National Poetry Month Spotlight: Joe Wilkins

Here at Black Lawrence Press we are celebrating National Poetry Month with a poem a day, featuring a total of 30 authors from our list. Today’s featured poet is Joe Wilkins, author of Killing the Murnion DogsThe following poem is a selection from Far Enough, a chapbook-length western in prose poems, which will be published by BLP in 2015.
from Far Enough: A Western in Fragments
Wade Newman rode hard for the Snowy Mountains. The day was all but gone, the
sky shot through with rose and deeper rose and blue ash. The letter from Willie had
come in the mail that morning, along with the final notice from the bank, and Wade
saddled up his best horse to cut straight across country, knowing that driving the
only crooked road north would take him nearly twice as long. But he was still far
from where the letter said his daughter would be. There was dust and the stink of
sage, hot wind, then, suddenly, the wild smell of rain. Wade Newman looked to the
mountains and the mass of black clouds moving out over the prairie and down the
valley. He said the word into the wind. He said it again—rain.
Joe WilkinsJoe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry, winner of the 2014 GLCA New Writers Award and a finalist for the 2013 Orion Book Award, and two collections of poems, Notes from the Journey Westward and Killing the Murnion Dogs. Wilkins lives with his wife, son, and daughter in western Oregon, where he teaches writing at Linfield College. You can find him online at