Writing the Western Landscape: A Poetry Reading and Discussion
Celebrate National Poetry Month with Nevada Poet Laureate Emerita Gailmarie Pahmeier, longtime Nevada poet Shaun Griffin, and UNR professor and poet-scholar Ann Keniston for a reading and conversation about the challenges and rewards of writing about the U.S. West in the context of Maynard Dixon’s seldom-discussed landscape poems.
About the Poets:
Shaun T. Griffin co-founded and directed Community Chest, a rural social justice agency for twenty-seven years. His new book of poems, No Charity in the Wilderness, is forthcoming from the University of Nevada Press in 2024. Southern Utah University Press released Anthem for a Burnished Land, a memoir, in 2016. For thirty years he taught a poetry workshop at Northern Nevada Correctional Center.
Ann Keniston is a poet, essayist, and critic interested in the relation of the creative to the scholarly. She is the author of several poetry collections, including, most recently, Somatic (Terrapin 2020), as well as several scholarly studies of contemporary American poetry, including most recently Economies of Scale: Financialization and Contemporary North American Poetry (Palgrave 2023). Recent poems and essays have appeared in Gettysburg Review, Fourth Genre, and Five Points. A professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she teaches poetry workshops and literature classes, she lives in Reno.
Gailmarie Pahmeier, now Emeritus faculty, taught creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Widely published, she’s the author of three chapbooks and three full-length collections of poetry, the most recent being Of Bone, Of Ash, Of Ordinary Saints (WSC Press, 2020) which was nominated for the High Plains Book Award. In 2015, she was appointed Reno’s first Poet Laureate, in 2016 she was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, and in 2017, she was selected as Outstanding Teacher in the Humanities. In 2021, the governor of Nevada appointed her Poet Laureate, State of Nevada. In 2022, she was selected as a Laureate Fellow, Academy of American Poets.
Maynard Dixon, Lonesome Hills of Nevada, 1935, Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches. Private Collection. Image courtesy Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ