Seattle Area, Washington
Playwright, poet and fiction writer Scott Stolnack grew up in a working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, but has lived in the Pacific Northwest for almost 40 years. After a stint in the U.S. Marines, he went to college on the GI Bill and graduated with honors in English (summa cum laude) from the University of Washington. He has published stories in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Full Spectrum, and elsewhere, worked as a freelance writer, and completed two novels. His first full-length play was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference in 2018. He also holds degrees in conservation biology and fisheries ecology: for the past decade he has worked as a biologist coordinating efforts to recover endangered salmon in the Seattle area. He considers the poet Richard Hugo his totem animal.
UPSTREAM (DREAM #47)
In this dream the twilight is unchanging.
The pewter sky is vast and nearly cloudless;
a river with no end and no beginning
wanders slowly through a stunted forest.
Hook-nosed salmon swim for generations
up this river, up against the current,
raging against all the bright vexations
that trouble their brief lives, those dark urges
that drive them, past exhaustion; that beckon
onward while their bodies devour
the very flesh propelling their migration.
And the prize that waits upstream: some love
in the salmon way, a brief transcendence.
Their carcasses will stay and feed the forest.