Texas

The current state poet laureate of Texas is Jenny Browne, who was appointed in 2017 and is serving a one-year term. Browne is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Dear Stranger (University of Tampa Press, 2013). She received the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America, as well as several fellowships from the National Endowment of Arts and the San Antonio Artist Foundation. Browne currently teaches creative writing, environmental literature, and women and gender studies at Trinity University in San Antonio.

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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.