University of Washington Press / "Some Self-Analysis"

April 24th, 2017

The Press traces its origins to 1915, when Edmond Meany's Governors of Washington, Territorial and State was issued. The first book to bear the University of Washington Press imprint, an edition of The Poems of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey edited by Frederick M. Padelford, appeared in 1920. Since that time the Press has published approximately 4,400 books, of which about 1,400 are currently in print. Today we publish about seventy new titles each year.

The Pacific Northwest Poetry Series is dedicated to publishing the finest work of contemporary Northwest poets regardless of thematic focus. While their themes may or may not be regional, participating poets have a long-standing relationship with the Pacific Northwest. Series poets must have been residents of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, or western Montana for a minimum of five years.

From "Some Self-Analysis" from On the Poet and His Craft: Selected Prose of Theodore Roethke (1965) 

I expect this course to open my eyes to story material, to unleash my too dormant imagination, to develop that quality utterly lacking in my nature--a sense of form. I do not expect to acquire much technique. I expect to be able to seize upon the significant, reject the trivial. I hope to acquire a greater love for humanity in all its forms. 

I have long wondered just what my strength was as a writer. I am often filled with tremendous enthusiasm for a subject, yet my writing about it will seem a sorry attempt. Above all, I possess a driving sincerity,--that prime virtue of any creative worker. I write only what I believe to be the absolute truth,--even if I must ruin the theme in so doing. In this respect I feel far superior to those glib people in my classes who often garner better grades than I do. They are so often pitiful frauds,--artificial--insincere. They have a line that works. They do not write from the depths of their hearts. Nothing of theirs was ever born of pain. Many an incoherent yet sincere piece of writing has outlived the polished product.