8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the American Southwest

8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the American Southwest

Baskerville Publishers is pleased to announce the release of 8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry of the American Southwest.

Eight poets were selected whose work clearly demonstrates that the contemporary poetry of the southwest moves far beyond the "regional," dealing with the universal themes of all good poetry, while not losing a sense of place.  Tom Sleigh writes of the book, "…these poems are wonderfully idiosyncratic voices as cosmopolitan as they are rooted in what Seamus Heaney once called ‘the music of what happens’…  The region that unites them is the republic of memorable speech.”

Dan Williams, Director of the TCU Press, who was the editor of 8 Voices, concludes his introduction, “I have gained much becoming acquainted with the poems included in this volume, and I feel privileged to have read and selected them.  I believe anyone who picks up this volume will feel the same.”

Baskerville Publishers’ books have won two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. We published the first book in English on the life of Joseph Brodsky, and brought Australian classical poet Stephen Edgar’s poetry to the attention of discriminating American readers. We are proud to add 8 Voices to this distinguished list.

From the Introduction by Dan Williams, Editor

When a volume of poetry that purported to show the wide range and depth of  contemporary Southwestern poetry was proposed, I was happy to participate as editor. Though some poets of the region focus on artifacts and history of the southwest, many do not. It was my task to select 15 poems from each poet out of half a hundred which had been submitted. We wanted a selection which would show the broad range referenced above.

When reading their submissions, I experienced some of those powerful moments Dickinson defined as poetry. I felt deeply moved, even shaken as though the top of my head had been taken off. At times so powerfully moved that I was in two places at one time, both in my comfortable chair, and in a strange, striking place where the poet had transported me. To read this poetry is to be constantly shifted from the ordinary into the extraordinary.

This volume of poetry challenges the common expectations of many readers, as it demonstrates definitively that there is more to Southwestern poetry than wild horses, branding irons, arrowheads, and creaking windmills. I feel privileged to have read and lived with these poems during this process. I have gained much. And I believe that anyone who picks up the volume will feel the same.

Praise for 8 Voices

Though the poets in this book all hail from the southwest, what you’ll hear in these poems are wonderfully idiosyncratic voices as cosmopolitan as they are rooted in what Seamus Heaney once called “the music of what happens.” The poems are cleanly written, replete with what Robert Frost called “a good look, and a good listen.” The region that unites them is the republic of memorable speech.

— Tom Sleigh, Senior Poet and Distinguished Professor, Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY)

These eight distinguished southwestern poets have important things to say, and they say them extraordinarily well. Here are poems about landscapes both familiar and foreign, childhood, young (and old) love, friendship, regret, loss, old age, sickness, and death, as well as about the miracle of poetry itself... poems you will want to read, and reread, savoring them for years to come.

— Michael McGaha, Yale B. and Lucille D. Griffith Professor of Modern Languages (Emeritus), Pomona College

The poets of 8 Voices transform the details encountered in everyday life into playful poetic landscapes that vibrate with a refreshing sense of humor. Playfulness in the juxtaposition of incongruous objects and situations create soundscapes that transfer the familiar into the charm of the unfamiliar and mysterious. These poets recreate the pulse of the earth as they live inside the movements of words.

— Rainer Schulte, Professor of Humanities & Fine Arts, UT Dallas, Director of the Center for Translation Studies, and Editor of Translation Review

About the Poets

  • Gary Swaim: widely-published poet, produced playwright, published fiction writer, and digital painter, received his A.B. in English from the University of California, Riverside and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Philosophy from the University of Redlands and Claremont Graduate University. Currently, a faculty member in the Master of Liberal Studies program at Southern Methodist University, he has taught broadly across the United States, and is the founding Executive Editor of Pony Express(ions), an online literary journal for S.M.U. Dr. Swaim is a Minnie-Stevens Piper Professor of Excellence for the state of Texas.
  • Nathan Brown: a musician, photographer and award-winning poet from Norman, Oklahoma. He holds a PhD from the University of Oklahoma, but mostly travels now, performing readings and concerts, as well as leading workshops and speaking on creativity and the need for readers to not give up on poetry. He’s published eight books. Karma Crisis: New and Selected Poems came out this spring. And a previous book, Two Tables Over, won the 2009 Oklahoma Book Award.
  • Karla K. Morton: the 2010 Texas Poet Laureate, is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and graduate of Texas A&M University. Described as “one of the most adventurous voices in American poetry,” she is a Betsy Colquitt Award Winner, twice an Indie National Book Award Winner, and the author of seven books of poetry.
  • Jeffrey DeLotto: Professor of English at Texas Wesleyan University, teaches writing and British literature. He has also taught writing and literature at Texas Tech University, at Yarmouk University (in Jordan), and as a Fulbright Lecturer in Bulgaria. His books include Voices at the Door , Days of a Chameleon: Collected Poems, and Voices Writ in Sand: Dramatic Monologues and Other Poems. His poems, essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies.
  • Tony Mares: born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, educated in local schools, went on to university courses and completed a doctorate in European history. However, beginning in his early to mid-twenties, poetry became the real focus of his attention. Over the years, he published several books of poetry and his poems have appeared in numerous venues. He also has one book of translations of the poems of the Asturian poet, Ángel González.
  • Alan Birkelbach: the 2005 Texas Poet Laureate, is the author of nine books of poetry. He is a winner of the 2010 North Texas Book Festival Award, two-time presenter at the Texas Book Festival, a Spur, Wrangler, Pushcart, and TIL Children’s Book award nominee, and a finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. He is a native Texan.
  • Elizabeth Raby: author of three full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks.Her poems have been translated into Romanian and she is co-author of a Romanian/English chapbook, Oase, Carne, & Blana (Bone, Flesh & Fur.) Winner of the 2010 Elmer Kelton Award, Angelo State University,she has been nominated several times for the Pushcart. A graduate of Vassar College (B.A.) and Temple University (M.A., Creative Writing), Ms. Raby has lived in Santa Fe, NM since 2000.
  • Ronald Moore: a composer, adventurer (103 countries), and human rights activist with a strong interest in Tibetan freedom. He was a health care executive for 30 years. Moore has a BA in Philosophy and an MBA in Finance from TCU. He has one book of poetry, Alterity (Current Press) and has been published in Descant and elsewhere. He has two sons and lives in Fort Worth, Texas.


8 Voices: Details

6 x 9 hardcover, 146 pages, ISBN: 978-1880909-79-9


Price: $21.95
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