Mary Norbert Körte and Paul Nelson

Mary Norbert Körte Interview October 2019

December 6, 2022

I am so grateful Bhakti and I trekked to Willits, California in October 2019 to interview the poet and former nun Mary Norbert Körte. She died November 14, 2022 at her home at a former redwood logging camp Irmulco. We will present two of the interviews we did at that time as part of our Cascadian Prophets podcast series. See also this post.

Addendum from Jason Weiss, 6-FEB-2023:

The late California poet Mary Norbert Korte’s new & selected poems, edited by Iris Cushing and me, Jumping into the American River, will be out within the next month. Back in mid-December, I sent info about her to many of you (my first poetry teacher, Berkeley 1970, when I was 14; ex-Dominican nun; lived 50 years in the Mendocino woods; environmental activist; died at 88 in Nov, etc). Anne Waldman’s blurb for the book, which you’ll find in the link, gives a good overview.


  1. Denny

    The last photo of the rail line reminds me of how once in the mid seventies as teens my brother & I hitchhiked from Sonoma to Willets and followed those tracks from there to Fort Bragg. It took us three days walking. We knew someone from our Chicago days, the brother of a girl who had babysat for us as kids, who was employed by a couple who ran a concession stand along the rail route & they put us up for a night in one of the cabins along the route. It was a tranquil much wooded & gently hilly route as I recall. We figured if we followed the tracks we wouldn’t be trespassing & we didn’t run into anyone. Probably not possible for kids to do such stuff now.
    Apparently Ruth Weiss lived for many years nearby there in Albion and had recollections of a similar experience regarding letters. She said she had a correspondence for a time with Jack Kerouac and that they had exchanged haiku but she had lost the letters.

  2. Carlton JOHNSON

    a wonderful interview. not many poems have the word “pelagic” in them.

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