6, 2019 at 10:32:20 AM PST
To: Emmett Wheatfall <email@example.com>
Subject: Thank you!
you so for coming to speak to the second graders at our school. Since your
visit, we have seen a big change in our students. They are now so excited to
learn and study the craft of poetry! Their creativity has blossomed and it has
been so fun seeing them move beyond the realms of the standard writing
practices of second grade. You left a little magic in our classroom during your
visit and now each of our students is saying they "want to be just like
Emmett!" You are such an inspiration to all of us and we feel so blessed
to have had that time with you. You have such a gift and I am glad that Paul
and Sherry encouraged me to reach out to you.
students have written thank you cards for you and I would love to send them
your way. What is a good address to send them to?
Fernwood Press –
Announcement! Saturday, March 2, 2019
year, the Eric Hoffer Award presents the da Vinci Eye to books with
superior cover artwork. Cover art is judged on both content and style.
The da Vinci Eye is given in honor of the historic artist, scientist, and
inventor Leonardo da Vinci. This is an additional distinction beneath the
Eric Hoffer Award umbrella.
We received word yesterday morning that Emmett Wheatfall’s book, As Clean as a Bone, had been
Publisher, Fernwood Press
Book Review: As Clean as a
From "the perspective that black," Emmett Wheatfall gives us this
collection of evocative meditations on the African American experience,
meditations "seasoned with / the salt of [his] poetics." Ranging from
a tribute to contemporary black women ("Election Evening in Alabama")
to a lamentation spoken to Langston Hughes, these are moving poems that compel
us--all of us who call ourselves American--to "...sing a new song / for
what we are now."
Oregon Poet Laureate
Emmett Wheatfall's As Clean as a Bone is a collection for both
the heart and the mind, a collection seasoned with the vital and invigorating
salt of poetry and of wisdom. This remarkable book questions history, memory,
culture. Its poems don't just talk: They wrestle with experience, they debate,
they think and play, they sing out with love and pain. "Can we sing a new
song?" Wheatfall asks. With their musical cadences and resonant depths,
the poems in this new book answer back with a resounding YES.
poet, author of Lantern
and Iron String
"Do you know what I mean?" Emmett Wheatfall asks--a question he poses
in poem after poem, sometimes in agonizing and sometimes in darkly humorous
ways. Emmett calls upon us, his readers, to exercise our imaginations as we
read As Clean as a Bone, to know what he means about the black experience in
America and in the world.
poet, author of death
Emmett Wheatfall's latest book As Clean as a Bone is just
that. Taking his title from James Baldwin, Wheatfall has produced a work that
gets to the core of things. "I question myself," he writes, and
whether his subject is race, justice, inequality or a "little black
bo." his poems speak with power and credibility. Time spent with As
Clean as a Bone is time well spent.
poet, author of The
Promise of the Trail
September 18, 2018
Husted (Bette): Learn the
Stories of Oters
But because I’ve been
thinking about racism, I keep coming back to last month’s featured writer,
African-American poet Emmett Wheatfall, whose book “As Clean as a Bone” takes
its title from Baldwin: “You want to write one sentence as clean as a bone.” Wheatfall’s
response to HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s remark that “Slaves were immigrants
coming to America in pursuit of the fledgling American dream” feels bone-clean:
“Show me boat manifests listing each slave by name.”
“I’m as shattered as my
slave ancestors were back then,” Wheatfall writes. But he adds, “What was
broken then is being reassembled.”
I hope so. I do know
Review: As Clean as a Bone
Emmett, my Nubian friend, and
the Last King of Africa (and therefore the First King of Africa): Wow! This
thematic collection of poems is a landmark along your brilliant path. I need to
reread so many and ponder them. And then I need to sit with you in that wine
bar and talk about them, about you, about the world around us. (But no
pinot gris for me; I prefer immersion in reds).
Sherry and I have been reading these aloud to each other, which is how poetry
should be experienced. You have laid bare so much of yourself. You have shined
a bright spotlight into the dark shadows cast not only by yourself but those
cast upon you.
Brother Emmett--thank you for this. This is an incredible work...
It was nice meeting you
and enjoyable listening to you perform your poetry. As Joan
mentioned, I think, when she introduced me, I am the point person for the
Oregon Poetry Collection at the University of Oregon. The collection, which was
started by the OPA at the State Library and is now housed at the UO, aspires to
offer a comprehensive representation of works by Oregon Poetry, from the
beginnings in the late 19th century to the present. I see that we do not have
any of your books in our collection and thus invite you to send us your work
for inclusion in the collection...(Basically, two copies, one archival and one
for the circulating collection, are sent to me).
Jeff Staiger, Ph.D.
Humanities Librarian (English, French, Italian, Classics & Philosophy)
University of Oregon
Review by River Roads
Reading Series (2018)
I first heard Emmett Wheatfall present as the keynote speaker at the 2017 Oregon Poetry Association conference
in Portland. I was impressed and invited him to present at the River Road
Reading Series (RRRS) here in Eugene. We are a group of Eugene authors (mostly
poets) sponsored (in kind) by the River Road Parks Department and with a small
grant from the Lane Literary Guild. We invite usually three authors, mostly
Eugenean, but sometimes a guest from afar. And so, Emmett drove down from
Portland to present.
His reading was inspiring, theatrical, creative, and a great pleasure to
experience. The audience was at first skeptical, mostly middle and older aged,
white, middle-class poets, not used to such a big, boisterous, bold,
and yes, black, personality. But they soon were taken in by his
honest heartfelt poetry, his enthusiasm, intelligence and charismatic
personality. Emmett's reading was a grand success.
I think Emmett could enrapture most any audience when given the
chance, but especially, to my mind, he ought to be giving presentations in our
schools. His accessible and yet intelligent style could introduce young people
to poetry in a way that might leave them with a lifelong desire to read, write
and create. In our present racially divided world, as a black poet, his
presence would inspire black youth to feel pride in their blackness,
a self-respect often denied them, I fear, while giving white youth as
well a black adult to look up to, and giving all youth, of whatever culture or
color, a role model worth following.
And so, thank you, Emmett, for coming our way. I'm glad the sun was
shining for you, although, I can't really take any credit for that!
... Yes, but I'm not so
sure that all the "bigger, blacker guys" could have so quickly
"crossed over" and reached the ever so sedate, ever so white audience
we had that afternoon. You did something special.
My very best,
Review by Conversations with
Thank you so much for your
resoundingly successful presentation at Conversations with Writers last month.
Everyone was blown away by your wealth of knowledge, your exuberant reading
style, and your lovely poetry. Here, finally, is the write-up I promised
Emmett Wheatfall is a poet who
has it all, musicality, voice, passion and above all knowledge of his subject.
When Emmett presented on February 26, 2018, at Conversation with
Writers our audience of dedicated poets and writers was enthralled. His
presentation was highlighted with many examples of his own poetry that he was
gracious enough to share with us. Through exploring these poems we were encouraged
to discover the way he hooks the reader into deeper engagement with the poet’s
tools of repetition, alliteration, personification, and metaphor.
Emmett likens his honing of the
craft of poetry to “The Whittling of Sticks.” He declares, “It’s in the GRIND,
ENDURANCE, and the never taking ‘NO’ for an answer that the writer finds
perfection.” After his spirited discussion, we were presented with a writing
prompt of three streams of consciousness
paragraphs. Eventually, we rearranged, condensed and developed these
paragraphs into poetry. As a group, we felt energized and elated by
By the end of our two-hour
session—over far too quickly for most of us—we were happy to have been prompted
along the path of self-discovery. Thank you, Emmett, for your
Director of Conversations with
Peterson Entertainment, LLC wishes everyone a safe and happy Martin Luther King
Over the years, we've (Emmett
and I) made and collaborated on a lot of music, events, and special
occasions. This is not the kind of company that pushes our religious views, or
politics, or views on anyone.
We do support our artists in
their views and help them make statements with their music. Sometimes they are
powerful and lasting statements.
One such track is "Miles
to Go" from Emmett Wheatfall. Emmett has become a poetic force in the
Pacific NW. We have collaborated together for several recordings and
made great music. This track comes from the recording "Them Poetry
Blues" for which we received a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture
Council of Portland, OR. It features the some of the greatest blues players in
the NW: Peter Damman on guitar, "King" Louis Pain on organ, Carlton
Jackson on drums, and late, great Jim Miller on Bass.
As we were in the booth hearing this being laid down, Dennis
Carter (engineer) and I were both speechless as we knew we got something
special, meaningful, and timeless.
Please take a moment to reflect
on Emmett's message over this very special American holiday. Share and tag your
friends if it speaks to you. Feel free to post your thoughts below.
Peterson Entertainment Llc -
January 15, 2018
Emmett Wheatfall as Langston
Hughes - Dead Poets Poetry Reading: November 4, 2017
"What happens to a dream
deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"
Lately, we have all been
wondering, and we talked about this as we prepared the refreshments table in
the foyer and the sound in the auditorium. Langston Hughes himself
arrived fresh out of the Harlem Renaissance, and seeing that he was early, sat
down at the grand piano and tuned up the room.
The event was
the Silverton Poetry Association's 27th Dead Poets Reading. The
tradition is that the reader dresses and speaks as the dearly departed poet did
in life, and for this couple of hours he or she is that
poet. And so in the contemplative space designed by Alvar Aalto in the
Mount Angel Abbey Library, Emmett Wheatfall shook the hands of poets Alejandra
Pizarnik and Matsuo Bashō and introduced himself as "Langston Hughes,
just off the train".
On stage, the poet pulled us
into the mostly rocky and sometimes fabulous life he lived. The poetry
made the distance from 1930s America fall away.
And who are you that draws your veil across the
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
The booming blues in his voice
engaged and moved us, right down to that question, nearly whispered: "Or
does it explode?"
Review by Vere McCarty
Silverton Poetry Association
OPA Conference: October 13th,
2017 at University Place Hotel, Portland
Emmett Wheatfall keynote
address: Can Poets Change the World?
It was a magical start to our
cherished annual conference in a time when many people feel hopeless and
helpless, Emmett reminded us of our power. As poets, he told us, we possess the
ability to connect with others, to transfer meaning, to incite, inspire, and
reassure. Communication, after all, is what poetry is about. Communication
comes from the same root as a community. In these times, a
community is the only real protection we have:
Emmett's words, and his vibrant presence coached us all to
remember what we already know: how to communicate, how to make contact, and why
Conference attendees were asked to rank events they attended from 1
(unsatisfactory) to 5 (highly satisfactory). Emmett Wheatfall's keynote
address scored an average of 4.7 out of 5. In workshops throughout the weekend,
I heard people say: "Since Emmett Wheatfall tells us poets can change the
world..." a testament to the lasting effect of his words on our
conference. Let's hope these words remain with us all, as we go on about our
business of life and poetry.
Tiel Aisha Ansari
Oregon Poetry Association
WELCOME HOME (2017)
As promised, I will now give you my impressions of "Welcome Home"
Conceptually, this is a cohesive work. Following the young man's life after his
service in the Korean War sets a fitting tableau for the pieces included, and I
feel you set the stage nicely. One gets a clear picture of the boy-turned-man
The recurring narrative helps to tie the pieces together well. I highly enjoyed
"Cleophus" and found him to be a character I wish I knew more
about--perhaps he could be fleshed out more fully in a future piece.
(His vibe somewhat reminded me of Jim Croce's "Bad Bad, Leroy
Brown"--a real scoundrel). I wish there had been a bit more conflict in
his interaction with our protagonist, but it also showed that the young
ex-military man was not to be trifled with by a seedy never-do-well like
"Mr. Piano Man" is a fun turn that paints a picture of the young man
looking to impress Dara Denard. The developing romance keeps an appropriate
pace within the time period, which I found to be a refreshing change
from the slap-dash relationships that are portrayed in movies and TV shows
these days. (romance works best in low-gear).
I felt that the drama of Dara's sudden death in childbirth seemed a bit
rushed--there wasn't much prelude and it was
basically dropped in our laps. It also seemed that our hero
lacked a sort of rage and denial that one would expect from a person in that
situation (i.e. there should have been the 5-Step progression typical when
dealing with death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).
I appreciate the nods you gave not only to Pablo Neruda but to your
own works in "To the Memories"--a nice touch for fans of your work.
"Brown People Were Here" was a fun in conclusion--I have to give
kudos to the pianist James Blackburn for this cut, as well as his other work. I
really liked how he took the innate syncopation of "I Dream at Night"
and turned it into a musical phrase to match.
All in all, this definitely one of your best works. Its theme is solid and
comprehensive, taking the listener on a personal journey in the young man's
I must also mention the progression I've seen your "brand" as an
artist. The new logo gives you that "professional" feel, and I hope
you'll continue to include it in your future works.
It has been my pleasure to both assist and read/hear your poetry over the
years. I hope my input and opinions have been helpful to you. I recognize in
you the true soul of a poet, and I'm looking forward to many more
years of experiencing the works you shall produce.
Lofton A. Emenari
Bro Emmett, I cannot begin to tell you how much this CD has affected me.
Brother, the opening poem "Welcome Home" had me crying like a baby!!!
I was overwhelmed with emotion.
Lofton A. Emenari
WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago
Hi Emmett, I wanted to share with you the response I've [been] getting from the
KHMD interview--ALL good! And, I 'm surprised at how many people heard it!...
The most common comment [about Welcome Home] was how interesting and new
this "genre" is! I totally agree! I think you could be a pioneer,
James (Jim) Blackburn
Pianist and Composer
POETRY BLUES (2013)
Peterson Entertainment – (No#)
Emmett Wheatfall is a published
poet from Portland, Oregon, with five books of poetry in print. This is his
fourth CD and the third collaboration with producer/saxophonist Noah
Peterson in putting a selection of Wheatfall’s poems to music.
As the title suggests, the
backing has a touch of the blues this time out, albeit a suave and
sophisticated blues with Peterson’s sax and Nathan Olsen’s piano to
the fore on most tracks. For the most part, Wheatfall’s vocalizing is more akin
to recital than a song, and while comparisons can be made to Omar
Sharif, Oscar Brown Jr., Mose Allison and Amiri Baraka and the dub poet Linton
Kwesi Johnson, listening to this disc is a distinctive experience.
Thematically, the material ranges from Black Eyed Peas to Sunday
Morning to Big Women to what used to be called
“protest songs” to, of course, poems of love and loss. Barbara Harris adds
vocal support to one track, and pianist Janice Scroggins, who died this
May at age 58, is showcased on Mr. Janice Scroggins & Her 88
Keys. Elsewhere, the band is rounded out by guitarist Peter Dammann,
organist Lous Pain, the late bassist James Miller and drummer Carlton Jackson,
who along with Peterson and Olsen, sound equally at ease with the
seductive cress of Come Away with Me and the
Tramp-inspired riff that drives That’s What I’m Gonna Do.
What really makes this album
special, though, is that Wheatfall tells stories that are both personal and
local, so that the listener gets to know something about the artist and his
world. In that respect, it recalls the work of earlier blues poets such as
Sleepy John Estes and Lightning Hopkins, and stand in welcome contrast to the
usual blues clichés.
Page 56 Living Blues August
2013 Issue 232 Vol. 45, #4
POETRY BLUES (2013)
Renown poet, Emmett Wheatfall
lives in Portland (Oregon).
In addition to 4 publications,
he performs his poetry on stage, records albums to feature his work. The title
of his most recent CD is pleasantly misleading. One will discover
the musical landscape to be a lot closer to jazz than blues. The musicians are
perfect, from the pianist to the saxophonist without forgetting the guitarist.
Wheatfall’s baritone timber matches very well his writing even when he weaves
in some touches of humor (That’s What I’m Gonna Do, Black Eyed Peas, and Big
Women, the only real blues tunes with the piece titled eponyme). As one would
expect of poetry, the author recites more often than he sings. This creates a
sensation of repetition on top of slower beats despite a remarkable lyrical
content: Miles to Go talks about civic duties, Alfie touches on the topic of
Serendipity, Mississippi Mixed Girl deals
with cross-racial relationships, all, topics that Mighty Mo Rodgers
would enjoy, read our article on page 16…On the edge of our spectrum, this is a
piece of work essentially for lovers of beautiful lyrical content painted on
the canvas of black music. DANIEL LÉON (Translated by PARFAIT BASSALÉ)
Emmett Wheatfall vit à Portland (Oregon).
quatre recueils publiés, il se produit sur scène et enregistre des disques pour
des lectures de ses œuvres. Le titre du présent CD s’avère toutefois trompeur
car l’environnement musical est bien plus proche du jazz que du blues. Les
musiciens sont excellents, du pianiste au saxophoniste en passant par le
guitariste, alors que la voix de baryton de Wheatfall s’adapte bien à ses
écrits même quand ils se teintent d’humour (That’s why I’m gonna do, Black eyed
peas et Big woman, seul véritable blues avec le titre éponyme). Mais,
versification propre à la poésie oblige, l’auteur récite plus souvent qu’il ne
chante, ce qui crée une sensation de répétition sur des tempos lents malgré des
textes souvent remarquables : Miles to go sur les droits civiques, Alfie sur la
sérendipité, Mississippi mixed girl sur le métissage, des thèmes qui plairaient
à Mighty Mo Rodgers, lire notre article page 16... Un peu en marge de notre
spectre, essentiellement pour amateurs de beaux textes sur fond de musiques
noires. DANIEL LÉON
Oregon Music News (OMN)
On this recording Emmett Wheatfall’s poetry is generally
presented as spoken word vocals, using many rhetorical and performance
characteristics of traditional black preaching, backed by a stellar blues band.
He occasionally sings and is joined on several numbers by vocalist Barbara Harris.
Mr. Wheatfall has recorded several albums, and I found “Them Poetry Blues” to
be his most enjoyable and interesting so far.
He's back and this time the
music is better than ever. Emmett Wheatfall has scored once again with
tremendous support from producer Noah Peterson providing an all-star blues cast
of Pacific NW musicians: Peter Dammann, James Miller, Nathan Olsen, Janice
Scroggins, Louis Pain, Carlton Jackson and Noah Peterson.
Making the leap from jazz to poetry the newest lyrical poetry release from
Emmett, "Them Poetry Blues" features stellar compositions, great
performances and down-home good vibes for everyone to enjoy.
- Music Industry News Network
Music Industry News Network
Just received a new release by
a guy out of Portland, Oregon named Emmett Wheatfall. He's a poet and the CD is
spoken word backed by music. It's called "Them Poetry Blues." Some
interesting stuff on this new release including a tribute to 1960's civil
rights leaders called "Miles To Go." One cut is called "Big
Women" (As in, "I like big women.")...
- Jazz Notes, SDPB
Radio South Dakota
Loften Emenari, WPHK
88.5 FM (Chicago)
Emmett Wheatfall is a “Blues
Poet” of the first order. His brand new CD release “Them Poetry Blues”
(Peterson Entertainment) speaks the blues from beginning to end. Starting with
the plaintive acknowledgement of our ancestors and life “Never Forget” to the
soulful righteousness of “Sunday Morning” to the raw raucous “Big Women” (which
should become an instant blues hit) Wheatfall backed by an
in synch rhythm section (of keys, bass and drums) is
an in the tradition of those big city sophisticated moaners yet nails the
educated mannerisms of academia. A journey in blues, jazz, r&b
and above all a tasted of life in today’s America.
- Loften Emenari, WPHK
88.5 FM (Chicago)
Nice original tunes that are
easy to listen to. Good variety of mood. I like the instrument combination.
- Charlie Perkinson, Jazz Music Director, WVTF Radio (Virginia)
Great musicianship mixed with
entertaining lyrics/poems, sometimes humorous, sometimes deep and personal,
- Charles Husson, Operations
Director – Hawaii Public Radio
The late Jim Miller, a fine
bassist, had recommended me for a spoken word project produced by saxophonist
Noah Peterson, accompanying a poet named Emmett Wheatfall. When I arrived at
the recording studio, the first track I was asked to play on had been recorded
the day before; Emmett wanted me to overdub organ on it. When I head the
track, I was concerned: it was an extremely powerful, gospel-soaked piece, and
I had brought my 34-lb Nord organ—not a Hammond B-3. But the track was finished
in no time and Emmett was very pleased, later posting on Facebook, “The magic
on this track is the MASTERFUL work of Louis Pain on the Hammond B-3 Organ.” I
guess I fooled him! But seriously: The magic on this track is Emmett Wheatfall;
the rest of us (Nathan Olsen, Carlton Jackson, & Jim Miller) just
hopped aboard his “gospel train.”
-Louis Pain, (aka King
Louie) Hammond B-3 Organist – Album: Them Poetry Blues (2013)
letter addressed to Noah Peterson of Peterson Entertainment LLC.
I am the publisher of Wine and Jazz magazine. For many years I have enjoyed
poetry. Your company sent me Emmett Wheatfall’s CD “When I Was Young”
earlier this year. It is a very unique record that I like tremendously. Because
of this, I featured this record in my
just-released November (2010) issue of Wine and Jazz magazine
as a pairing with a wine. If you would like a few copies of Wine and Jazz
magazine, please advise where to send.
I am not kidding when I say I
tremendously like “When I Was Young.” I thought perhaps you would mail another
CD to one of my writers who resides in the state of Washington, Baldwin
“Smitty” Smith. Smitty wrote the cover interview of Esperanza Spalding in my
November magazine. If so, please advise and I will email you his mailing
address. Thank you,
- Mike Nordskog, Publisher Wine and Jazz
Wheatfall has the unusual distinction of performing poetry at Jimmy Mak’s, a
club known for bringing in top-notch jazz musicians – not poets. His appearance
with this collection of musicians proves that the distinction may be
irrelevant. He speaks with the phrasing similar to a saxophone player, savoring
each note and syllable. His poetry explores the cultural themes of
separation and community relationships...
- Oregon Music News
Wheatfall, Jay Stapleton
[SPOKEN WORD] Portland's own
Emmett Wheatfall has quite a voice—rich and deep, half-jiving and half-poetic,
fatherly and stern—and that voice is the focus of his new disc When I Was
Young. Sometimes he's touching ("When I Was Young"), sometimes funny
("Dance With Me," where he goes South of the Border...geographically
and, if Wheatfall's plotting works out, perhaps sexually) and sometimes
street-smart (the entirely un-P.C. "I Know You Tough and All That").
It's unpretentious street poetry, sometimes acapella and sometimes
backed by Andre St. James and his trio. Tonight's CD release is a split with
Jay Stapleton's group, which releases its funky organ-and-guitar-fueled debut,
Upshot, tonight. CASEY JARMAN. 8 pm. Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th Ave.,
295-6542. $10. All ages. Map
- Willamette Week (Online
Hello, Ivories Fans. And
especially hi to the newcomers--many first-time Ivories visitors, especially
from Emmett Wheatfall's Poetry/Blues event, with the Noah Peterson Quartet.
What a night! This guy Emmett, he couldn't wait to get to the stage to start
the poem--but came from the far end of the bar, wandering amongst the tables,
his voice resonating clearly to all corners of the room. Somewhere in between a
speech and a song, but with rhyming. He brings with him a feeling of authentic
life experience, a charisma reminiscent of something between Louis Armstrong
and Martin Luther King Jr. And he didn't sing a note. But Noah's band provided
the bluesy and funky background, never overpowering, but oh so potent! We're
getting them back in the spring.
- Jim Templeton, Ivories
Jazz Lounge and Restaurant Portland, Oregon
You Once, Emmett Wheatfall
In all honesty, I'm not usually a fan of poetry read to jazz. It either comes
off as hackneyed beat poetry or New Age-y treacle. But this disc by Portland
poet Wheatfall has captured my attention. His deep voice is expressive and
powerful, and his delivery is just plain cool. Using pianist Ramsey Embick as a
backdrop for his phrasing, Wheatfall recites in
styles ranging from walking swing ("The Wild Woods") to gospel-ish
preaching ("I Understand You") to Latin ballads. All the while, his
earnest delivery keeps things interesting and his words engaging. Embick is a
perfect choice, due to his versatility and expert playing. Saxophonist Noah
Peterson provides the backing on a couple of tunes, adding an urban honk to
Wheatfall's punchy poetry. The one that goes nearly over the sappy line is
"I Loved You Once," with both Embick and Peterson playing soft and
pretty behind a love poem. Luckily, Wheatfall's words are smart enough to keep
metaphors above the basal love meanings. I wish they had included the poetry in
the sparse liner notes, but for fans of poetry and jazz, this is one of the
better combos I've heard.
2011, Peterson Entertainment,
Society of Oregon, (Kyle O'Brien)
Emmett Wheatfall's "I
Too Am a Slave" is a poem crafted from the depths of despair, from the
discovery that he shared a last name with an ancestor's slave-master... and yet
within that despair are sown the seeds of redemption. An emotional
tour-de-force that evokes Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes, that marks - to my
mind - the emergence of a new, unique and authentic voice.
- Samuel Peralta, An Award Winning Canadian Poet
May 17, 2011
An Open Letter from BaseRoots Theatre Company
...My Soul Grown Deep celebrates the breathing heart within these
poems. We want to open them up, play, delve, re-envision and put them back
together again. We rejoice that these poems reveal specific aspects of humanity
in order to communicate and commiserate with all humanity. By the way,
Emmett, we're closing with "Change". Ladies and Gentlemen, My
Soul Grown Deep. See you there.
- Bobby Bermea, Artistic Director BaseRoots Theatre Company
teacher, I read and teach English poetry and appreciate it but my favorite
poetry mirrors my experiences. Lastly, I really like Emmett
Wheatfall’s poetry. When one thinks of his or favorite poets, it is natural to
reflect upon persons whom one discovers in textbooks; but I am drawn to Wheatfall’s
work. Of the modern-day poets, he is among my favorite and I model
some of my poetry after his work. I want to capture the essence of a moment
in word. Wheatfall is a master at making the mundane loving and
unforgettable. He is also a tireless student of poetry. It is because of him
that I want to devote more time to writing in poetic form.
- Michelle Hudson, Team Poetry
Interview February 14, 2011
Book Reviews for "We Think We Know"
Emmett Wheatfall’s philosophical curiosity reflects the openness of a true
seeker. Unquestionably rooted in the tangible, his poems invite us to consider
the meaning hidden in everyday objects and occurrences. His sense of wonder
encourages us to take another look at the world around us, to wander further
into the mystery.
The natural world becomes the stage upon which this universal drama plays out.
With Emmett’s guidance, we may rediscover our place among the
“butterfly and marigold.” Though the path can seem beset by “death and dying
and sorrow,” with hope, the poet’s humble reminders will show us the way home.
- Christopher Luna, Poet,
author, and editor
I enjoy reading your poetry.
I like your introspective nature. I like that you employ a
variety of styles, not always the same thing. I like that you're
(apparently) unafraid to try a different approach. I appreciate your
voice, both figuratively and literally. Your viewpoints show me
another side of the world, one strange yet familiar. You tackle tough,
sometimes uncomfortable topics, seeking to get to the truth of the matter - or
at least your truth of it. I admire your righteous
passions as well as the examinations of your more self-indulgent inclinations.
I can easily imagine you working on your poems, rearranging words,
striking out one word for the sake of a better one. You see the beauty
around you as well as the beauty of words, and they meld together richly in
your verse. I like to think that we are much the same, you and I, but
that we are also quite different. We love life,
despite it's many flaws. And that's just how I am, Emmett.
When I find something I like, I stick with it. :)
- Eric Alder, A
you so much for your beautiful poetry Sat. night. It was amazing being behind
you at the soundboard and seeing the faces of all those people in the room as
they responded to your words. Was a moving experience. One that will be on the
minds of many folks for many moons to come…You made the night extra meaningful. With
- Chance Wooley, Relay for Life American Cancer Society
If you are a lover of good
original poetry, of the masterful use of language and imagery, then I
suggest you get to know emmett wheatfall for yourself. His
writing is musical, spiritual, classic and yet always contemporary. Be it
romantic or philosophical, humorous or reminiscent, the words roll off your
tongue and the themes will make you smile and nod your head in agreement. His
poetic voice is a seamless bridge from “back in the day” to the day after
tomorrow and his words could only have been written by a man who has lived.
- Steven M Grant, Poet
emmett wheatfall’s talent
brings out a perfect combination of anger, tears and joy. His
poetry stirs up every emotion and encourages us to dig deep into our own
thoughts and ideas about love, life and humanity.
- Becky Due, Author
“I write to appease the creative hunger raging in my
soul.” –emmett wheatfall
"A poem written by me must stand on its own merit. If not, let it fall and
I will erect another one until it stands, then another, and
another..." –emmett wheatfall
“It's way too late in life for me to master the mastery of the great poets who
precede me; therefore, I must unmask my own.” –emmett wheatfall