Ozark poet Phil Howerton

Ozark poet Phil Howerton

March 14, 2016

Dear Professional Wordsmiths and Arrangers of Images,


I’m hoping to interest you in attending a poetry reading and in persuading others to attend.  It’s not that we need more words in the world, but that we need more skillful, subtle words from kindly people re-sounding in our very own ears.  Unmediated.  (Fortunately, we have media to help us get there.)


Ozark poet Phil Howerton will be in Kirksville next week to talk, recite, and read from a tiny collection of poems titled The History of Tree Roots. It’s got poems about salt shakers, tractors, and wells; its narrator listens to abandoned barns and watches old farmwives and veterans.  There’s even a rather snarky piece titled “A New Arrival Becomes a Rural Correspondent for the Local Newspaper.”


Howerton is a sixth generation Ozarker, raised on a small dairy farm in southern Missouri; he has been a milk truck driver, a beef farmer, a production worker, a non-traditional student.  Now, he’s a creative writing teacher at Missouri State.  His poems have appeared in dozens of journals with titles ranging from Frogpond and Hurricane Review to Midwest Quarterly and Christian Science Monitor.  His poems are “quiet, witty, and sly . . . as they challenge cliched representations of place{Journal of Ozark Studies}.


For comments and reviews check out his Amazon author page at this link. http://www.amazon.com/Phillip-Howerton/e/B0181R35IC  If you have only one minute to spare, I recommend clicking on the picture of the rusty tractor and listening to the 31-second video.


His reading is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23.  He’ll be around on Thursday as well, visiting classes.  His trip up from Dallas County is sponsored by the English and Linguistics FOR WORDS series, the Department of Agricultural Science, and the Folklore Minor.  Please come.


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