March 29, 2020
The Poetry of Oklahoma
By my rough count, nearly half of the poets in the anthology I have see & heard at Scissortail at one time or another. There are some names with national reputations, such as our current Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, the novelist Louis L’Amour, N. Scott Momaday & Rilla Askew. & many I count proudly as my friends, including Ken Hada the director of the festival, Jeanetta Calhoun Mish who 1st introduced me to Oklahoma in 2010 when Charlie Rossiter & I made a trip to Albany, OK, Jim Spurr (sadly no longer with us), feisty Dorothy Alexander, Rilla Askew, former New Yorker Paul Austin, & the editor himself Yankee fan Ron Wallace. Others whose books I have on my shelf of Oklahoma writers, or with whom I’ve shared dinner & drinks & conversation.
Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Oklahoma Poet Laureate 2017 - 2019, once lived in Albany, where her son Michael was born, & on visits back to the East she has stayed at “The Poetry Motel.” It was Jeanetta who made it possible for Charlie & I to visit Oklahoma & even be part of the Oklahoma Labor Fest when we were there. Ken Hada has also made trips to the East & also been a guest at “The Poetry Motel.” Both have read at poetry venues in the area, such as at Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs.
It’s a marvelous group of writers & I look forward to seeing them again, maybe next year. But this anthology brought these, & other writers I haven’t met (yet) into my home in Albany, NY.
You can order Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush directly from Ron at his website www.ronwallace.com — tell him Dan Wilcox sent you.