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2004 Writers' Forum
Clemens Starck

Clemens Starck sailed off the West Coast as a merchant seaman in the late '60s. He has worked at many jobs, but mostly as a carpenter and construction foreman in San Francisco, British Columbia, and in Oregon where he lives now. His first book of poems, Journeyman's Wages, received the 1996 Oregon Book Award as well as the William Stafford Memorial Poetry Award from the Pacific Nothwest Booksellers Association. His most recent collection, Traveling Incognito, is a letterpress chapbook from Woodworks in Seattle.
photo credit:
dean wong
Conversation with Curator Belle Randall
In this interview, recorded March 11, 2004, Clemens and Belle discuss literature and culture (espicially Chinese and Russian), performance, form and verse, memorization and composotion, and more.
Listen to an excerpt of Clem's reading (MP3)
3:47 / 2.1 MB
Two Photographs

In this group photograph
I'm standing--back row, center,
one of a gang of eleven young orangutans
in identical T-shirts
reading "Seafarers International Union, AFL-CIO."
A sign in the foreground:
"Lifeboat Certification Class,
1967."

For over a week, every morning
we've been rowing a lifeboat
back and forth on the icy waters of Sheepshead Bay,
preparing ourselves
to qualify
as Able-Bodied Seamen.

Another photograph
showing what could be the Lifeboat Class
thirty years later--a bunch
of amiable, aging, overweight apes--is actually
the maintenance crew
at a large university. I'm on the left,
standing, facing the camera.
To read more work from the 2004 Jack Straw Writers Program, contact Jack Straw Productions to purchase a copy of Volume 8 of The Jack Straw Writers Anthology.
Jump to Clemens Starck's Interview with 2004 Curator Belle Randall
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