Gailmarie Pahmeier – Nevada Poet Laureate – Nationally Recognized
About a day ago, Alyson Sinclair, founder of Nectar Literary, sent the Sierra Nevada ally wonderful news: Nevada Poet Laureate Gailmarie Pahmeier has received special recognition from the Academy of American Poets, one of 22 people nationally to be so recognized. by the Academy to support the public projects of these poets.
The Academy of American Poets was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster appreciation of contemporary poetry – the producer of Poets.org, Poem-a-Day, National Poetry Month , and more.
“Without poetry, we lose our way.” —Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets (2019–)
Learn more about recognition here:
2022 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows – Press Release v.3–7.27.21-FINAL
Listen and read a recent poem by Gailmarie: Address what matters
You know you want Marilyn’s dress.
Not the one your mother wanted, not
the second rhinestone skin in which she sang her song—
Happy birthday, Mr. President, not that dress.
You want the simplest but also elegant
little thing she wore here in this Nevada town,
the dress she wore while drinking shots in that bar
in Dayton. Cocktail cherries, backless.
You want that dress ’cause she wore it here
but also because everyone who looked at her
learned his secret special talent,
how she was able to handle a paddleball 100 times
and never miss a strike. Her hips, egg yolks slipping
around a large bowl, timed, and the men too
who loved him or wanted to love him. nobody, not even
Huston nor Miller, knew she could do this,
could create that moment of pure carnal joy.
The movie was The Misfits, and you watch it
every year because it matters, Marilyn matters,
this bar where you and your third husband
spend long summer hours – everything counts.
Everyone has a story here, and some
remember Marilyn, or say they do.
If you had her dress, you could be fearless,
could show anyone who ever doubted
that you have skills, you can shiver the air.
You would move with fierce heat
like the dry dust of the desert, where lies,
when you’re done here, you’re on your way, no matter what.
The Normal School, vol. 10, issue 1, spring 2017
Gailmarie Pahmeier has been a Nevada for 37 years. Now emeritus, she taught courses in creative writing and contemporary literature at the University of Nevada, where she received the Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award and the University Distinguished Teacher Award. She is currently a faculty member of the low residency MFA program at the University of Sierra Nevada. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, her work has won numerous awards and been widely published in literary journals and anthologies. She is the recipient of three Nevada Arts Council Artist Grants, including the prestigious Major Project Grant. She is the author of The house on Breakaheart Road, The rural life of nice girls, and Back, Of ashes, of ordinary saints (WSC Press, 2020, High Plains Book Award nominee), in addition to three chapbooks, one of which, Shake it and It’s snowing, won the Coal Hill Chapbook Award from Autumn House Press. She received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the State of Nevada, served the City of Reno as its first Poet Laureate, was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, and she was recognized by Nevada Humanities as Emeritus Professor of Humanities. In September 2021, she accepted the position of Nevada State Poet Laureate, a 2-year gubernatorial appointment. She lives in Reno between the river and the train tracks with her husband, two exuberant dogs and a couple of complicated cats.
Founded in 2020, Sierra Nevada Ally is a paywall-free standalone 501c3 nonprofit publication, member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, providing unique and differentiated reporting, factual news and explanatory journalism on the environment, conservation and public policy, while giving voice to writers, filmmakers, visual artists and performers. We count on the generosity of our readers and aligned partners.