National Poetry Month Spotlight: Philip Schaefer & Jeff Whitney

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2015! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections. In turn, the featured poets will introduce poems they love. Happy April!
Today’s featured poets are Philip Schaefer and Jeff Whitney, winners of the Fall 2014 Black River Chapbook Competition.
from Radio Silence…
When some men open their palms you can see
abandoned railroads in the ghost town
of their veins. Their memories tail like a semi
in a thunderstorm. Hats stiff as baseboards.
They tell us stories of winds undressing towns
and bats blank as the bones of infants.
When they laugh their hunger grows.
Their silence could put a shotgun through the roof,
their grief sweet as smoke in the hard music rising.
Philip has chosen to introduce “Elegy with a Tiny Darkness in my Palms” by Bianca Stone.
He says: There are few poets who can write “I plant a rhododendron where your head should be” without a punching bag writhing on the other end. Stone’s poem is delicate in its violence, placing one’s own head in the flower pot, one’s own psyche in that drunken soil.
Jeff has chosen to introduce “Landscape Without Apology” by Corey Van Landingham.
He says: I love the frankness of this poem in addressing the persistence of sexual abuse and the way in which we as a society have found ways to apologize for such abuses. Its insistence that we “think about the girl” is about as powerful a line of poetry as I’ve read in recent memory. This is important and excellent work.
DSCN0637Philip Schaefer is the author of two collaborative chapbooks with the poet Jeff Whitney. Smoke Tones is forthcoming from Phantom Limb (2015), and Radio Silence was selected by Black Lawrence Press as the Fall 2014 Black River Competition winning chapbook (2016). His poems are out or forthcoming in Forklift Ohio, DIAGRAM, Fourteen Hills, H_NGM_N, alice blue, RHINO, Columbia Poetry Review, Toad, BOAAT, and Whiskey Island among others. He lives in Missoula, MT with his wife and dog.
Jeff WhitneyJeff Whitney is the author of The Tree With Lights In It, which is forthcoming from Thrush Press, as well as two other chapbooks. Recent poems can be found or found soon in BlackbirdColumbia Poetry ReviewPoetry NorthwestSalt Hill, and Verse Daily. He lives in Portland, where he teaches English.