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Roxie Powell

Roxie Powell

Tumbleweed of Contradictions book cover

Kansas Collateral book cover

The Cafe Review book cover

Leaky Valves book cover

Practicing to be a zoo animal book cover

Wild Whispers book cover

Dreams of Straw book cover


Roxie Powell was born the son of a Methodist preacher in Ulysses in 1935 toward the end of the Dust Bowl period on the high plains. He was named after his father who gave him the name of "Roxie" which had been in the family for several generations often attached to a male. He was raised in western Kansas and the high mountains of Colorado. His father taught him to look out to the horizon and then beyond, and he did just that, working on a cruise ship that took him all over the world.

While he's had different loves throughout his life, the constant one has been writing, and he recalls his interactions with literary giants such as Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and other leading figures of the counterculture movement.

Roxie lived in Hawaii before moving to the Eastern seaboard of the United States. After being a widower for fourteen years, he found the ultimate love of his life, Ann.

---portions of bio taken from A Tumbleweed of Contradictions

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  


  • A Tumbleweed of Contradictions (Archway Publishing, 2016)
  • The Cafe Review (Auerhahn Press Tribute, 2012)
  • Leaky Valves (Glass Eye Books, 2011)
  • Practicing to Be a Zoo Animal (Butcher Shop Press, 2003)
  • Wild Whispers (Synesthesia Press, 2001)
  • Kansas Collateral (Cherry Valley Editions, 1978)
  • West by East by West (Cauthorn Publications, 1973)
  • Dreams of Straw (Auerhahn Press, 1963)

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Writing Samples  

Looking back, it is possible to recognize three things that combined to promote the maturation of my character.  Each one added to the next, until a synergistic effect began to move me toward true stability.  First there was the invitation to pursue an advanced degree from a major academic institution.  Overnight my status went from an intinerant with a checkered career who was often a loose cannon to a respectable graduate student in a major university.  Second, I met and was befriended by a young lady of the Old Guard, East Coast establishment and ultimately married her.  The experience of her attitude toward her own mortality and her focus on the important things of life opened my eyes to the "good" which we all naturally possess.  And third, the marriage to my present wife who totally possesses those habits of life about which I am the most deficient.  It has been through our ability to grow together that I've been able to glean real meaning from acting and then ultimately being, responsible.  Each of these things contributed to a truly wonderful opportunity to finally "be there" for my children, and finally, the miracle which allowed it all to come to fruition - my association with the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  The twelve steps of AA, combined with the fellowship, have provided me with a relationship with my Higher Power, which had never existed in any meaningful way.  That I could finally "get" the AA program, will always remain a sainted miracle to me.  Without it, all of the above would have likely remained potential.

--- from Tumbleweed of Contradictions: A Memoir introduction

   (circa 1961)

Crystalline child
Trying to hot wire
Your dreams,
Electric throbs
Pulse your brain.

With surprising grace
You fold off a window sill
Having been placed there
By a sister's will, and she
No Albert Schweitzer,
Passes you by.

Life astounds,
Harsh as secret hurts,
Yet you strip away sludge,
Quote Horace and
Find new connections
To radiate our minds.

--- from The Cafe' Review


Ambiguity is not absent in this place,
Where sky hangs both low and high
Above the land
Stretching all colors to their limit
As it coats the eye, unable to grasp
The extent of its magnitude, unable
To fathom the implements of its power.

One coyote stands just ahead of me
Just at the lip of the hill, so buffeted
By Kansas wind that it thrills and shakes
As it stands, barely noticing me,

It must be hungry and empty and tired,
But not lost in this empty space beneath
This wildly stretched sky
Shot through with orange going to fire above
A blue that should be black, yet it is
Moving to black and red and blue again
This Kansas sky which smolders above
My coyote,
Yes, my coyote, for he knows
He is me, for he cannot move into
This sky without me, without me
He will dissolve into the sky.

--- Poem sent in by R9xie Powell

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Blues GR interview (2013)

Beats in Kansas website

Roxie Powell on Elliott Coleman

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