Texas

In 2014, Dean Young was appointed state poet laureate of Texas. The William Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas-Austin, Young has published twelve books of poetry and one volume of prose on the aesthetics of poetry. He has also received numerous awards and honors for his poetry, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Wallace E. Stegner Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

 

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Poetry in Texas
Dean Young
Texas poet laureate

Dean Young

Largely influenced by the New York School of poets, Dean Young combines aspects of experimentation and surrealism in his poems.

poems

poem

Old fang-in-the-boot trick. Five-chambered
asp. Pit organ and puff adder. Can live
in any medium save ice. Charmed by the flute
or the first thunderstorm in spring, drowsy
heart stirs from the cistern, the hibernaculum,
the wintering den of stars. Smells like the cucumber
served

poem
        after rereading Cormac McCarthy and taking
             a 5 mile run through the River Ranch
                                                     

                    Laughter is also a form of prayer
                                             —Kierkegaard

Okay then, right here,
Lord, in Bandera,
poem
I never knew them all, just hummed
and thrummed my fingers with the radio,
driving five hundred miles to Austin.
Her arms held all the songs I needed.
Our boots kept time with fiddles
and the charming sobs of blondes,

the whine of steel guitars
sliding us down in deer-hide chairs
when jukebox music was over.