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on September 6, 2011
An Elevated View:
Colorado Writers on Writing
W. C. Jameson, editor
Seven Oaks Publishing, 2011
Colorado is called the "Mile-High State," but many of us living here, (at seven, eight, nine thousand feet, or higher), snicker at the supposed grandiosity of a mere fifty-two hundred feet. In ways simple and sublime, life in Colorado calls for, "an elevated view."
W. C. Jameson once edited a collection of Ozark authors' views regarding writing where they lived. Now, he's produced this lush anthology of Coloradoan writers doing the same.
In his introduction, Jameson says, "I invited each of the authors to write the essay they always wanted to craft...but were never provided the opportunity until now. I wanted this to be an opportunity for them to express what they wished to share about their art and their life." In reply, he received: an essay regarding the dark and deep ties one author feels to a ghost settlement now nearly impossible to find; a poet telling of life falling apart, then recombining into a something undreamt of; how one writer was led to vampires; and how another writer discerned it was more than a particular state or landscape that defined, home--it was a specific neighbor.
Rather than starting with the anthology's tiled essay, in an inspired move, Jameson saves it for last. By coming at the close of the collection, Laurie Wagner Buyer's essay brings the previous writings together, illumining the common threads wefting and warping this tapestry of thirteen writers.
I'm wishing for Jameson's "elevated views," though. Perhaps in later editions, he'll include his own essay, or expand the introduction to include how living in Colorado influenced his writing. The man's a more powerful writer than the six pages he allows himself shows. Then, maybe this anthology is indeed just that: telling how Colorado inspired, nay, still inspires, him.