Poetry reading by Phoenix poet David Chorlton
Friday, October 14, 2016, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Yankie Creek Coffee House, Silver City
Born in Austria, David Chorlton grew up in Manchester, close to rain and the northern English industrial zone. In his early 20s he went to live in Vienna and stayed for seven years before moving to Phoenix with his wife in 1978. In Arizona he has grown ever more fascinated by the desert and its wildlife. Much of his poetry has come to reflect his growing concern for the natural world. In 2008, he won the Ronald Wardall Award from Rain Mountain Press for his chapbook The Lost River, and in 2009 the Slipstream Chapbook Competition for From the Age of Miracles. Other poetry collections include A Normal Day Amazes Us (Kings Estate Press), The Porous Desert (FutureCycle Press) and Waiting for the Quetzal (March Street Press). The Devil’s Sonata (FutureCycle Press) appeared in 2012, and in 2014 the same press published David Chorlton: Selected Poems. His A Field Guide to Fire was part of the Fires of Change exhibition, a collaboration of artists and scientists addressing the role of fire in forest management in the age of climate change.
His poems have appeared in many literary and small press magazines. He is represented in Fever Dreams (an anthology of Arizona poets from U. of Arizona Press), New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press), and has a poem in BIRDS, an anthology from the British Museum. A copy of his poem, The Deep Frozen Desert, was interred with some seeds from the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Arizona at the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway.
Writing in the Desert
Once you have entered the desert
a lock behind you clicks. A new vocabulary
floods your tongue and leaves you struggling
to pronounce the words. After the first year
you learn that silence is the official language
here. The longer you stay
the shorter the book you came to write becomes
until the manuscript fits on the wings
of a moth. Each dusk, a lifetime’s work
draws closer to the flame. (from The Porous Desert)