A Century of Grace: Readings from Two Poets Laureate
Texas State Poets Laureate Karla K. Morton (2010) and Alan Birkelbach (2005) did what has never been done before: they traveled to all of America's 62 National Parks, wrote poetry, took photos, and put them into a beautiful full color, hard-bound coffee table book: The National Parks: A Century of Grace (TCU Press).
With this winner of the Indie National Book Award for Poetry, the authors wanted to help culturally preserve and protect these sacred spaces for the next seven generations, and contribute a percentage of their royalties back to the National Park System. They will be reading from this book as well as selections from their other works, such as Morton's recent award winning poetry book, Politics of the Minotaur (Texas Review Press). The authors will be in conversation together, as well as with the audience for a brief Q&A.
2005 Texas Poet Laureate Alan Birkelbach is a Texas native and 4th generation German-American. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Western Writers of America, National Park Foundation, and The Academy of American Poets.
He is a Spur Award Winner, two-time international Indie Book Award Finalist, winner of North Texas Book Festival Award, Pushcart Prize Nominee, editor for several editions of the TCU Press Texas Poet Laureate Series, winner of the Pat Stodghill Book Publication Award and winner of the Edwin M. Eakin Memorial Book Publication Award.
One of eight co-authors (all from the Southwest) of the anthology book 8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the American Southwest from Baskerville Publishers, Inc. This book is now part of the teaching curriculum for SMU University, Dallas, Texas.
His twelfth book, “The National Parks: A Century of Grace”, with fellow Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton, is from TCU Press. The poets visited all 62 National Parks, wrote poetry and took photos, with a percentage of the sales from the book going back to the Parks System. This is to help culturally preserve our greatest treasures – our National Parks for the next 100 years.
Alan Birkelbach currently lives in Raton, New Mexico in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Karla K. Morton has fifteen poetry collections. A National Heritage Wrangler Award Winner, Foreword Book of the Year Award winner, twice a Next Generation Indie National Book Award winner, Betsy Colquitt award winner, E2C Grant recipient, and shortlisted for the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize, she’s published in journals such as American Life in Poetry, Alaska Quarterly Review, Arkansas Review, Southword, descant, Boulevard, Comstock Review, Lascaux Review, Grub Street, Right Hand Pointing, New Ohio Review, and many more. Her poetry book with fellow laureate Alan Birkelbach about the National Parks “The National Parks: A Century of Grace” (TCU Press) has just entered its second printing in less than one year of release. It is very historic, as there has never been a book of poetry written about all 62 National Parks in-situ to help culturally preserve and protect them for the next seven generations.
Her most recent book, “Politics of the Minotaur” won the 2022 Firebird Book Award for Poetry, the poetry Spur Award from the Western Writers of America, and is short-listed for the International Rubery Book Award. She was named Texas Poet Laureate in 2010.