A poem by Lowell Jager to commemorate a decade of the Whitefish Review

Local literary journal Whitefish Review recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary and the release of issue #20. “Out of Time” features 40 authors, poets, photographers, and artists, including an essay by David James Duncan, poetry by Terry Tempest Williams, a story by Montana Prize for Fiction winner Karen Ullmann, and an interview with fly-fishing enthusiast Jimmy Kimmel, Emmy-nominated host of ABC’s late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“It was a privilege for our founding team to speak with Jimmy about fly fishing, family, and laughter in a changing world,” said Whitefish Review founding editor Brian Schott. “For 10 years we’ve worked hard to show the world what a little literary journal from Montana can do.”

This spring, the Review’s poetry editor, Lowell Jaeger, was named the Montana Poet Laureate. Jaeger has served as a longtime professor of English and creative writing at Flathead Valley Community College and is the author of six collections of poems. He is also the founding editor of Many Voices Press and recently edited New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from western states.

Copies of Whitefish Review are available in local bookstores and for order online at www.whitefishreview.org. Jaeger will serve as the lead editor for issue #21, “Rising Voices,” to be published this fall.

Tilt

By Lowell Jager

I’ve lived a beaded cord of changing seasons,
and thank the tilted earth for that. Slant
sun drifting southward, cooling October’s
red and gold, summer’s dying embers
knee-deep for children kicking through them
on their walk to school.

Thrill of waking
to winter’s first snowfall, knowing it’s there
— window blinds closed — hearing new slush
on the road, wheels hushing along slowly, neighbors
lufting shovels of crystals curbside.

In April,
the birds’ early morning playful incantations,
— joyous as I am — when blankets of white recede,
giving breath to meadow, courage to mule deer
browsing for nublets of green.

Along the lakeshore
today, I parked to marvel how jagged ice-fractures
buckle or widen when floes collide.

Spoke
with two boys lobbing melon-sized rocks, testing
how much weight our thinning crust of winter
might survive. Eager for June again. For diving headlong
into daredevil swimming holes, or rowing out
beyond the bay, trolling for spike-toothed pike.