Friday, September 14, 2012

NOTSTOCK Welcomes Poet, Shaun Griffin

Shaun Griffin, poet translator, editor, and activist, will be a guest at NOTSTOCK 2012. He will lead WordStock events including “makeshops” in which participants will generate words and graphics on the theme: POWER. The works created at these makeshops will all be posted on the third floor stairwell in Hartnett Hall.

Shaun will also give a reading of his work on Thursday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. in Aleshire Theatre.  A reception and book-signing will follow. Please join us! All events are free and open to the public.

Shaun Griffin is the co-founder and director of Community Chest, a rural social justice agency serving northwestern Nevada since 1991.  This Is What the Desert Surrenders, New and Selected Poems, came out from Black Rock Press in 2012.  He recently completed editing a book of essays on the late poet and critic, Hayden Carruth, From Sorrow’s Well, to be published by the University of Michigan Press in 2014.  He received the Rosemary McMillan Lifetime Achievement in Art Award in 2006, awarded by Sierra Arts Foundation, Reno, Nevada, and the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1995.  For over twenty years he has taught a poetry workshop at Northern Nevada Correctional Center, and published a journal of their work, Razor Wire.

The Fallen Season

In the distance, a stream sings
in the rose hips—winter has stripped
its shores to icy prayers of green.

All the way from the hot springs
you mumbled words to pines—and did
they listen, encumber your burden

down the snowy road?  On the porch
of sage, came the highest squeak—
a flycatcher weeping and then the wasp—

were they out of season?  The hand
that loves the fallen wood broke twigs
and bulrushes to the stream, no path

to ford save rock and water in a gorge
of willow stems.  I yelled when you fell
in the rose hips—and held the river wind,

waiting for a sign.  Sun left the valley—
we sank the snowmelt to the house,
gathered bark and blew the night air

through the roof beams.  An aging poet
lit the owlish sky of two beside the fire
and under them, crossed the lantern coals.

And then I let the ash go, tossed
in the bed until your skin set me down
to that cold water that runs between.

     —Shaun Griffin

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