COMING SOON TO BEATLICK PRESS
G. L. Brower holds a B.A. degree from Drury University in Spanish & History, M.A. & Ph.D. degrees in Romance Languages & Literatures (minor: Latin American history, 19th Century French literature) from the University of Missouri at Columbia, Mo. He has taught in the Spanish Departments at Baker University (Ks.), Rogue River Community College (Or.), University of Kansas, University of New Mexico, University of Southern California, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at San Diego (visiting), as well as directing American academic programs in Barcelona & Madrid, Spain (during the Franco years), and Guadalajara, Mexico. A specialist in Hispanic Literature, especially of Latin America, he has published numerous essays in Spanish and English on writers such as Angel Gonzalez, Octavio Paz, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes, Juan Rulfo, Juan Carlos Onetti, Manuel Bandeira, Ezequiel Martinez Estrada & others, in various academic journals. He has also written two books on the impact of Japanese haiku on western poetry: The Japanese Haiku in Spanish American Poetry (Ann Arbor, University Micro) & An Annotated Bibliography of Haiku In Western Languages (with D.W. Foster), (Metuchen, NJ, Scarecrow Press). An Associate Editor of American Haiku magazine in its heydey, he also translated poems of Angel Gonzalez & Pablo Neruda. His own poetry is written in English.
Brower has worked as a journalist in the English-language press of Los Angeles as News Editor & Managing Editor of a daily newspaper dedicated to international trade and transportation, the Los Angeles Daily Commercial News, covering many politicians from all over the world (prime ministers, presidents, governors, senators, etc.). In addition: he worked with the southern Oregon Mexican migrant farm worker community, founding, producing & directing a monthly Spanish-language PBS-TV program, “Quinto Sol”, (KSYS-TV, Medford, Or.), an ESL Outreach Program (Rogue River Community College/Ashland Adult Learning Center) to migrant camps, the Jackson County (Oregon) Hispanic Library Access Program & editing a weekly Spanish-language newspaper, which he founded, El Noticiero, also for the migrant community. He has worked with the Oregon Committee for the Humanities (Hispanic film program) & received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Carpenter Foundation, Del Amo Foundation, Witter Bynner Poetry Foundation & various universities.
His poetry (& translations from Hispanic poetry) have been published in Puerto del Sol, The Poetry Bag, Put Poems, Tansy, Sagitario, Thunderbird, Cottonwood Review, New America, Ann Arbor Review, New Mexico Magazine, Mundus Artium, 10.5 Arts Magazine, The Signpost, Ke5tra, Beatlick Poetry & Art News, The Rag, Sin Fronteras, The Peace of the Night (chapbook anthology), New Mexico Poetry Review, Adobe Walls, The Ditchrider.com@Duke City Fix. Org, Saintvituspress.com, In Darkness, Memory (chapbook anthology), Saintelizabethstreet.org, Sage Trail, Canary, Lunarosity.com, MetropolisFrance.com, The Promise of Winter (chapbook anthology), Winter & the Mountain (chapbook anthology), The Moon, the River & The Dark (chapbook anthology), Fire, Ashes, Snow (chapbook anthology), Fixed & Free Poetry Anthologies of 2013 & 2015, Todd Moore Remembered (tribute anthology), La Llorona Anthology (Beatlick Press), Elegant Rage (A Poetic Tribute to Woody Guthrie), Mas Tequila Review, Malpais Review, Mo' Joe: The Anthology, Vol. 2 (Albuquerque, Beatlick Press, 2014), Modern Haiku (essay) & Central Avenue among other publications. He is one of the directors of the Duende Poetry Series of Placitas, which sponsors four readings annually at the Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas (now in its 12th year). A chapbook, Planting Trees in Terra Incognita was issued in 2006. Another chapbook was published in 2007, The Book of Knots, and a broadside (with photographer David Cramer) “For the Wild Horses of Placitas,” a photo-poem, (also 2007) & a CD-Gary Brower Reads (Vox Audio, 2008). A performance poet, he has read widely with flamenco guitarist El Nino David & dancer Susannah Garrett at such venues as the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, Church of Beethoven/Sunday Chatter (poetry & classical music), Poetry at Paul’s in Chupadero/Tesuque, NM; the Sunflower Festival in Mountainair, NM; Vivac Winery in Embudo, NM; Duende Poetry Series of Placitas, NM; the Penasco Theater in Penasco, NM (with M.C. Ford & Amalio Madueno); the Mabel Dodge Lujan Center in Taos (SOMOS fundraiser), & he has likewise read at various venues with flautist Johnny Alston; and as a featured reader at the Beyond Baroque Poetry Center in Los Angeles, the Poetry West Center in Colorado Springs, the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah (Oklahoma), the Portland (Oregon) Rose Festival & Poetry Readings, Tumblewords Workshops & readings in El Paso, Tx., at various universities & on radio & TV, etc. He has also participated on CDs “A Tribute to Federico Garcia Lorca” (Vox Audio, 2007), & “Duende & Friends read in Placitas” (Vox Audio, 2006). A chapbook was also issued in 2009: For the Wild Horses of Placitas & Other Equine Poems (Malpais Editions). And another was published in 2011: Leaving Cairo, as if it were a Dream (includes his poetry, photos by James M. Gay, Jr. and musical background to Brower's reading of his poems by John Bullock, Composer in Residence at the Placitas Artists Series). The book is based on a trip to Egypt in 2009. Brower also read at two poetry events for the LGBT community in Albuquerque & Santa Fe in 2015, as well as at the annual Placitas Winter Solstice Reading, his poem for that event published in the chapbook issued by the LPPC Earthcare Fellowship: La llegada del Nino/The Arrival of El Nino, pp. 5-6. And he was also interviewed for the Placitas radio station (KPUR-FM/99.9FM).
Brower also instigated & participated in a bilingual stage production (along with poet E.A. Mares), Para que yo me llame Angel Gonzalez/So that I might be called Angel Gonzalez (a tribute to Spanish poet Angel Gonzalez), with the Teatro Paraguas Theater Group, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque & at the Teatro Paraguas Studio Theater in Santa Fe, in September, 2009, to packed houses. (Directed by Crawford MacCollum). He has also been a panelist-participant in two Albuquerque Cultural Conferences sponsored by West End Press. In 2013, he published: In Paradise we will become music (a poetry CD which focuses on Spain & the Spanish Civil War, with flamenco guitarists Nino David & Luis Campos). In 2014, he issued another CD The Wanekia & Other Poems, on Native American themes, with flautist Johnny Alston. Brower was a member of the faculty for the 2012 National Latino Writer's Conference, held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque (May 16-19, 2012). He is the editor of the Malpais Review, a poetry quarterly (now in its fifth year), which is gaining national and international, as well as in-state, attention (See malpaisreview.com, website). He speaks Spanish with native fluency & is also fluent in French, Portuguese and basic German. Born in Kansas City, Mo., he lives in Placitas, NM.
REVIEW: NEIL WILGUS
MO’JOE: THE ANTHOLOGY - THE CONTINUING SAGA OF JOE THE POET
VOL.2. Edited by John Roche, 2014, paper, 221 pages, $16.00. Published by Beatlick Press. Reviewed by Neil Wilgus.
Forget Little Willie (if you can) -- here’s a new kiddo to play with, a folk hero somewhat in the footsteps of Paul Bunyan, John Henry, or Pecos Bill. It’s Joe the Poet!
John Roche, who should know, writes that the original Joe poem appeared in ROOTDRINKER No. 17 in 2009. After that, Joe showed up in a variety of small press zines and resulted in the 38 poems collected in the original publication: THE JOE POEMS. The rules of Joe’s universe are loose, as is appropriate for a mythological figure -- Joe can be any man, woman, child, or whatever with no attempt at conisistency. In theory Joe poems are no more than ten lines, no more than 100 words, as suggested by Rootdrinker Editor Alan Casline and spelled out in the original Joe the Poet from Foothills Publishing.
But somehow Joe broke loose and spread uncontrollably, adopted and adapted to a seemingly endless series -- Joe (or Jo, Josephine, Jo-y, etc.) doing his/her thing down through history and all over the map. The result is MO’JOE: THE ANTHOLOGY, starring Joe in 202 poems by 121 poets (with design by Roche and Jules Nyquist and several fine photos). Not all these free spirits conform to the ten line rule and who cares how many words get splashed around? Joe must have his way.
Probably the best-known contributors in MO’JOE are Lyn Lifshin, Margaret Randall and beat bard s.d. winans, but there are plenty of fine poets here, many from New Mexico, including Pamela Hirst , who founded Beatlick Press I memory of Beatlick Joe Speer. Quite a few these poets live and teach in Rochester, New York, while others are scattered far and wide. Most are authors of books of poetry, many from Foothills Publishing, including Foothills founder Michael Czarnecki. And it’s good to see several poems from Les Merton, whose journal POETRY CORNWALL recently folded, alas.
The longest poem in MO’JOE is a prose poem by Leah Zazulyer which runs two full pages, a rambling memoir paying homage to Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel, my favorite artist. Also of note is the Joe poem “Restoration” by Herb Kauderer, which was nominated for the DWARF STARS Awards 2015. And you’ll find Joe in all kinds of crazy and fantastic places, more than you can imagine, I imagine.
So forget the Super Heroes (if you will) -- here comes the mythic Joe the Poet. I think you’ll be seeing more of him. He gets around.
REVIEW: BRIAN BURCHETTE
Backpack Trekker: A 60's Flashback
By: Beatlick Joe Speer
Published by Beatlick Press, Albuquerque, NM
When I look around at the 21st century I often feel that it has become a remix of times gone by that gave us the sounds and words we sample. There is a lack of adventure into the unknown and often the historical merits as well. When Pamela Hirst, Joe's Soulmate sent me a copy of his book Backpack Trekker: A 60's Flashback I was thankful to read something very original. I miss seeing Joe and Pamela on the very first poetry shows I ever witnessed. To have heard the treks fresh off the press as they were forming his book was like a great storyteller before you. Each one took you to a historical place and time and to what Joe was doing at the moment. There was also some fictional satire that amused the listener.
It gave me the feeling of when I first read Kerouac's On the Road. I often wanted to put my thumb out on the highway and see where the road took me. Joe left this world too soon, leaving us that knew him with an emptiness that cannot be defined. However, he held a complete edition of his book before journeying towards an infinite cosmic highway. For a couple of months I have been reading the treks which are set up like short chapters. From memory I can hear his soulful voice with creative wisdom. Joe takes us back to a simpler time when hitchhiking was a safe mode of travel and you could thumb a ride. There he experienced the deep spiritual connection and oneness found in that era. The places this book takes the reader confounds both the imagination and historical perspective. Like a great roller coaster ride, it moves through an era that gave us music, film, television, books and the knowledge that our greatest vehicle is ourselves.
Trek 1 begins with a bio line much like a news report. "In the cold winter of 1961 Bob Dylan arrived in New York City." It follows with Joe lamenting how the decade started badly for him as Albert Camus had died in an automobile accident. He continues with an idea that would be great if the automakers dared to print it when you buy a car. "Caution driving this machine may cause death." There follows vignettes of William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg while high and living in Tangier, Morocco, and the writing of Neal Cassidy,
"The Revolution has begun!" What really grabbed my attention about this first trek is Joe introducing the political perspective of John F. Kennedy, Camelot, and the young president’s love for poetry, recalling Robert Frost at the inauguration. Joe got more into literature and film rather than sports. "I was content to watch and read about life. Movies and books provided the natural medium. I did not have to act, react, or respond to human stimuli. I did not have to judge or be judged."
Beatlick Joe feels the turmoil of America in the summer of 1969, desiring to join in the mix. His mother encourages him to follow his own path, promising him love and support. Joe set out on the open road with light provisions and a hunger to know what the world offered beyond his hometown.
The journeys that Joe's book gives us introduces not only faces who defined an era but ideas, places and events that I would love to have seen firsthand. It is a historical movement of all media with colorful characters met along the way. Anyone who has ever dreamed of seeing the world in an original perspective can get lost in these adventures. Many of us will never ascertain the ideas Joe realized since we only travel via the internet or what our modern skewed media decides is truth. This book is for the brave at heart seeking a wide open road of knowledge with wit and creativity at its helm. Each trek leads to a greater destination. Within the stories there is life lessons learned along the way. This journey created a writer whose poetry and prose should sit beside the Beat's and our greatest classical writers who define who we are and what is to come down that winding road of spiritual and literal pursuits. I suggest a good cup of coffee and jazz to accompany this work of art in words. I see this book as a primer for independent thinkers when there is no free thought.
In Trek 3 there is mention of a book club Joe and his friends had formed. There they discussed literature and ideas. It was when he was in a high school English prep class. The Fort Slash Book Club is discovered by parents and they are much more skeptical of the high-minded intentions perpetrated there and decided the dugout has to be covered over with dirt. This reminds me very much of the Dead Poets Society. To deal with his depression Joe wrote a poem. This poem made me feel how his words eloquently moved the audiences his treks reached. So I end this review with Beatlick Joe Speer at a microphone as I remember him so full of life.
When all the world's languages commingle
and create one expanded verbal medium
tariffs will become parasites extinguishable
with chemical solutions
inspiration will be purchasable metaphor
like tunnels underground
my ploy to inspire the infinite abstraction
is to fill your ears with the warm liquid of poetry.
Fort Oglethorpe, GA