PW Covington's writing is raw, powerful, and carries the voice of his hard-lived curriculum vitae. His poetry and prose is undeniably of Beat lineage, and
his words have the power to carry the full weight of desperate yet hopeful experience.
Incarceration, Poverty, War, Heartbreak, Homelessness, Isolation, these are the roots of Covington's work, but his voice is neither bitter nor caustic. It is, in his own way, hopeful.
On September 1, 2016, in Banjaluka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hourglass Literary Magazine awarded PW Covington the Literature & Latte Scrivener Award for poetry.
Judges were Sibelan Forrester, Poet and Professor of Russian, Swathmore College, John K. Cox, professor of history, North Dakota State University (Fargo), and Jelena Lengold of Belgrade, who was awarded the Biljana Jovanović award, Female Pen award, “Zlatni hit liber” and EU award for literature for her collection of stories “Fairground Magician”.
Covington received a monetary honorarium along with other prizes and will have his winning poem, "Value Menu", published and translated into Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) for inclusion in a future issue of Hourglass.
Friday, May 13th was very lucky for those in attendance at The Beat Museum in San Francisco's legendary North Beach neighborhood.
PW rocked the rafters upstairs, reading from both the "IDNGLFT" and "Sacred Wounds" collections (as well as sharing poetry from border Beat friends of his, and brand new, yet to be collected, works).
Bay area poets SB Stokes and E.K. Keith each brought their own soul and shine to the night, and many thanks go out to Jerry, Bob, and all that keep The Beat Museum running. Everyday, this cultural treasure helps educate, enlighten, and entertain visitors from all over the globe about not just the past traditions and heritage of Beat Generation writers, but the continuing Beat diaspora.
Beat isn't a "style" of writing so much as it is a way of living, and The Beat Museum is doing its part to keep that legacy alive and accessible to all that seek it out.
It was a GREAT night in North Beach!
His latest poetry collection, Sacred Wounds, published by legendary Texas small publisher, Slough Press, and edited by Texas Beat pioneer, Chuck Taylor, Jr., continues the Beat tradition of the American road-warrior poet. Covington's work is rooted in his personal experiences and in the energy of movement.
These poems take us from the war-ravaged airfields of Somalia to south Texas ranches, from the badlands of Utah to the Bay Area underground, and from the isolated introspection of a prison cell to the foot lights of the spoken word stage. His poems will resonate with any reader that loves the rush of wind through their hair; any reader that fights against injustice, the status quo, or parochialism; any reader that still believes in the promise held by mountains on the horizon.
The poetry is out there, and PW Covington has brought it back, in this new book.
His novel "Dear Elsa, Letters from a Texas Prison" was released in 2014, nearly 10 years after his own release from incarceration in Texas state prison.
The source materials for this fictionalized memoir were letters he wrote during 16 months of confinement at Dominguez State Jail, outside of San Antonio, Texas. Covington has also served
time at Ferguson, Holliday, and Hutto state prison facilities.
The author sends copies of this healing and hopeful novel to any jail or prison inmate that asks for one, free of charge.
An obsessive campaign of slander and character attacks from Covington's unstable and estranged younger brother is rarely addressed by the poet, and the vast majority of these inflammatory statements have been proved false.
Says PW, "With my past, I simply do not feel entitled to any 'privacy'. As a poet and a writer, my intent is to connect with the audience, and if that means denying my right to keep things discrete or to myself, especially about my past, then that's part of the deal. Lies will change and be morphed into whatever form they need to take in order to best serve those that tell them; the truth never changes. I connect using the truth of poetry and passion, there is no room for privacy in my life. No lie or slander can live long under that kind of light..."
The writer currently resides in rural South Texas where he remains involved in a variety of progressive and social causes, including homelessness outreach and prevention and
Veteran's advocacy. He has worked with disaster relief teams in major disaster zones such as Hurricane Isaac, the Bastrop wildfires, and Super-storm Sandy.
Covington frequently donates his time and talents to benefits and other activities organized to support immigrants, human rights and social justice causes along the US/Mexico border.