About Me

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I am a writer, poet, and free-lance editor. Author of Lawmen of the Old West: The Good Guys and Lawmen of the Old West: The Bad Guys. I've had poems and stories in di*verse*city, Blood and Thunder, West View, The Enigmatist, and others. I love poetry but enjoy all forms of writing and editing. I'm the author of two books of poetry, Songs on the Prairie Wind dealing with the people, land and history of the rural Southwest and Voices of Christmas, the traditional Christmas story in free verse persona poems. I do contract editing of other writer's manuscripts. I'm the worst guitar player in the Common Folk band at Trinity Episcopal Church. I'm an imperfect husband to the perfect wife (she might read this sometime), father (great grown kids) and grandfather (they're great kids, too)

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm not sure what it is that makes me resist continuing something I start but it's sure there. So, back to this. The main thing is that I'm just back from the Austin International Poetry Festival. I hosted at one venue, read at three others, and conducted a workshop. Everything went really well and, as usual, I came back energized and eager to accomplish something. This will be the first thing I accomplish. Next maybe I should finish putting that book of poems together that Diminuendo Press say they want.

The workshop I did has made me do a lot of thinking. I hope the effect was similar for those who came to it. I called it, The Where IS the Who: Writing Poetry of Place. My point was that, for me, a poem that sets out to describe a location, bit of scenery, river, pond, flower, mountain, or molehill needs to invoke in me some emotion and the ability of the poet to direct that reaction is part of that writer's skill.

I believe that in every poem worth the name there are at least two emotional sets in play, the writer and the reader. There may be more than that. Notably when the writer has created or co-opted a narrator whose feelings do not necessarily reflect their own. Look at Browning's, My Last Duchess. The poem may also deal with the reaction of some player other than those mentioned. A good deal of narrative poetry that tells a story will do that.

Interestingly, these thoughts have generated a number of ideas for poems that I will work on later. Spending four days listening to poetry read and talking to poets from all over will do that, too. A special contact was Lori Desrosiers from MA (not ME like it said in the program.) She was special. Poet, singer/songwriter, and all around good person to get to know. I was honored to have her play my guitar at the "big read" for featured poets from areas besides Texas.

Ten years of attendance leads to a feeling of family. I started to name some names but I'd leave someone out and I don't want to do that. Anyway, hopefully any of them who read this will realize how important they are to me.

On the original subject, I don't expect I'll get any better at being consistent posting these but I intend to try. I would like to get into some specifics on the act of writing. It would help me clarify my thinking and, with luck, mean something to you, as well. Thanks for reading and, as always, I would love to hear from you.

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