February 17, 2018

Poetry News from Seattle and Staten Island

By LJ Staff

Seattle business entrepreneur Charlie Wright, chair of the timber and development company R.D. Merrill, is expanding the family business in an unusual direction: publishing poetry. The Seattle Times reports that Wright is embarking on creating a small publishing company dedicated solely to poetry. To that end he has purchased the East Coast poetry press Verse, which will become part of his new yet-to-be-named poetry house. ‘We’ll focus on midcareer American poets…there will be some exposure to emerging poets, also reprints and translations, sort of a mixed bag,’ Wright told the Times. Although Wright understands that there’s little – if any – profit in publishing poetry, he contends that the venture is more altruistic: ‘It’s to make a difference. It’s probably vanity, but I think we can have an impact on poets and poetry,’ he said.

Additionally, Staten Island libraries have been chosen as the hosts of Poets House’s annual Poetry in the Branches program. Funded by donations by the Independence Community Foundation and the Staten Island Bank and Trust Foundation, the two-year endeavor will see poetry writing workshops for teens held in the St. George Library Center and the Richmondtown and Port Richmond branch libraries of the New York Public Library.