Pulitzer Prize nominated poet David Lee visits Silver City
Poet David Lee, the latest Resident of the Resident Artist Program in Silver City, gave another of his readings in the historic Comstock town on May 27.
His most recent book of poems has been nominated for both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, and one of the poems he wrote while at the Resident Artist Program (describing dawn in Silver City) was just nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His reading attracted folks not only from Silver City, but also from Reno, Carson City, Gold Hill, and even France.
Last fall and winter while teaching a graduate course at University of Nevada, Reno, Lee lived at McCormick House in Silver City, a geodesic dome built in the 1970s by artist Jim McCormick.
Since then he’s been perfecting a number of poems he wrote while living in the tiny but vibrant community. Many are about the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, and several are about the town itself. In his Pushcart Prize nominated poem “Silver City Dawn Psalm,” Lee describes making coffee at dawn, watching quail and the neighbor’s “rattlesnake killing cat” from the kitchen windows as the sun comes up over the mountains.
He writes, “The tired old sun stretches his long arms/pulls down eastern horizon/with a yawn and sigh/one more time shoulders his pack/and begins the high lonesome saunter/over Sierra.”
He plans to publish the poems in a slim volume, tentatively titled, “Silver City, Nevada.”
Utah’s first and longest serving poet laureate, Lee has also been a boxer, pig farmer, seminary student, cotton mill worker, and a baseball player. He was named one of the 12 greatest writers to ever emerge from the state by Utah Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Lee has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has won the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award in Poetry and the Western States Book Award in Poetry. He’s received the Utah Governor’s Award for lifetime achievement in the arts and the Entrada Institute’s Ward Roylance Award. Lee was previously considered as a candidate for Poet Laureate of the United States, and his books Last Call and Bluebonnets, Firewheels, and Brown-Eyed Susans were nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Lee gave his very first reading from Bluebonnets, Firewheels, and Brown-Eyed Susans, which has since been nominated for both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, to an enthusiastic audience at the Silver City School House in December 2016.
Located in rural northwestern Nevada three miles from Virginia City and 29 miles from Lake Tahoe, Silver City is a small, unusually creative and productive community on the Comstock within one of the nation’s federally designated historic landmarks.
Entering its fourth year, the program provides a venue for those from other parts of the U.S. and the world to engage with people of the region through the arts. Those creating in the performing, visual, media, design, or literary arts are invited to apply to reside for up to 3 months at McCormick House, a geodesic dome designed in the 1970s by Nevada artist Jim McCormick. In exchange, visiting artists offer public performances, exhibitions, readings, workshops, etc. in Silver City and other northern Nevada communities. The program is privately funded and directed.
For information, contact director Quest Lakes at email@example.com.