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Justin Evans

Gathering up the Scattered Leaves

Justin Evans was born ad raised in Utah at the foot of the Wasatch Rockies.  He graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in History and English Education.  His poetry has appeared in various journals to include, Petroglyph, The Briar Cliff Review, and The Eleventh Muse.  In 2005, his first chapbook, Four Way Stop, was published by Main-Traveled Roads.  He was also nominated for a 2005 Pushcart Prize.  He and his wife, Becky, are raising their three sons, Kaelan, Alec, and Ryan in rural Nevada, where Justin teaches history.

From the book:

In Twilight

Yet once more, O ye laurels and once more
                             --- John Milton

I will go, walking down the dark canyon road
softened beneath a malleable sun. Once more,
one final descent into the valley of my home.  
Shadow and bare earth begin to evaporate
into each other, night, always a context for union,
a place to meet and linger in an embrace.  
I see how the river has cut a path for me, given itself
a rhythm for today and tomorrow. Each slight bend
another story told as the day passes to night.  
Together we both migrate, one man and one river,
each of us bound to accumulate with our own kind
where we are certain to find a place to stop and rest.

Artist's Statement:

I have long been interested in place being a defining factor in my poetry.  Many of the poets who have influenced me, use place as a touchstone for the message of their poetry, and I wanted to do the same.  Some have put forth the idea that American poetry is pre-occupied with place, and I certainly see that being true in my case.  I wanted to express in this second chapbook, as I did with my first, a sense of longing for the places of my youth.  Where I was admittedly darker with my first chapbook, my goal was to be more optimistic and hopeful this time around.  Specifically, I wanted to infuse a sense of the ecstatic writings of Rumi with my nostalgia for the places I knew as a young boy.  Hopefully, people can gain a sense of how I feel about specific places and my place in them.

However, poetry has always been more than expression of artistic ideas; it is a means for me to remain connected with the human spirit as a whole.  Poetry is a communion, and as such, allows me to come to the common ground of people with something to share.  And even though I am sharing something of me, I believe I am always taking more away from the experience than I could possibly give.  Therein lies the magic of poetry, the possibility for me to become more than what is possible otherwise.

Gathering up the Scattered Leaves
is a 28 page hand-sewn chapbook  - $8.00



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