In recent months, West Texas has seen a flowering of poetic talent and interest.
The poetic renaissance has been sparked in large part by the efforts to West Texas A&M University English professors Eric Meljac and Pat Tyrer, founders of the High Plains Poetry Project.
Meljac says the project’s mission is “to host poetry readings, critique circles, reading circles, and events like those to help people share in the art of poetry in a safe and supportive atmosphere.”
Dr. Meljac encourages anyone interested in poetry on the High Plains to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, to be added to an ever-growing poetry mailing list. Meljac regularly sends out invitations and information about poetry--and other creative writing events--from the local to the regional.
The growth of the High Plains Poetry Project has coincided with the rise of a local poet, Chera Hammons, who recently brought home the prestigious PEN Southwest Poetry Award for her book, The Traveler’s Guide to Bomb City.
Poetry lovers can hear Hammons read this Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.
Then, on Thursday, the High Plains Poetry Project will host its monthly Poetry Circle at the Burrowing Owl Bookstore in Canyon, also at 7 pm.