Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Muse: Wyoming's Poet Laureate

Keep it real, write with integrity, and never give up,
because you don't know where a few words might take you.*
~ Echo Roy Klaproth

Echo Roy Klaproth, of Shoshoni, is Wyoming's current Poet Laureate. The sixth person to be awarded the position, to which she was appointed by executive order on January 10, 2013, Klaproth serves concurrently with Wyoming's governor Matt Mead. Her predecessor was Patricia Frolander (2011-2013).

For information about the honorary Poet Laureate position, see my April 26, 2010, post about David Romtvedt, Wyoming's fourth state poet.

* * * * 
Cowboy poetry is simply a rancher's attempt
to save the stories.**

Echo Roy Klaproth is a writer, retired teacher, ordained minister, and rancher whose family has homesteaded in Wyoming since the late 1800s. (Klaproth's family raises cattle and sheep.) A poet and nonfiction writer, Klaproth has published the collections Echoes in the Wind, described as her remembrances and reflections as a woman and rancher; Words Turn Silhouette, comprising poetry and prose about life cycles; and Echos of a Fourth Generation, poetry and prose chronicling ranching and farming in the state and the West generally.

Klaproth is the editor of Scattered, Lasting Remnants: 'Fine Lines' of Poetry and Songs Excerpted from 20 Years of Gatherings (Cowboy Miner Productions, January 2005) and Echoes of Days Gone By: A Collection of Cowboy Poetry (1989). She also has produced a CD, A Nameless Grace, a compilation of poems and songs celebrating women who are ranchers. Klaproth is working on a novel.

Few of Klaproth's poems are available online. Following are two stanzas (the first and fourth) from "The Generation Dance", a poem that carries Klaproth's keen sense of time's passage, responsibility to preserve and hand-off traditions, and acknowledgment of inevitable change.

Four generations of tradition
echo across the dance floor
with accountants and lawyeres,
progress, and eminent domain
calling, "allemande left."

[. . . .

[. . . .

Not always graceful in stance,
unsure of steps to this dance,
we grab hands and sashay
with the fifth generation
in cadence to the rhythm of change.
~ "The Generation Dance" in National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Klaproth's work is anthologized in a variety of publications, including National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: The Anthology (Lyons Press, April 2014), Wyoming's Cowboy Poets: And Their Poetry (Medallion Books, December 2011), Cowboy Poetry: The Reunion (Gibbs Smith, January 2004), Woven on the Wind: Women Write About Friendship in the Sagebrush West (Mariner Books, May 2002), and Cowgirl Poetry: One Hundred Years of Ridin' and Rhymin' (Gibbs Smith, 2001).


Photo: Wyoming Authors Wiki

Poetry Excerpt © Echo Roy Klaproth

* Quoted from Presenter Profile at Wyoming Writers

** Quoted from "Wyoming Daughter Pays Tribute to Family, Land, Heritage" in Wyoming Library Roundup, Summer 2007 (pdf; see page 28)

Executive Order 2013-5, "Echo Klaproth Named Poet Laureate of Wyoming" (pdf), July 10, 2013

Echo Roy Klaproth Profiles Online: The Wyoming Arthors Wiki and Wyoming Arts Council

Echo Roy Klaproth Poems Online: "Divorcing Traditions" and "The Generation Dance", Both in National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: The Anthology at GoogleBooks; "Our 10th Anniversary" in Cowboy Poetry: The Reunion at GoogleBooks

Scattered, Lasting Remnants on GoogleBooks

Wyoming's Cowboy Poets And Their Poetry at iTunes (Unabridged) and Audible/Amazon

Michael Sevren, "Wyoming's New Poet Laureate", Video at Vimeo, July 12, 2013

Poet Laureate Page at Wyoming Arts Council

Wyoming Arts Council on FaceBook and Twitter

Wyoming Page at Academy of American Poets

1 comment:

drew said...

I sure appreciate these Poet Laureate posts. Thanks so much!