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Only words remained, changing with telling.
--from "Leaving Chaco Canyon: A.D. 1300 "

"If you can't relate to at least a few snatches of Craig Goad's poetry, you're no doubt too young for memories. Winner of the Third Annual Bob Gross Award, the collection comprises more than fifty poems that touch on numerous experiences common to those of us who came of age in mid-twentieth century America." --Eleanor Bell, Editor

Craig Goad, born in May 1944, grew up near Augusta, Kansas, in a house built by his father. He attended a two-room country elementary school and Augusta High School. He holds BA and MA degrees in English from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia (now Emporia State University). A faculty member at Northwest Missouri State University since 1966, he also has served as the editor of various literary publications and chapbooks, including the Green Tower Press and The Laurel Review.

In Section I, Goad addresses personal memories. With words he flips through family photographs, relives family reunions, and relates the passions of early marriage. In one poem, the baseballs that defied every search after disappearing into the weeds of a vacant lot become a metaphor for the youth that we can't quite believe has been truly lost, but seems only to await our determined search.

In Section II, Goad expands the memory base back in time (several poems about the Anasazi people of pre-Columbian times) and out to more generic contemporary issues. "Trailer #214" tells of an eroded marriage. "Final Innings" concludes:

    An old man yawns and stretches.
    The hawk cries of weary vendors
    echo from empty seats and vanish.
The poet tells us much about himself in his poems, if we are willing to search between the lines. But the lines justify themselves. Their rich imagery will reward in direct proportion to the reader's emotional involvement.

Goad chose well when he designated "Hurrying into the Night" as the title poem. Who among us hasn't driven at night to escape our own private demons, when only luck saved us from disaster? Yet the very lines that transport us back to our problematic youth also speak to our rush through life toward... what?

Although Craig Goad moved out of the state half a lifetime ago, his poetry documents his irrevocable tenure as a Kansas poet:

    running the blacktop south from Cottonwood
    on old 177 past Matfield Green and down
    almost to El Dorado, more than thirty miles
    of bend and straight, and late at night
    as empty as the prairies Coronado rode...
Winner of the 1987 Robert E. Gross Memorial Poetry Competition for Kansas poets, competition judge, William Kloefkorn--poet and English professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University--had this to say about Goad's award-winning manuscript: "I like the voice that emerges and builds through the poems; it's distinct and controlled, and it probes an impressive variety of subjects and emotions. I like too that most of the poems are built on and around things of substance. "

Bob Gross attended Washburn University of Topeka from 1977 to 1980, graduating cum laude. He was active in Headwaters, the Washburn Writers organization, and served as editor for four issues of Inscape. After his death in 1984, his family established the Robert E. Gross poetry competition to encourage poets of Kansas origin and provide an opportunity for publication of their work.

    Moving the Graveyard



 

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Hurrying into the Night
by Craig M. Goad

5-1/2" X 8-1/2"
67 pages
paperback
1987
$5.00

0-939391-08-2


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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