"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Pages of April

One of the joys of working with the national Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (judging non-fiction for the Western Heritage Awards, and writing for Persimmon Hill), is attending the big events. Every year I end up buying books from the Western Heritage Award winners, usually the photo and the poetry winners...and I get the authors to sign them.

This year, a brilliant book on Ghost Ranch in New Mexico won the photo award, and the photographer lives not too far from my uncle Mike in Santa Fe. He's spent years studying the area, which was made famous by Georgia O'Keefe, and his black and white photos, made with a 5 x 7 view camera and almost 100 year old lenses. I took students there on a study tour a few years ago. He captures it in "Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby," which includes interesting essays.
The winning poetry book "Work is Love Made Visible" is also brilliant, by an Okie  poet Jeanneta Calhoun Mish, of Norman, who pairs her poetry with old black and white photos of her family in the early years of the state. She's from Wewoka, and knows my friend, and Pulitzer prize winning journalist and member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, Vance Trimble of Wewoka.

Her poetry speaks to me of family and travels and life of working people, and I'll quote some soon. But here are the two covers, the photography copyrighted, with the Western Heritage Award winning seal on the front. Fantastic reading and memories. Links to their sites are:
http://www.craigvarjabedian.com/
www.tonguetiedwoman.com

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