Bio

´╗┐┬á ´╗┐┬á ´╗┐Crysta ´╗┐Casey ´╗┐(1952-2008) ´╗┐was ´╗┐born ´╗┐in ´╗┐Pasadena, ´╗┐California. ´╗┐She ´╗┐graduated ´╗┐from ´╗┐The ´╗┐State ´╗┐University ´╗┐of ´╗┐New ´╗┐York, ´╗┐Stony ´╗┐Brook, ´╗┐in ´╗┐1976, ´╗┐where ´╗┐she ´╗┐was ´╗┐one ´╗┐of ´╗┐the ´╗┐founding ´╗┐members ´╗┐of ´╗┐The ´╗┐Women ´╗┐Writers ´╗┐Workshop. ´╗┐After ´╗┐college, ´╗┐she ´╗┐became ´╗┐the ´╗┐first ´╗┐woman ´╗┐hired ´╗┐by ´╗┐the ´╗┐City ´╗┐of ´╗┐Irvine, ´╗┐California, ´╗┐in ´╗┐Parks ´╗┐and ´╗┐Maintenance.

´╗┐┬á ´╗┐┬á ´╗┐In ´╗┐1978, ´╗┐she ´╗┐enlisted ´╗┐in ´╗┐the ´╗┐all-new ´╗┐voluntary ´╗┐military, ´╗┐serving ´╗┐in ´╗┐the ´╗┐U.S. ´╗┐Marine ´╗┐Corps ´╗┐as ´╗┐a ´╗┐journalist, ´╗┐then ´╗┐as ´╗┐a ´╗┐self-declared ´╗┐ÔÇťResident ´╗┐PoetÔÇŁ ´╗┐until ´╗┐her ´╗┐honorable ´╗┐discharge ´╗┐under ´╗┐medical ´╗┐conditions ´╗┐in ´╗┐1980.

´╗┐┬á ´╗┐┬á ´╗┐She ´╗┐moved ´╗┐to ´╗┐Seattle, ´╗┐Washington ´╗┐in ´╗┐the ´╗┐early ´╗┐1980s, ´╗┐where ´╗┐she ´╗┐studied ´╗┐with ´╗┐the ´╗┐poet ´╗┐Nelson ´╗┐Bentley ´╗┐and ´╗┐collaborated ´╗┐with ´╗┐Esther ´╗┐Altshul ´╗┐Helfgott ´╗┐on ´╗┐the ´╗┐ÔÇťItÔÇÖs ´╗┐About ´╗┐Time ´╗┐Writers ´╗┐Reading ´╗┐SeriesÔÇŁ. ´╗┐Her ´╗┐first ´╗┐collection ´╗┐of ´╗┐poetry, ´╗┐Heart ´╗┐Clinic, ´╗┐was ´╗┐published ´╗┐in ´╗┐1993 ´╗┐(Bellowing ´╗┐Ark ´╗┐Press). ´╗┐In ´╗┐2004 ´╗┐she ´╗┐received ´╗┐a ´╗┐Hugo ´╗┐House ´╗┐Award ´╗┐from ´╗┐Richard ´╗┐Hugo ´╗┐House, ´╗┐and, ´╗┐in ´╗┐2006, ´╗┐she ´╗┐was ´╗┐a ´╗┐finalist ´╗┐for ´╗┐Seattle ´╗┐Poet ´╗┐Populist. ´╗┐In ´╗┐2010, ´╗┐Floating ´╗┐Bridge ´╗┐Press ´╗┐brought ´╗┐out ´╗┐a ´╗┐chapbook ´╗┐of ´╗┐her ´╗┐work, ´╗┐Green ´╗┐Cammie.

´╗┐┬á ´╗┐┬á┬á ´╗┐Rules ´╗┐for ´╗┐Walking ´╗┐Out ´╗┐was ´╗┐published ´╗┐in ´╗┐2017 ´╗┐(Cave ´╗┐Moon ´╗┐Press). ´╗┐It ´╗┐represents ´╗┐the ´╗┐arc ´╗┐of ´╗┐CrystaÔÇÖs ´╗┐life ´╗┐work ´╗┐and ´╗┐was ´╗┐the ´╗┐last ´╗┐manuscript ´╗┐Crysta ´╗┐completed ´╗┐and ´╗┐approved ´╗┐before ´╗┐her ´╗┐death ´╗┐at ´╗┐the ´╗┐Seattle ´╗┐VA ´╗┐in ´╗┐the ´╗┐spring ´╗┐of ´╗┐2008.

´╗┐ÔÇë

´╗┐CrystaÔÇÖs ´╗┐papers ´╗┐are ´╗┐housed ´╗┐in ´╗┐the

´╗┐University ´╗┐of ´╗┐Washington ´╗┐Libraries

´╗┐Special ´╗┐Collections.

What people have to sayÔÇŽ

ÔÇťShe was feisty and upbeat when I met her so long ago in Santa Cruz. Her fighting spirit stayed strong, but it was tempered by wisdom and hard-won forbearance. She was highly intelligent. In terms of her poetry, she was humble but tenacious. She was in love with poetry. She was eccentric. She was generous to her friends and probably saved at least one vet friend from suicide. She shares herself in her poems, so she is with us still. Read her.ÔÇŁ

┬á ┬á ÔÇöDeborah Woodard┬á

┬á ┬á Author of┬áPlatoÔÇÖs Bad Horse┬á(Bear Star Press, 2006), Deborah Woodard has translated the poetry of Amelia Rosselli from the Italian,┬áThe Dragonfly: A Selection of Poems, 1953-1981┬á(Chelsea Editions, 2009) as well as Hospital Series (New Directions, 2015). DeborahÔÇÖs collection,┬áBorrowed Tales,┬áwas published by Stockport Flats in 2012. Her collection No Finis, Triangle Testimonies, 1911, with drawings by John Burgess, is forthcoming from Ravenna Press in 2018.┬áHer The Book of Riddles (Boxcar Press) is in its third printing.┬á She teaches at The Richard Hugo House.

┬á ┬á ÔÇťI first met Crysta Casey in a poetry class with Deborah Woodard at Hugo House, and something struck me about her immediatelyÔÇöshe was a swayer, and by that, I mean she was one of those people that swayedÔÇöalmost uncontrollablyÔÇöand it seemed it wasnÔÇÖt because of nerves or anxiety or excitement. Swaying was CrystaÔÇÖs natural state. Since she passed and her collection, Green Cammie, was posthumously published by the great Floating Bridge Press, IÔÇÖve learned so much about Crysta that I had been afraid to askÔÇöabout her military career, how she became a self-declared ÔÇťResident PoetÔÇŁ and her struggles with cancer. IÔÇÖm still not quite sure about the swaying, but even poets must keep some things private.ÔÇŁ

┬á ┬á ÔÇöBrian McGuigan

    Brian McGuigan founded Cheap Wine & Poetry and Cheap Beer & Prose. Currently at work on a memoir. Former Program Director at Richard Hugo House - Seattle, Washington. Works at Artist Trust, nonprofit dedicated to helping Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive.

┬á ┬á ÔÇťWhat I wasÔÇöand remainÔÇöis a fan of her incredibly good writing. I first became aware of Casey at a reading. She was sharing the evening with two other folks, but I donÔÇÖt remember who they were because, for me, the event was entirely hers. ÔÇťMy god, are those poems really that good?ÔÇŁ I remember thinking, and saying to the curator at half-time, ÔÇťThat Crysta Casey is an astonishing poet,ÔÇŁ at which point we were introduced. I found Crysta Casey to be direct, intelligent, down to earth and sincere. ┬áI bought her first book Heart Clinic as soon as I could and found the private reading experience as compelling and devastating as hearing her read the work aloud. Her work is the rare and remarkable kind of art┬á that blasts apart my heart.ÔÇŁ

┬á ┬á ÔÇöRebecca Brown

┬á ┬á First writer in residence at Richard Hugo House, co-founder of the Jack Straw Writers Program. Rebecca BrownÔÇÖs novel The Gifts of the Body is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Faculty advisor in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont

┬á ┬á ÔÇťEveryone involved with the Seattle poetry scene knew and appreciated Crysta. Her life and her work were a remarkable combination of guts and grace. We all miss her.ÔÇŁ

┬á ┬á ÔÇöLana Hechtman Ayers

    Lana Hechtman Ayers is a professional manuscript consultant and writing workshop facilitator. She also publishes Concrete Wolf Poetry Chapbook Series, MoonPath Press NW Pacific States Poetry Series and is an editorial consultant at Crab Creek Review.

┬á ┬á ÔÇťI first met Crysta in the early 1990's, before her first collection of poetry, Heart Clinic, was published (1993). She came to the basement of the University branch library to read her poems on open mic at the "It's About Time Writer's Reading Series," which I was emceeing. She read in a loud, scratchy, almost monotonic voice. All the while she rocked. I began rocking too. The audience, the room, the library itself all seemed to be rocking. We were mesmerized. Crysta could do that to people. She would grab you and she was yours for life. That is what Crysta did to people ÔÇô she grabbed them ÔÇô and it is what her work does; it grabs.ÔÇŁ

┬á ┬á ÔÇöEsther Altshul Helfgott

Esther Altshul Helfgott is the author of Listening to Mozart: Poems of AlzheimerÔÇÖs (Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2014), Dear AlzheimerÔÇÖs: A CaregiverÔÇÖs Diary & Poems (Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2013) and The Homeless One: A Poem in Many Voices (Seattle: Kota Press, 2000). She is the founder of the ÔÇťItÔÇÖs About TimeÔÇŁ reading series.┬á

┬á ┬á ÔÇťFor a decade my phone in Brooklyn would ring a few times a month at 4 a.m., and I knew it was Crysta even before hearing her raspy, twinkling voice, rocking in her non-rockable chair wanting to run her latest poem by me. SheÔÇÖd sit up all night rocking back and forth in her supposedly stationary hard-backed chair, staring out, thinking, rhythming, night after night after night. Her phone calls would arrive in the course of this, and IÔÇÖd ask her what she was doing. ÔÇťRocking,ÔÇŁ was always her answer. ThatÔÇÖs when she was happiest. Smoking cigarettes and rocking.ÔÇŁ

┬á ┬á ÔÇöMitchel Cohen

    Mitchel Cohen is a New York writer, activist, poet, chair WBAI-FM Local Station Board, Brooklyn Greens, Red Balloon Collective, rabble rouser

Unless otherwise noted, all content ┬ę The Estate of Crysta E. Casey.