Austin: a Poem
"Written with knowledge and sympathy, the poem contains a delightful tangle of details. Lyndon Johnson, Elisabet Ney, Peter Flawn, Custer, O. Henry, and Joseph Jones (the sage of Waller Creek)--public figures and personal friends interact in the city of Oliphant's imagination....A lengthy proem, set at the grave of Stephen F. Austin in the State Cemetery, contains a brilliant passage about Austin in prison.... The oblique narration is kept on track with masterful transitions.... T]he language is carefully crafted, with interesting and often beautiful sound-play in virtually every line."
--John Herndon, Austin American-Statesman
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About the Author
DAVE OLIPHANT is a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches English and has edited a scholarly journal. He has written extensively on music, including his historical study Texan Jazz in 1996, and has published several volumes of his own poetry as well as translations of Latin American poetry.
Oliphant's new book-length poem...is an attempt, in Texas terms, to recreate a work along the lines of William Carlos Williams' Paterson, that is, a poem that relates the history of a place from the ground up from origins to now.... Serious readers of serious poetry will find this book worth their attention. They will rediscover too, as I did, the seminal importance of Stephen F. Austin in the visionary history of the state.
--Don Graham, Dallas Times Herald