Clarity, focus, and startling detail are the stuff of lasting images--in poetry or photography. It is all about beholding, about taking in what is ours to absorb--if only we will. Little can overwhelm the senses more than our great lonely plains, expanses of sky and horizon so enormous that sometimes composition gets lost in between. Who better, then, to illuminate what would elude us than a native state photographer and native state poet laureate?
Although Meinzer and McDonald have both devoted careers to seeing and celebrating these plains, garnering significant honors and awards along the way, neither had realized how much his work spoke to the other's. Now seventy-seven pairs of poems and color photographs testify to the kinship of poet, photographer, and all of us who inhabit their territory. Selected from hundreds of photographs and poems, these pairs show surprising harmony of vision and insights about the vast, wide plains, their dramatic colors, and the calm, vigorous people who thrive beneath their sprawling skies, accepting the risks and splendor of it all.
Walt McDonald, Texas poet laureate, has published twenty volumes of poetry, including Whatever the Wind Delivers, The Digs in Escondido Canyon, and Caliban in Blue.
Wyman Meinzer, official photographer of the state of Texas, is also winner of the 1996 John Ben Sheppard Jr. Award from the Texas State Historical Association. He has published fourteen books, including Desert Santuaries: The Chinatis of the Big Bend and Canyons of the Texas High Plains.