"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.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poetry of Power, the pages of August

I wrote in April of poet Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, whose poetry book, Work is Love Made Visible, won the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum's Wrangler Award. I pet her and got a signed first edition, and discovered a new poet, for me. She writes of Oklahoma, pairing old black and white family photos with her written images.

Then I discovered she has founded Mongrel Empire Press of Norman, and publishes other writers. Her web page is www.tonguetiedwoman.com.Website for her publishing business is http://www.mongrelempirepress.org

All that said, she and others will be at Oklahoma Labor Fest next weekend in the Plaza District, reading poetry Thursday evening  with others and "personing" a book table, as she wrote me. That link: http://www.redflagpress.com/oklahomarevelator/laborfest/2010info.htm

 She's been kind enough to send me several of the books she's published for review. Most of the work she handles seems to be poetry, but not all. Here's what the books also have in common--many have black and white photos--which I identify with from my photojournalist days--and many are from Oklahoma authors.

It is exciting to "discover" so many talented poets and writers that I've missed out on over the years--and humbling, and inspirational. Susan and I "discovered" Jimmie Santiago Baca http://www.jimmysantiagobaca.com/years ago at an Albuquerque conference. He's  become sort of the old man of Chicano poetry, writing about places where I grew up, but from a different view than we gringos had.

His poetry--like those from blog-friends Kay Lawson Gilbert, Alan Bates. Ronald Rabenold and T.R. Ryan (Check their blogs on my sidebar--Old Mossy Moon, Yogi's Den, Cultured Carbon County, and From the Faraway Nearby)--and like the poets I'm reading from Mongrel Empire, stretch my mind and make me want to write--not poetry, but write.

That's the power of poetry.

Next, you're going to be amazed by the excerpts of what I'm reading.

1 comment:

  1. Love all the poetry "talk" - good to see that poetry is doing some good in the world! :))

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