Stewart Warren was a poet, publisher, and lover of life. Anyone who saw him perform his work or had the good fortune to talk to him about his travels will have been left invigorated and just a little awed.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1950, Stewart, in his own words, “hit the road early, engaging in a life of trouble-making and creative expression.” At 13, he ran away and worked in a circus in Galveston. He spent his eighteenth birthday in the state penitentiary of Oklahoma. After that, he hitchhiked all over the west coast on Route 66 and experienced the essential goodness of people: “Families of six living in singlewides the size of SUVs shared their last pan of cornbread with me.”
Stewart traveled many roads, but he found his true path in the written word, going on to publish over twenty collections of poetry. The work reflected the life. It was full of mysticism and wonder at the beauty of the world, but also imbued with the personal. In an interview once, he was asked why he wrote poetry. He replied, “Because I cannot not do it.”
Stewart was a community man. Initially through a counseling practice which involved the organizing of healing events, he began to help others realize their creative ambitions. This led to the founding of his publishing house, Mercury HeartLink. Stewart helped dozens of authors through the publishing process, editing their work and putting it in print in beautifully bound, commercially viable editions. Poetry was his first love, but he worked with authors of all genres: historical novels, dark psychological thrillers, memoirs and recipe books, whatever piqued his curiosity. And all the while, he continued writing and performing with joy, gusto, and skill.
Stewart adored Silver City. On moving from Albuquerque in 2016, he described Silver as “a town with rich and diverse cultures, an appreciation for both autonomy and cooperation, a natural bent toward creativity.” It was the perfect fit for him, and the town is all the poorer for his passing.
JJ Amaworo Wilson