Reading & Signing
ON THE CHINESE WALL
Thursday, November 1st
Roger Dunsmore’s latest volume, On the Chinese Wall: New & Selected Poems 1966-2018 gathers some fifty years of writing by one of the finest poets of the Great Subculture.
The voices of this Subculture emerge from shadow and silence in song, art, story-telling and myth-making, and in particular in the common speech of everyday life. Such is the speech of Dunsmore’s poetry, informed by the lyric past of ancient Greece and the visionary traditions of ancient America as expressed by the Sioux visionary Black Elk. Here, among echoes of Archilochos and Meister Eckhart, can be found a poem for a loose ram, a poem for a woman kissing all the icons in the Byzantine Museum in Athens, a poem for a trapper in Montana whose pet wolverine loved Oreo cookies. Dunsmore’s poetry derives from an old world of people, creatures, and things held in the compromising embrace of the New: Che Guevera in the mountains; the voices of students in China; and a man named Mike Blue Horse, “best night-hawker on the Hi-line,” dancing solo in a bar in Montana.
Roger Dunsmore taught Humanities, Wilderness Studies, Environmental Studies, and American Indian Literature at the University of Montana in Missoula and Dillon from 1963-2013. He is one of the founders of the Wilderness and Civilization Program at UM. He was short-listed twice to the governor for the position of Montana Poet Laureate (2005 & 2007), and honored as a Humanities Hero by Humanities Montana in 2012. He currently lives with his wife, the painter and long-time yoga practitioner, Jenni Fallein, in Coeur d'Alene, ID.