Peter Moe’s Essay Selected for Best American Essays List

October 11th, 2021 § 0

An essay by Associate Professor of English and Writing Peter Moe titled “To Flense” was selected to be listed as a “Notable Essay” in the 2021 Best American Essays collection.

The essay was originally published in Fourth Genre, a journal of creative nonfiction. It then became Chapter Six of Moe’s book, Touching This Leviathan. Purchase or learn about the longer work at

Night Against Procrastination

October 4th, 2021 § 0

English Alum Publishes Recent Poem

September 24th, 2021 § 0

In Parentheses literary magazine recently published English alum Jason Thornberry’s poem “Wide Awake in an Empty Motel.”

Find the poem via this link:
“Wide Awake in an Empty Motel” by Jason M. Thornberry

Jason’s work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Soundings East, Harbor Review, The Antonym, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Broadkill Review, and elsewhere.

It examines family, disability, and social justice. Jason holds a BA in English from Seattle Pacific and an MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University.

Pongo Poetry Project Fundraiser

September 24th, 2021 § 0

Join Pongo Poetry Project on September 30th for “Speaking Volumes,” presented by The Poetry Foundation. The event is Pongo’s second annual fall fundraiser and will feature the renowned poet and author Danusha Laméris as the guest of honor.

Purchase your tickets on Pongo’s Eventbrite page.

“Speaking Volumes” directly supports Pongo’s work of inspiring healing and growth in the lives of youth coping with trauma.

Professor Willett’s Ivy Cutting Poem (Again)

June 11th, 2021 § 0

One year ago, Mischa Willett, poetry professor and Ascent mentor in the English and Cultural Studies Department, composed the following poem when SPU’s graduation-season ceremony known as Ivy Cutting needed to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, the poem still applies this season, and so we include it here, once again.

A Valediction, in Lieu of Ivy
Seattle Pacific University

Whereas once we may have circled you
And sang, torn the hanging vine,
A gift of green spade, renew-
Able radix for transplant, care, a line

To start the poem your lives
Will write whether you will or no,
Whether shaped just so or arrived
A gift entire–inspiration!–but growing,

We have to give the punctuation a miss,
What would have been the full-stop, carriage return,
Chapter next is now, well, this,
A reminder of the real, of ritual, burned

Into the whole world’s narrative by negative
Example. How much we often don’t see!
How much more we might’ve read, have said, relative
To what we did! But no last line of poetry

Actually ends. They ring and echo,
Dwell for ages (and ages hence) in the eternity
Of the mind, a community of caretakers below
The noise, before the reward–the purity

Of transference, of appreciation, of ability sheer
And wild–is yours, you sight-seers, way finders,
Meaning makers greening the otherwise clear
Desert and waste of the world! Artists: remind

Us, who are apt to forget, how much we need
your “inessential” work; how essential to engage
The past, the other, the now; to read, and reading,
See, and seeing, bless the all that’s on and off the page.

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