Tuesday, April 27, 2010

pacific northwest reader spotlight #9

One of the reasons I like that all the authors of The Pacific Northwest Reader are also either librarians or booksellers is that I believe the keepers of books have a unique perspective. One that is as rich and expansive as the stacks and stacks of books they lovingly curate, fondly promote and obsessively read.

However, I got a taste of another perspective when I spoke to Shirley Thomas, a cataloguer at the Chemeketa Community College Library in Salem, Oregon, and the writer of the book's two Oregon haikus. She just casually mentioned that she loves to distill language both in her poetry writing and her cataloguing work at the library--coding & concise description of books for online access.

I thought that was really neat - the idea of the connection between distilling language for her poetry and distilling language in her cataloguing work. I'm always thinking in terms of the expansive, but here's a woman whose work with books is all about refinement.

Here are Shirley's two precise and lovely haikus from The Pacific Northwest Reader.


Gather and commune
Vast green edge of ocean roar
Touch in quiet space


Echo time gone by
Now bounty of connections
Proof our ship came in.

Because it is an homage to independent booksellers, The Pacific Northwest Reader is only available through independent booksellers. You won't find it on Amazon. But it can be ordered online through Powell's dot com. :)

Part of the proceeds go to benefit the American Booksellers For Free Expression.

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