The current state poet laureate of Oregon is Elizabeth Woody, who was appointed in 2016 and is serving a two-year term. Woody's poetry centers around her background as a member of the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs. She is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Seven Hands, Seven Hearts: Prose and Poetry (The Eighth Mountain Press, 1994). She currently works as director of the Indigenous Leadership Program at the nonprofit Ecotrust.

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Siwashing It Out Once in Suislaw Forest

I slept under     rhododendron
All night    blossoms fell
Shivering on	a sheet of cardboard
Feet stuck   in my pack
Hands deep    in my pockets
Barely  able    to   sleep.
I remembered    when we were in school
Sleeping together   in a big warm bed
We were     the

The more I go, the harder it becomes to return. To anywhere. There is no one at the ocean this morning. I walked by the campsites and smelled eggs and pancakes. And there were sweet Oregon cherries and watermelon. I wonder if I can go back—what purpose there would be in it—or in any other thing?


i.         Powell’s Bookstore Coffee Shop, Portland

it’s all lit up with volcanoes
Chris says of Oregon
where I write of new fires
burning old animals
but there are these old fires
I don’t heed—

the xylophone of volcanoes
that is the Cascade Range