Here’s What People are Saying About My Latest Book

“The poems in Shawn Pavey’s Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 examine the seasons in the author’s life, broken down into days and then into moments, whether it’s a warm Kansas City wind, drinking on 39th Street, or a moment of quiet contemplation filled with the uncertainty that comes with just being alive in the 21st century. Pavey’s poems are straight and honest, taking the time to just live now and put it all down on paper, something that the rest of us usually put off until tomorrow. His words are as spare as bone, leaving the wind and taking nothing for granted.” John Dorsey, author of Appalachian Frankenstein

“Shawn Pavey’s poems capture the longing we feel when we lift the needle from a record album. In the turntable’s wishwiswish between Stratocaster riffs, there lies hope and resignation, Bruce Springsteen and hungry cats, maple leaves and ‘plastic blasted into space.’ Pavey’s poems give voice to our hunger for life, a medieval song heard through 21st Century earbuds.” Al Ortolani, author of Francis Shoots Pool at Chubb’s Bar and Waving Mustard in Surrender.

“In Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6, I was reminded of how a gifted poet like Shawn Pavey doesn’t try to convince his readers to have things we don’t need but to slyly persuade us to open our eyes to the presence of the treasure of those things we cannot live without. In this book we have love, surprise, death, angels and more pictured for us in a flow of language both ordinary and extraordinary gracing us with a dancing vocabulary’s most lyrical and unforgettable choreography.” Chuck Sullivan, author of Zen Matchbook and Alphabet of Grace.

Rengas for America: Now and Here

In Spring of 2011, I participated in a renga project with 30 other poets from around the Kansas City area as part of a traveling, multi-media art exhibit. The resulting collaborative poem, this renga, is titled Ghost Over Water.

You can go to the America: Now and Here website to view the poem in its entirety and view a photo of our poem stenciled on the wall of the Leedy-Volkous gallery in the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, MO. While at the site, click around to find out more about A:N&H. Here’s a link:

http://kansascity.americanowandhere.org/ghost-over-water-kansas-city-renga/

To hear the Kansas City poets (including yours truly!) read their contributions to Ghost Over Water on our local NPR station, go here:

http://kcur.org/post/kc-renga-ghost-over-water-1

But that was 2011. In 2012, I was fortunate enough to be included in a 150 Kansas Poets renga for America: Now and Here. As a result, I am spending several weekends this year traveling the state of Kansas, meeting other poets, and performing selections from this beautiful book. The poem is here:

http://150kansaspoems.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/to-the-stars-through-difficulty-caryn-mirriam-goldberg/

And it can be purchased here:

http://www.mammothpublications.com/

I wanted to share my contribution to To The Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices.

Listening: how wheat
bristles in wind like tele-
graph wires charged with part-

icles carrying voices
of dark communications

deeper than music
of our bright songbirds: seeds of
prairie grasses crack

secret in the loam, yearn for
wildfires of blanketing shoots.

Here is the Kansas Renga that I’ve mentioned a few times. I’m number 65, but I recommend reading the whole thing.

Heartland!

No other way most of the time, and yet the light
unscrolling from the milky horizon conceals what will shine
above, around, below us just hours from now on the longest night.

Snow, ice, and rain: what melts or refreezes clings to branches
and grasses. Did you think it would be easy to step outside,
to get on with the day and the weather of a collapsed blizzard?

Not when a beloved watches his life narrow to breath. Not when
the car barely starts, the windshield won’t emerge from its ice,
or the dear ones long gone suddenly feel close as sleet turned to rain.

The veil lifted. On the bare branch, like an inverse star, one bluebird.
— Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

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