Blue and white fire resembling a face

Throwback Thursday featuring Shawn Pittard from issue 294.2

Shawn Pittard's poem, "Fall Creek" was an honorable mention in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2009. His poem is featured in issue 294.2, Spring 2009 and can be still be purchased through our online store.

Notes from the author: As my fiftieth birthday approached, my friend—the poet Kathleen Winter—asked if I planned on writing a poem to commemorate the occasion. I said, no, I hadn’t thought about it at all—but the seed was planted.

Later, rummaging through a notebook, I came across two lines I’d written at least a year earlier while knocking around at the confluence of the Upper Sacramento River and Fall Creek. I added the words “on my birthday” and it took off from there. The process was an exploration into my own past. It was filled with discovery and surprise, which is why I write poems.


Shawn Pittard

Shawn Pittard is a poet, screenwriter, and teaching artist. He is the author of two volumes of poetry: Standing in the River, which was the winner of Tebot Bach’s 2010 Clockwise Chapbook Competition, and These Rivers from Rattlesnake Press. He is also an environmental planner and works for the State Energy Commission in Sacramento, CA. Photo credit to Robert Sanders.

Eric Piatkowski was raised in Arizona, and after a few years of working in theatre he switched gears and studied illustration at the Pratt Institute. Now in Des Moines, he splits his time between drawing, drawing, and more drawing. Give him a call, he just might be the perfect man for the job. Prints of artwork featured here and elsewhere are available through Etsy at Eric Piatkowski Art.