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Pacific Power and Light: Poems

May 7 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The award-winning poet returns to his homeplace in the Pacific Northwest, where the neighborhood simmers with the chemical presence of human trouble and sparks of beauty coexist with danger.

This image-driven, sound-driven collection carries us to the working-class Portland neighborhood of Lents, where Dickman was raised by a single mother. Here, as a skateboarding boy practices his kickflip on the street, enlightenment simmers under the surface of both the natural world and the human constructions that threaten it. The rivers shrinking to a trickle, the unaddressed crisis of homelessness, the drug use in a local park: these run side by side with the efforts and structures of families, created mostly by working mothers, with their jumbled bottomless purses and full-time jobs; Dickman’s own mother worked at the power company of the title, PP&L. His exquisite, ultrareal narratives take us down through these layers, illuminating the way we’ve treated and should treat one another, seeking integrity and understanding in the midst of a broken world.

About the Author:

Michael Dickman was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of four collections of poems, including Flies, winner of the 2010 James Laughlin Award, and Days & Days, a New York Times Best Poetry Book of 2019. He is on the faculty at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.


May 7
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Labyrinth Books


Lewis Center for the Arts
The Humanities Council