American prophetic genius Walt Whitman, as well as politically prescient and thoroughly accessible 20th century poets Allen Ginsberg and Robinson Jeffers, Kowit takes his aesthetic motto "No tricks" from another poet he loves, Ray Carver, and is much taken as well by Mary Oliver's remark that "My work is to love the world." His willingness to engage in the questions of political oppression, colonial aggression and tribal self-deception is aptly captured in poems like "Intifada" and in articles such as the one published in Skeptic magazine examining genocidal colonialism and the South Africa Xhosa mass "suicide."

Novelist Duff Brenna calls Steve Kowit "a major figure in poetry in America today. He is also the best lecturer and commentator on the craft of creative writing that I've ever seen in action." Poet Thomas Lux states, "I love Kowit's poems--he has more energy, more passion, more fire and more humor in his left little fingernail than most poets have in their whole bodies." Perigee heralded Kowit for his Tampa Review Poetry Prize in 2007: "His spirit, intelligence, and humanity never cease to amaze us. Not to mention his particular talent for poetry which is both profound and accessible"

Please join us in welcoming Steve Kowit by submitting your best poems directly through our 24th issue, online now. We will also be making an announcement in the near future about Perigee's next poetry competition.

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