David D. Horowitz

David D. Horowitz, as most Seattle poets know, is Rose Alley Press, which began in 1995, championing poetry in general, meter and rhyme wherever possible, and Northwest poets specifically. Among the many, Rose Alley has published Michael Spence, Joanne Kervran Stangeland, Donald Kentop, and one of my professors from UW days, William Dunlop. David is also responsible — barring a pandemic — for poetry readings in coffee houses and libraries all over the region to celebrate Rose Alley’s anthologies (most recently, Footbridge Above the Falls: Poems by Forty-eight Northwest Poets).

In her cover praise for David’s newest book, Slow Clouds over Rush Hour, Carolyne Wright calls the poet a  “Moralist and wit, latter-day Catullus or perhaps the Blake of Songs of Experience transposed to the 21st century.” But even though many of the poems refer to days and poets gone by, I can’t help feeling they are always a chronicle of our post-modern life, reporting on the political stew, a mother’s decline into Alzheimer’s, “the rat race” (and cats, too). As Wright points out, Slow Clouds also captures moments of “quiet enjoyment, when the speaker, a human cog in the corporate machine of his day job, puts aside the allures of overachievement and savors, at evening, ‘this scarlet rose, / Vase, lamplit valley view.'”

I’m compelled to share at least one couplet from Slow Clouds over Rush Hour:

How to Be an Editor

Learn how to use a period and comma
And how to spell “baboon” and “llama.”

And here’s one of those “quiet enjoyment” poems from the last pages:

Glow and Glitter

Gray sunlight whitens undecided sky — and peeks
Through clouds, which start to dissipate. Gold streaks
Help thaw restraint. Another sunny day despite
More news of shooting, theft, and feuding fight.
Where threats and violence might seem the norm,
A simple sunray might enliven, warm,
And calm. So, beauty trickles through a break
And giggles glitter on the city lake
And shimmers, simmers silver surface, streaks
It gold. Through haze, I think I see the peaks.

— David D. Horowitz


On April 10 — 1:30-5 p.m. — there will be an actual book-signing, with real live people and everything (with all precautions) at BookTree in Kirkland. In corresponding with David, I also learned that he will be doing a Zoom reading for Edmonds Bookshop on Thursday, April 22, 6 p.m., along with Carolyne Wright, Jim Bertolino, Anita K. Boyle, and Douglas Schuder. (The best place to find the Zoom link for Edmonds is on their Facebook page or at the website, Follow this link to learn how to purchase Slow Clouds over Rush Hour as well as other Rose Alley Press titles.

Donald Kentop

ON PAPER WINGS, Donald Kentop. Rose Alley Press, 4204 Brooklyn Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98015-5911, 2004, 44 pages, $6.95 paper,

Donald Kentop loves traditional forms, sonnets and villanelles, rhyme and meter. Though he occasionally breaks into free verse, reading this entire, short book was a delight to the ear.

For a story about more recent work, see this article in The Seattle Times

But there is something timeless about a poem such as this:

The Winter Cherry

As I grew up, impatient for the spring,
I noticed that a fruitless cherry tree
would bloom behind my house in wintertime
and, counter to the season, blossoms burst
along the branches even through the snow.
Erupting wide as it was tall, the pink
anomaly would always startle me
like mushrooms in a morning lawn. The soft
rebellion had defied the solstice once
again, compressing months into days
in my mind. The prunus autumnalis
blooms again this year. How many more,
who knows? Except that trees have lifetimes too,
like men, and this one I am sure is old.
I no longer see the tree a joke
on nature, rather nature’s joke on me.
A wonder still, each petal when and where
it ought to be. Now I welcome winter
because the springtime comes too soon for me,
and I have gone to counting–having found
it easier to tally winter nights
than to subtract from sunny summer days.


Where You’ll Find Me

I have several upcoming gigs to tell you about.

The first is TONIGHT at Zippy’s — where I’ll be reading with a few other contributors to the Northwest poets anthology Footbridge Above the Falls: Poems by Forty-Eight Northwest Poets, edited by David D. Horowitz. Click on the Rose Alley Press website to see their other offerings in the coming months.

Everett Poetry Night
Thursday, November 7, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

Poetry: Robinson Bolkum, Kevin Craft, Christopher J. Jarmick, Jed Myers, Bethany Reid, David D. Horowitz, and open mic
Cafe Zippy, 1502 Rucker Avenue, Everett, WA
Telephone: 425-303-0474
E-mail:; David,

then —

Event Date: Friday, November 22, 2019 – 7:00pm
Event Location: Raymond Carver Room | Port Angeles Public Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.
Again, just click on the link to see full information.
…and then —

So,Dear Writer…: An It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series Anthology — Elliott Bay Books, Seattle

Sunday, November 24, 3 p.m.

I’ll be one of several readers, including Peggy Sturdivant, and the anthology publisher.

I’ll be reading my “famous” craft essay, “One Bad Poem,” and of course I would love to see you there.

In the Company of Writers

b85fd-stack2bof2bbooksI have had the privilege over the past few weeks of hanging out with some very cool writers. Joannie Stangeland for one, Katie Tynan (of It’s About Time) for another. Last week I was one of the featured readers for Rose Alley Press‘s 20th Anniversary reading series, and I want to take a moment to recommend this local press, owned and operated by David D. Horowitz, and its books (particularly as it is getting to be that gift-giving time of year).

The novelist Jane Hamilton tells a story about getting caught reading George Eliot’s Middlemarch in a school hallway while waiting for a child. The other mother who spied her said something that Jane translated to “How Quaint.” With an edge of outrage in her voice, she added, “as if I were tatting lace!”

I thought of that story because I read Middlemarch, the first time, while taking a class with Professor William Dunlop, whose poetry book, Caruso for the Children and Other Poems, is a Rose Alley Press book.

One reason to go to readings is to connect with like-minded people who read the same sort of books that I do. That you do. Don’t you?