Publisher's note: This collection of poems documents the evolution of a talented and original Texan poet through his 40-year career. A seminal figure in the small press movement in Texas, Dameron explores the complexities of the inner and outer worlds, whether writing about love, death, a bird’s wing, or a painting’s energy. He is an introspective lyric poet as well as a sensitive observer, both globally and in his native Rio Grande Valley.
Drinking from the River is a book of memory, imagery sharp as a January east wind, and voice as focused as an owl stare. . . . Chip Dameron has learned how to balance memory and significance on a fulcrum of revelation in a re-imagined world where “clouds roll down the trees like / some god’s own urgent breath,” where we witness through his eyes the sanctity of an eloquent life based on keen perception. These are poems worth the weight of reading and reflecting. – David Lee, Poet Laureate of Utah
To make a sizable volume like the present work requires a relentlessly present level of intensity and a sharp sense of pacing. . . . We understand more sharply than we did before what a wealth of achievement there is here.
– James Hoggard, Texas Poet Laureate, 2000