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PoetrySnaps! Patrick Ramsay: Breakfast Recipe for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Patrick Ramsay

In this week’s segment of KNAU's series PoetrySnaps!, we meet Patrick Ramsay, a poet based in Ogden, Utah. His work is heavily influenced by his natural surroundings, including the Wasatch Mountains and Great Salt Lake…and also by his experience growing up queer in the Mormon Church. Ramsay believes deeply in community poetry and accessibility, and today he shares his poem, Breakfast Recipe for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Patrick Ramsay:

I think the Wasatch Front here in Utah is pretty well populated with poets and writers in general. We've got a great creative writing program here in Ogden, Utah, I think it's the oldest in the state. And we also have the National Undergraduate Literature Conference which brings riders from all over the nation. so making space for those poets to come together is kind of like the real opportunity now just trying to find a way to get together.

Just a few months ago I opened a small pay-what-you-want independent bookshop, and I also host poetry events every month there. I'm very big into community poetry. I like the idea that we're all making poetry, so when we come together and have an event that's focused on poetry it's kind of like this collective poem that just happens for one night. A lot of my work happens in the community sharing space.

I absolutely think that poetry can move the needle in a big way, in every conversation. I love to imagine a world where poetry always has a seat at the table. Ogden, Utah has a Poet Laureate and that's because we make space for the literary arts in our community. So, we do have a seat at the table for poetry. Poetry is where we can go to finally say what we're trying to say as communities. There could be a poem for every one of those huge movements going on in the world. It's just a matter of making space for it.

Breakfast Recipe for Seasonal Affective Disorder

At some point in keeping chickens, you learn
that hens require twelve to sixteen hours of sunlight
each day to lay eggs. Yesterday, the Winter Solstice,
we got just nine hours of sun. These days are the shortest
of the year. Impossibly short, immediately dark.
And yet, yesterday for no good reason, the hen who hunted
sunbathing spots on the back porch all summer long,
lays her perfect bourbon egg. On the shortest morning
of the shortest day, I palm what must be the newest egg
on Earth. I cook it sunny-side-up with fresh-ground pepper.
I eat it with the very last croissant. The yolk drips
a good, golden mess, and a small pool
of August sun takes shape on my plate.

About the poet:

Patrick Ramsay is a poet based in Ogden, Utah. He earned his B.A. in English & creative writing at Weber State University, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of Metaphor Literary Journal. Ramsay is also the owner of Happy Magpie Book & Quill, an independent pay-what-you-can community bookshop. His writing focus on land, heart, and community in the West.

About the host:

Steven Law is a poet, journalist and educator based in Page, Arizona. He is the author of a collection of poems called Polished.

About the music:

Original music by Flagstaff-based band Pilcrowe.

Steven Law was the co-producer of KNAU’s series PoetrySnaps!
Gillian Ferris was the News Director and Managing Editor for KNAU.