Elizabeth Bishop’s “The End of March” has resonated with Lisa Bickmore since the first time she read it. It has spoken to the Utah poet of her own “deep desire for retreat — for solitude and silence — and also how impossible it is, or can feel, how it can even be a separation, even a kind of death. I love how the “crypto-dream-house'” can only be reached by means of a long walk in uncertain weather. I return to this dream-house often in my mind.”
Bickmore, who lives and teaches in Salt Lake City, is the author of three collections of poetry, including flicker (2016), which won the 2014 Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press (Denver, CO). She won the 2015 Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize for the poem “Eidolon.” Her most recent collection, Ephemerist, was reviewed by Amy Brunvand in 15 Bytes.
In addition to Bishop’s “The End of March,” Bickmore has chosen to read “St. Louis Cathedral No. 1,” one of her own poems, which “examines a line between life and death, instantiated in a visit to a cemetery, but also by stories told of a possibly magical past that might hold some hope of protection for one’s beloveds.”
In addition to working on a manuscript called b o m b, Bickmore has started a new nonprofit literary endeavor, Lightscatter Press. Their forthcoming and inaugural publication Bewildered by All This Broken Sky, by Anna Scotti, was chosen by Katharine Coles for the first Lightscatter Press Prize. “The press develops multimodality as a part of the design of the print book,” Bickmore says. “We’re really excited for this book to come into the world — for people to be able to read Anna’s gorgeous poems and to experience the book in a number of modes. You can learn more at lightscatterpress.org.
Running annually during the month of April, Poets in Pajamas invites Utah poets to read from their own work and the work of a poet they admire.