Saturday, February 21, 2004

Jerry Martien

Poets have a lot of latitude when it comes to the role they play in a culture. They can chronicle or comment, entertain or enlighten or simply bear witness to the slice of time they occupy. Jerry Martien does all these things. An environmental and political activist in the Humboldt Region of Northern California for thirty years, he has labored as a carpenter, editor, teacher and board member of several organizations. He has taught creative writing and nature writing for the past seven years at Humboldt State University. His published work includes Shell Game, described as A True Account of Beads and Money in North America, and a collection of poetry, Pieces in Place.

Pieces in Place is a collection of poems that are best described in the opening lines of Martien's essay, "A Defense of Poetry (Is a Defense of Place:)"

"The poem arises from the ground of its making. By way of a human attention, deliberately placed there-- held there, till it is shaped by the rule of that ground. ... The poem surrounds us. The poet loiters deliberately in the dooryard, maintaining cultural access to that nourishing circumstance. Speaks on behalf of the still-living, still sacred grove, and labors to restore the springs to which we all go when thirsty."

Please welcome Jerry Martien

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