A Celebration of Texas Poets

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April is National Poetry Month! To celebrate, we’d like to take a moment to recognize contributions made by the most recent Texas Poets Laureate. Their work has made an outstanding cultural impact on the long-standing literary and artistic tradition of Texas, and we are so pleased to feature them here.

 

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Laurie Ann Guerrero

I read the book because it promised
to teach me. What I didn’t know

was that whites don’t start off white.
They’re gray goods before the burning

(From Bluing the Linens)

 

 

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Carmen Tafolla

The ground was already beaten smooth
and festive by the joy of ancient dances.

He feels the warmth,
and doesn’t know his soul is filled
with the spirit of coyotes past.

(From Aquí)

 

 

 

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Dean Young

The heart hoards its thorns
just as the rose profligates.
Just because you’ve had enough
doesn’t mean you wanted too much.

(From Poem Without Forgiveness)

 

 

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Rosemary Catacalos

All along the counties they lay,
mouth to mouth with the water,
fattened in the smile of the water,
the light of the water,
water flushed pure through the
spine and ribs of the birth of life,
the old ocean,
the stone,
the home of the water.

(From Homesteaders)

 

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Jan Seale

Afraid to blink, I whisper, “Yes, I see them.
Yes.” The astronomer’s hand tightens on my arm.
“The Trapezium Cluster, at fifteen-hundred light-years.”
He laughs. “I give them to you because you see them.”
“I take them,” I say, and feel him near.

(From Believing is Seeing)