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Pulse and Weave

October 15, 2022


In part an homage to the natural world, Liz Nakazawa’s first full-length poetry collection reveals its author as more than a keen observer of birds, clouds, trees, flowers, and bodies of water. Turning to the human heart, she suggests that it’s our job to “hold others steady.” Visiting a Japanese Garden in bad weather, the poet disciplines herself: “I imagine instead of fog / a sunny day / and then decide / no, I promise to love this brash rain.” And immediately she turns to watch a koi as it “swims through branches” of a dogwood reflected in a pond. Nakazawa’s poems are inhabited by the spirit of the best haiku in their sparse diction and exacting thought, the poet someone “no longer busking for love” but in love with the plenitudinous offerings of the world and with the way “benevolent negation / strengthens what remains.”
—Andrea Hollander, Author of Blue Mistaken for Sky


Liz Nakazawa’s Pulse and Weave brings us poems emanating from both quotidian reality and from a dreamscape full of “mirages without evaporation.” A born naturalist, Nakazawa folds mallard, ironwood, yarrow, coulee, wetland and moonflower into her lines, creating an “origami dream” of flora and fauna. In one of this book’s celebratory poems (“Sojourn to the Countryside”), we encounter those seeds “wanting to believe in a better world / seeds for short enduring joys, and long encouraged prayers.” Such seeds carry the kind of intent evident throughout Nakazawa’s work.
—Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita


You can purchase the book from our Bookshop.org store (particularly if you want to support indy bookstores), and you can also order from Amazon.com.



Sojourn to the Countryside


I want to tell you about my drive today

hugging the river

how our fears evaporate on sunny days,

that this farmland cradles the oldest barn in Oregon

and there are seeds there wanting to believe in a better world

seeds for short, enduring joys, and long, encouraged prayers.

Hayden’s quartet was on the radio

and he bid the violin to dream

while the sheep were asleep on a green knoll full of lyrical confessions.

Nothing in those farms of belief or certainty

just leaves, veggies, stone and tree, fifty miles from the sea.



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Liz Nakazawa

Liz Nakazawa has edited two collections of poetry by Oregon poets: Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon and The Knotted Bond: Oregon Poets Speak of Their Sisters. Deer Drink the Moon was listed as one of “150 Books for 150 Years of Statehood,” announced by the Oregon State Library and Poetry Northwest (2009), and was also a Best Pick of Powell’s. She writes essays, takes photos, enjoys walking, swimming and choreographing dances, and is a practitioner of calligraphy in addition to writing poetry.