Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Every year, two writers are chosen by the Texas Institute of Letters to live several months on J. Frank Dobie's legendary Paisano Ranch, outside Austin, Texas. This fellowship has a 50+ year history and many famous writers have written about their experiences there. This book describes a 2016 stay at Paisano Ranch. While sitting on the front porch in the dawn light of his first day at the ranch, the writer encounters Dobie’s ghost, who speaks to him for a few minutes before fading off into the haze. Over the next four months, the ghost makes morning visits to the writer thirty-five times, and the writer records the ghost’s words in the form of poems.
About the Author
Chip Dameron’s work includes ten collections of poetry and a travel journal, as well as essays on contemporary writers in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to appearing in numerous anthologies and American literary journals such as Puerto del Sol, Hayden’s Ferry Review, New Orleans Review, Aethlon, and Mississippi Review, his work has been published in Canada, Ireland, Nigeria, India, China, Thailand, and New Zealand. Dameron is Professor Emeritus of English at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.
“I now believe in ghosts—or, at least, am convinced that Chip Dameron found a way to commune with J. Frank Dobie’s spirit. This charming book, perfect in every detail, illuminates a rich corner of Texas. You can nearly hear Dobie’s ghost cackling with delight within these pages.” —Steven L. Davis, past President, Texas Institute of Letters and author of J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind
“Drinking From the River is a book of memory, imagery sharp as a January east wind, and voice as focused as an owl’s stare: “The voices/ that you hear are just your own/ my dear, telling you the things/ you have been fighting/ all along, twisting time/ into a pretzeled simulacrum/ of the past....” Chip Dameron has learned how to balance memory and significance on a fulcrum of revelation in a re-imagined world where “clouds roll down the trees like/ some god’s own urgent breath,” where we witness through his eyes the sanctity of an eloquent life based on keen perception. These are poems worth the weight of reading and reflecting.” —David Lee, Poet Laureate of Utah; author of Last Call Fine
“From beginning to end, Chip Dameron’s Drinking From the River is a volume of new and selected poems that suggests its author has reached a level of maturity that justifies printing and reprinting major examples of his work. In many ways, the tenor of the voice guiding us does so with an artistic sensibility akin to what Horton Foote did with characters in his plays and films. What’s most remarkable, however, is a poetic level of alertness that keeps us on point as we maneuver our way through the promises and threats of ordinary experience. To make a sizable volume like the present work requires a relentlessly present level of intensity and a sharp sense of pacing. Stepping back to get a wider view, we understand more sharply than we did before what a wealth of achievement there is here.” —James Hoggard, former Poet Laureate of Texas; author of Triangles of Light: The Edward Hopper Poems and Soon After Rain