Poetry. ‘Ed Harkness is very good at shining the poet’s light on natural details and puts this to good use in poems that go outside his more familiar environs, such as looking at the English Channel: “The Channel looks benign,/a road of hammered silver. Unglamorous,/windswept, this beach is no Riviera./Here you feel the slap of the beyond.” And, looking even farther: “the Dog Star, lifting its drowsy head,//guarding the dog house of heaven/with its one yellow eye.” Harkness extends his range when addressing social issues: “but the horde of you—the majority—/have gone remote control,/ignorant of our sacrifices…” Ed Harkness does not squint when he looks at the world and we are rewarded with a full and multi-leveled world in these poems.’ – James Cervantes, poet
Other books by Edward Harkness at Pleasure Boat Studio: Saying the Necessary, The Law of the Unforeseen
To his everlasting regret, Edward Harkness did not see Elvis when the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll visited Seattle during the World’s Fair in 1962. Other than that, Harkness is a happy husband to Linda, father to Ned and Devin, and grandfather to Clio and Hilde. Having retired after a 30+ year career as a writing teacher at Shoreline Community College, he now devotes his time to other pleasures: gardening, cycling, visiting the kids and, now and then, making poems. He is the author of two other full-length poetry collections, Saying the Necessary and Beautiful Passing Lives, both from Pleasure Boat Studio. His most recent chapbook, Ice Children, was published by Split Lip Press in 2014. Two poems in this collection, “Tying a Tie” and “Airborne,” won the Terrain.org annual poetry prize for 2017. He lives in Shoreline, Washington, about a mile from the north Seattle home where he grew up, and where his mother, Doris Harkness, whose art works grace the covers of this book, still lives. http://harkness01.wixsite.com/harkness
INTERVIEW WITH SPLIT LIP PRESS MAGAZINE ‘He is the man, myth and legend, folks––Ed Harkness, runner-up of the Split Lip Press 2014 Uppercut Chapbook Awards’ Article on poetry process, open minded reflections on what makes a poet a poet, the development as a youth to love of sound and language, and what a beginning poet can do to grow as a poet.
Holly Hughes, poet –
In Beautiful Passing Lives, Edward Harkness ranges freely in time and space, gleaning grace from moments small and large: from the weave of marsh grass to the ovens at Dachau. With an unflinching gaze, he considers events in history we’d rather forget, recording with exacting detail and an alternately dispassionate and fierce voice the dark we swim in. In poems that take us on hikes to the duck marsh to overheard conversations in the Ozarks to middle-aged musings in La Spezia, Italy, he deftly describes the sting of living / the kiss you don t forget with wry humor, honesty and compassion. These intimate poems, resonant with the voices of family, friends and mentors, lost and departed, chronicle all that is seen, unseen and deep, reminding us that redemption is everywhere and of the power of art to transform. Like the best sleight of hand, they glitter still, and glide / offshore on nothing.
Thomas Aslin –
Ed Harkness’s Beautiful Passing Lives helps to ameliorate some of the troubles we face in our lives. As he says at one point, Now, though, afternoon sun / reveals more of what we love. You will find in his beautiful book much of what sustains him in this life and much that he loves. This is a fine book. Cherish it.