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 inspirational 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.
Gnashing Teeth Publishing has nominated PW's new and expansive poem, "The Big, Queer, City" for a 2020 Pushcart Prize.
This is PW's first nomination for this prestigious award since 2013, when Left Hand of the Father nominated his short fiction piece "Day Sleeper".
"This poem just kind of leaked out of me, day by day, over the course of a week or more, early in the pandemic. I really didn't want to lose myself or my art in the flurry of 'pandemic poetry' that seemed to be splashing itself across every online platform out there early on, during the first round of stay at home orders and quarantines.
I've always tried to acknowledge passing passion and ephemeral emotion, while prioritizing connection with more Universal, more enduring, things.
I think the voice of this poem captures that hopeful horizon while linking and mixing our daily anxieties with global calamity," said the writer.
"It's all about finding that place that feeds and rewards your soul...things can be terrible anywhere, but when you've sought out places and spaces that reflect your values, peace and equanimity can help guide and steady you through the terror. I can't wait to perform this poem for live audiences; it's gonna be a blast", concluded Covington, who makes his home in New Mexico, after spending many contentious years living in the Coastal Bend region of Texas.
Click HERE to read "The Big, Queer, City"
Due to continuing public health concerns, and in order to make space for historically marginalized voices, all readings, workshops, and appearances through the end of 2020 have been cancelled.
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Recently, Arizona Public Radio host Tom Maxedon with Phoenix affiliate KJZZ caught up with PW Covington via cell phone from his hotel room in Houston, TX.
PW was in town for the Houston Poetry Fest, where he had been named a Juried Poet, and Tom spoke to him a little about life on the road as a traveling poet, for the "Word" podcast.
Congratulations to North Beach and Other Stories for earning FINALIST status in the
2019 International Book Awards!
In July of 2017, PW was invited to join a delegation of US poets and writers in Havana, Cuba for the 21st Festival de Poesia Internacional.
For 8 days, writers from all over The Americas worked together to present and discuss their poetry at venues across Cuba's capital city.
Special focus was invested on issues such as Cuba's rapidly changing social and economic landscape, climate change and its present and future effects on the Americas, and the free flow of ideas and creativity between artists of different mediums and cultures.
Other poets invited from the USA included former US Poet Laureate Robert Hass, Jane Hirshfield, and activist Odilia Galvan-Rodriguez. Invitees forged bonds of friendship and creativity with each other and with Cuban audiences.
Many events were sponsored and hosted by UNEAC (Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba) .
More information about UNEAC and all the opportunities they provide Cuban writers and creatives can be found here.
Images and impressions of the 2017 Havana International Poetry Festival
Full color photos from Havana, and exclusive writings not published anywhere else.
Selected translations by Laura Peña.
Order "Notas De La Habana" now, by clicking HERE.
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.
The writer moved to Northern New Mexico in 2017, and 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 across the continent. He traveled to Standing Rock as a Water Protector and to Havana Cuba as an invited guest at the
Havana International Poetry Festival. Covington remains allied with those fighting for justice and dignity for native, indigenous, and less privileged groups, including those that identify as
LGBTQ+, across the nation.
Covington also 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.