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Jack Myers

Jack Myers

The career of Jack Myers (1941-2009) spanned five decades, during which time he authored/edited nineteen books of and about poetry. His many awards include two NEA Fellowships and the 1985 National Poetry Series selected by Seamus Heaney, who described Myers’ work as "wise in the pretense of just fooling around." A much-loved teacher, Jack helped hundreds of poets find their voice through the creative writing programs at Vermont College and Southern Methodist University, as well as during residencies from Idaho to Prague. From 1993-95, he served as co-Vice-President for AWP and co-founded, with his wife, Thea Temple, The Writer’s Garret literary center in Dallas; in 2003-04 he was selected to be the Poet Laureate of Texas.

Also by Jack Myers

  • Routine Heaven, Texas Review Press, 2005
  • The Glowing River: New & Selected Poems, Invisible Cities Press, 2000

An extensive review of Myers' work can be found at Oak Bend Review.

 

The Memory of Water

The Memory of WaterThe Memory of Water

$15.00 paper
ISBN: 978-1-930974-98-2
Publication Date: April 2011
Buy: Amazon.com | spdbooks.org

Edited with a Foreword by Mark Cox

"What a wonderful gift to have these last poems by Jack Myers. It is a book I wouldn’t be without. Jack was a quintessentially American poet. He wrote in a distilled American idiom with a wiseguy humor that is truly wise. He honored the past, and the future, too, but knew a poet's work was to strive for the elusive eternal present. Poetry, for Jack, is the art of the elusive, which is where mystery resides. Poetry, for Jack, was making up his prayer. He knew he might never arrive at some all-explaining religion, but, damn, he had a beautiful prayer."
        —Stuart Dybek

"Jack Myers, most generous and indelible of poets—your voice remains strong and sustaining forever. Thanks for continuing to write even when the going got really, really rough. Your wit and wisdom abide in compelling, honest bounty. If we read you, we cannot lose you."
        —Naomi Shihab Nye

"However casually, and against all odds, Jack Myers’ poems cried out, and argued with themselves, for consolation. Disappointment is the seeker’s life. And in these last, wise, beautifully rendered poems, he’s given us the message of his yearning, and so consoled himself. My heart is broken."
        —Ralph Angel

"Jack Myers delivers his poems with disarming honesty and a gritty sense of humor."
        —Billy Collins

Praise for Jack Myers:

"Stylish in their pretense of being without style, wise in their pretense of just fooling around, Myers’s poems take us to a place beyond their salutary laughter where we can once again trust in sanity, tenderness, tolerance, freedom, art, and love."
        —Seamus Heaney

"Jack Myers is tough-minded and loving, no matter how hard his poems ring they are never cold to the touch. And they do touch the way that poetic revelation can when it comes during the act of writing. He is a humane lightning."
        —Richard Hugo

"Jack Myers is true to the simultaneous hoo-ha cockamamie carnival of voices in the human heart, where Martin Buber and Monty Python are always vying for airtime. This is a very fine
collection, and it makes our vernacular snap!"
        —Albert Goldbarth

Poem

Dark Matter

I’ve lived my life as if I were my wife
packing for a trip—I'll need this and that
and I can’t possibly do without that!

But now I'm about
what can be done without.
I just need a thin valise.

There's no place on earth
where I can’t unpack in a flash
down to a final spark of consciousness.

No place where I can't enter
the joyless rapture
of almost remembering

I'll need this and I'll need that,
hoping to weigh less than silence,
lighter than light.