Poetry Northwest was founded as a quarterly, poetry-only journal in 1959 by Errol Pritchard, with Carolyn Kizer, Richard Hugo, and Nelson Bentley as co-editors. The first issue was 28 pages and included the work of Philip Larkin, James Wright, and William Stafford.
Poetry Northwest is an independent, autonomous nonprofit organization dependent on subscriber and community support. According to editor Kevin Craft, “Our mission remains what it has been for more than five decades. In the words of founding editor Carolyn Kizer, ‘We shall continue to encourage the young and the inexperienced, the neglected mature, and the rough major talents and the fragile minor ones.’ We remain as committed as we were in 1959 to publishing the best poetry we can find, and to expanding the role and scope of poetry in ways both public and private, innovative and traditional, as an art and as a clear and necessary dialogue in a world overrun with noise.”