Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Red Shuttleworth

The Books of Red Shuttleworth

Lucky 13: Short Plays about Arizona, Nevada & Utah  --anthology, with plays by Jerry L. Crawford, David Kranes, Gus Edwards, Julie Jensen, Aden Ross, Red Shuttleworth, Paavo Hall, Bob Mayberry, John D. Newsom, Brian Kral, Brighde Mullins, Christopher Danowski, and Mark Jensen-- (University of Nevada Press, 1995)

Western Settings: Poems (University of Nevada Press, 2000)

We Drove All Night: Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2011)

Johnny Ringo: Poetry (Riverhouse Lit, using CreateSpace, 2012)

Ghosts & Birthdays: Poems (Humanitas Media Publishing, 2012)

High Plains Fandango: A Play (Humanitas Media Publishing, 2015)

Woe to the Land Shadowing: Poems (Blue Horse Press, 2015)

Straight Ahead: Poems (Blue Horse Press, 2017)

With encouragement from Tom Radko (Director of the University of Nevada Press in the 1990's) and William L. Fox (Director of the Nevada Arts Council in the 1990's), I edited Lucky 13, an anthology of regional plays.  The short form is tough, but it offers thrills. Some of the plays in Lucky 13 are less than memorable, but over half of them are splendid and, twenty years after publication, still ought to be produced.  Lucky 13 is out of print, but one can find copies on Amazon.

Although I began writing poetry in 1967 and had been publishing in fine journals since 1973, and although I was able to get a few chapbooks published and had been a finalist in over half of the very competitive book publication competitions, by the 1990's it looked like my poems would never gain book publication... and not with a university press.  But Tom Radko at University of Nevada Press took a chance. Radko hired Bill Fox to work as my editor on cobbling together a coherent book that had an arc, and Western Settings appeared in 2000.  It held poems that had first publication in some fine journals, including Ontario Review, Prairie Schooner, and West Branch.  In 2001, Western Settings received the first Spur Award for Poetry from Western Writers of America.  Before too long, True West reprinted a poem from the book... the only time that magazine has ever published a poem in its print edition. Western Settings is out of print.  Sadly, the University of Nevada Press, after the tenure of Tom Radko, hired a quintessentially stupid director and she killed the poetry program entirely.  Readers who wish to own Western Settings can locate used copies on Amazon.

More chapbook than book, We Drove All Night is the only chapbook or book that I have not campaigned for.  I include it here only because it was, until mid-December, 2015, available to readers via Amazon. It is a fine collection of poems, sure, but Finishing Line Press (I learned after they accepted this work for publication) is a vanity press run by shit-heels.

The Old West pistolero who most reminds us of the mad Roman emperor Caligula was Johnny Ringo.  His craziness was fascinating.  Ringo is famous yet, or infamous, but he is of little historical import.  He was NOT at the gunfight at OK Corral.  Ringo is NOT central to any vital history.  But Ringo was hilariously mad, a goof, a drunkard, a man with inclinations so violent, yet posted against a singular view of Christian theology, that I could not help but write a book-length poem that followed his failed life.  I tried to write Johnny Ringo as if it was a poem that Samuel Beckett could write if someone other than Beckett was writing it.  When the poem was written, I could not imagine any publication that could publish it in its entirety.  Through facebook, though, I was befriended by Yoly Fivas.  Yoly was using CreateSpace (print-on-demand) to publish books.  And she, through her Riverhouse Lit imprint, published Johnny Ringo, winner of the 2013 Spur Award from Western Writers of America for Best Western Poem.  To this day, Johnny Ringo enjoys sales spurts on Amazon.

Emil Cioran loved reading biographies, because it was entertaining and instructive to learn what delusions and illusions of youth came to at the end of men's lives.  For years I had been writing bio-sketch poems (Mikhail Lermontov, Wyatt Earp, Georgia O'Keefe, Waylon Jennings, and many others) which were published in wonderful journals, like Blue Mesa Review, Chattahoochee Review, Concho River Review, and Los Angeles Review. A friend, journalist Kris Wetherholt, was starting a press... and Kris' Humanitas Media Publishing issued this collection in 2012... with a painting of Marilyn Monroe (by my daughter Ciara Shuttleworth) on the cover.  Ghosts & Birthdays is available on Amazon.

Commissioned and first produced by The State University of New York at Fredonia, with a development reading by the Echo Theater of Los Angeles, High Plains Fandango, a play about water scarcity and aquifer privatization, premiered at SUNY-Fredonia (directed by Tom Loughlin) on February 24, 2012.  Given publisher/journalist Kris Wetherholt's commitment to coverage of global stress points/conflict, she graciously offered to have her Humanitas Media Publishing bring out this play in a fine paperback edition (with a cover photograph by Ed Kashi)... so that perhaps other theatres, both professional and academic, might produce it again.

The fire season of 2015 in Washington State was the worst in history.  Out of the daily smoke and threat of wildfire came the poems that comprise Woe to the Land Shadowing.  Poets Jeff and Tobi Alfier (who run Blue Horse Press and a fine literary journal, San Pedro River Review) offered to publish these poems.  And Blue Horse Press rapidly issued the book. Woe to the Land Shadowing received the 2016 Western Heritage (Wrangler) Award for Outstanding Poetry Book (from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum).

Receving the "Wrangler" for Outstanding Poetry
at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
in Oklahoma City on April 16, 2016,
presented by Waddie Mitchell, Don Edwards,
and Miss Rodeo Oklahoma.

Straight Ahead (Blue Horse Press, 2017) presents a dozen poem sequences that first appeared as chapbooks from Bunchgrass Press. The book concludes with a suite of Western poems that might remind readers of Red's Western Settings.

And the next book.... 

Red Shuttleworth
(Winside, Nebraska, 1986)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

TULE REVIEW Features Three Ciara Shuttleworth Poems

The 2016 issue of Tule Review, a publication of the Sacramento (CA) Poetry Center, features three poems by Ciara Shuttleworth:

Love's Cartographers
What is Your Five-Year Plan?
Words Like Fire

Tule Review is edited by Frank Dixon Graham.

Ciara Shuttleworth was the 51st Writer-in-Residence at the Kerouac Project of Orlando's Kerouac House early in 2015.  Her poems have also appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and other journals.

Ciara Shuttleworth is Executive Director of Columbia Basin Allied Arts in Washington State.

Ciara Shuttleworth

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WOE TO THE LAND SHADOWING: A Red Shuttleworth Collection of Poems

Woe to the Land Shadowing

poems by

Red Shuttleworth

Woe to the Land Shadowing, a collection of poems from the Washington State 2015 fire season, published by Blue Horse Press, is available from Amazon.

Red Shuttleworth is a three-time winner of the Spur Award for Poetry from Western Writers of America: Johnny Ringo (2013), Roadside Attractions (2011), and Western Settings (2001).

Shuttleworth was named "Best Living Western Poet" by True West magazine in 2007.

For decades Shuttleworth's poems, short stories, and one-act plays have been published in numerous journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Chariton Review, Concho River Review, Interim, Los Angeles Review, Ontario Review, Prairie Schooner, South Dakota Review, True West, Weber: The Contemporary West and West Branch.

Red Shuttleworth with his Irish Wolfhound, Peaches
(photo by Ciara Shuttleworth)

Red Shuttleworth's plays have been widely presented, with readings and productions in both professional and academic settings, including High Plains Fandango at The State University of New York at Fredonia, Pistolero Rideaway at Sundance Playwrights Lab, and Memorabilia at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival.

Red Shuttleworth
(photo by Ciara Shuttleworth)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The I-70 REVIEW Presents a Ciara Shuttleworth Poem

The Summer/Fall 2015 issue of the I-70 Review includes a poem by Ciara Shuttleworth, recent writer-in-residence at Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida.  Her poems have also appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and other journals.  Shuttleworth is Executive Director of Columbia Basin Allied Arts in Washington State.

Ciara Shuttleworth at Kerouac House, Orlando, Florida
(photo by Drew Perlmutter)

Among the other poets with writing in the Summer/Fall 2015 I-70 Review are Jeffrey Alfier, Tobi Cogswell, Jim Daniels, Lola Haskins, and Judy Ray.

The I-70 Review is edited by Gary Lechliter, Maryfrances Wagner, Greg Field, and Jan Duncan-O'Neal.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

HIGH PLAINS FANDANGO, Red Shuttleworth's Play in Paperback

High Plains Fandango

a play by

Red Shuttleworth

High Plains Fandango, Red Shuttleworth's play about the approach of water scarcity and the possible privatization of aquifers like the Ogallala Aquifer under the High Plains, is available as a paperback (cover photograph courtesy of Ed Kashi/VII) from Humanitas Media Publishing.  It can be ordered from Amazon.

Clayton Howe as "O'Garr" and Tony Taylor as "Ken Adams"
in the SUNY-Fredonia production of Red Shuttleworth's High Plains Fandango.

High Plains Fandango takes place in a small, withered cattle town in western Nebraska.  The citizens face a Faustian bargain for survival.

Commissioned in 2010 by the Theatre Arts Department at The State University of New York at Fredonia, High Plains Fandango was developed (with a public reading) by the Echo Theater Company of Los Angeles under the direction of Ethan Phillips.   High Plains Fandango, directed by Tom Loughlin, premiered at SUNY-Fredonia on February 24, 2012.

 Red Shuttleworth

Red Shuttleworth, poet and playwright, named by True West magazine "Best Living Western Poet" in 2007, is a three-time winner of the Spur Award (from Western Writers of America) for Poetry.  His plays have been presented widely in both professional and academic venues, including at The Foothill Theatre (CA), Spirit of the Horse Theatre (MN), Sundance Playwrights Lab, The Sun Valley Festival of New Western Drama, and the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival.

Monday, October 5, 2015

SLIPSTREAM Features a Ciara Shuttleworth Poem

Cover of Slipstream #35/2015... an Annual Poetry Journal


Presents a Ciara Shuttleworth Poem

Slipstream, edited by Robert Borgatti, Livio Farallo, and Dan Sicoli, an annual poetry magazine published in Niagara Falls, New York, has included Ciara Shuttleworth's Electric like Lightening in the 2015 issue.

Ciara Shuttleworth at Jack Kerouac House, Orlando, Florida, 2015
(photo by Drew Perlmutter)

Ciara Shuttleworth's poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and The Southern Review.

The 51st Writer-in-Residence for the Kerouac Project in Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year, Ciara Shuttleworth is now Executive Director of Columbia Basin Allied Arts in Washington State.

Ciara Shuttleworth in Jack Kerouac's old chair
at Jack Kerouac House, Orlando, Florida, 2015.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

HIGH PLAINS FANDANGO: Paperback Edition of Red Shuttleworth's play

High Plains Fandango

a play by

Red Shuttleworth

Red Shuttleworth's hoof-to-the-teeth High Plains Fandango, a play about the coming scarcity of water and the potential privatization of the Ogallala Aquifer below the High Plains, is now a paperback book, published by Humanitas Media Publishing, and is available from Amazon.

Clayton Howe (as O'Garr) and Tony Taylor (as Ken Adams)
in Red Shuttleworth's High Plains Fandango

Described as a tragi-comedy by Dr. Jerry L. Crawford, Dean Emeritus of The College of Fellows of the American Theatre at The Kennedy Center, predicated by water scarcity being the world's must critical future security issue, High Plains Fandango depicts the inhabitants of one small western Nebraska town's Faustian bargain amidst the impending business interests of attempting water privatization of the Ogallala Aquifer.

Red Shuttleworth

Red Shuttleworth, named by True West magazine "Best Living Western Poet" in 2007, is a three-time winner of the Spur Award from Western Writers of America.  His plays have been presented widely in both professional and academic venues, including at The Foothill Theatre (CA), Spirit of the Horse Theatre (MN), Sundance Playwright Lab, The Sun Valley Festival of New Western Drama, and the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival.

Claire Elise Walton (as DQ) and Andrew Albigese (as Moss)
in the SUNY-Fredonia production of High Plains Fandango

The State University of New York at Fredonia presented the premiere production of High Plains Fandango on Friday, February 24, 2012.  It was directed by Tom Louglin.

Jessica Drew-Cates (as Aquinas)
in the SUNY-Fredonia production of High Plains Fandango

Prior to its premiere at SUNY-Fredonia, Red Shuttleworth's High Plains Fandango received development and a reading from the Echo Theater Company of Los Angeles, directed by Ethan Phillips.

Ethan Phillips and Red Shuttleworth
during the development of High Plains Fandango
by the Echo Theater Company of Los Angeles
(Burbank, California, March 2011)

Friday, September 18, 2015

CAMPSITES OF GHOSTS: A Red Shuttleworth Poetry Chapbook

Campsites of Ghosts


Red Shuttleworth

From the middle weeks of the Summer 2015 fire season in central Washington State, five Red Shuttleworth poems are presented in Campsites of Ghosts, a limited edition Bunchgrass Press chapbook.

The poems featured in this chapbook are:

Crescent of Blood Where We Expect the Moon

Canal Road Southeast of Adrian,
Washington... Four Miles at Sunset

Smoke Shadows at Eye Level

Unfinished Works at Smoke/Haze Sunset


Campsites of Ghosts

Red Shuttleworth

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Change of Weather Night

Change of Weather Night

Shimmering emulation of life...
a couple million light years away.

Here it's erosive cell phones...
absence of bison-dream recall.

You coyote-stare at a slice
of a pulse-dead purple star.

You hanker for rabbit
stroganoff from an iron skillet.

The sky swirls black...
flowing ghost robes.

FINAL LIGHT OF DAY, A Red Shuttleworth Poetry Chapbook

Final Light of Day

poems by

Red Shuttleworth

East Low Canal Road, Southeast of Adrian, Washington
(a Red Shuttleworth photograph)

Final Light of Day, a limited edition Red Shuttleworth chapbook published by Bunchgrass Press, presents five poems:

Clapboard Day

First Cold Front of Summer

The Least Bit

Final Light of Day


Wildfire Smoke/Haze... Sky Smudges

Evening, Wildfire Smoke/Haze, Columbia Basin, Washington, Summer 2015
(a Red Shuttleworth photograph)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Midnight Gape

Midnight Gape


Legacy... leathery chestnut eyes

amid flickering candles....

You come to mind:
shaggy-feathered owl.

A generality of heydays
bleeds to a monochromatic blood-pool.


It's so easy to quote the sixties

from the pallor of Vogue girls...

(Idealized love poems
are for stucco hearts.)

throwback rock babes
explicit with whipped cream eggs.

Midnight Gape is included in Red Shuttleworth's collection of poems from the summer 2015 fire season in Washington State, Woe to the Land Shadowing (Humanitas Media Publishing, 2015), available on Amazon:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rattlesnake Sunfall

Rattlesnake Sunfall

Mysterious... savage...

glisten of setting
sun.. fangs...


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tall Corn, Blue Roses, Rusted Kids' Swing

Tall Corn, Blue Roses, Rusted Kids' Swing

Orange harvest-month candle
in a store window... a screw-up
former bank clerk selling bike chains,
used motel soap bars, old screen doors:
you drive through town, at the limit.

A box of black & white negatives,
loose postcards from Copenhagen,
North Platte, an Elko whorehouse,
dusty-drops from a closet shelf.

Strangers with slices of blood-cake...
Against sleep, you begin to write
a snakebite, no anti-venom available,
one-act play: it's someone's birthday.
A shortage of prom queen pedestals....

You daydream yourself an airport
beside a leafy river... locust thorn trees.
You stroll a farm sale: old implements,
bulge-eyed children hacking thistle....

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mirror-Distorted Pastoral Dream

Mirror-Distorted Pastoral Dream

Phone rings... dice shake in a plastic cup:
you learn there's yellow-gold sky over Vegas.
Crushed cigarette packs, forced smiles,
grimy used-before wedding rice:
the lonesome of memory-left-behind.

You listen, drawn-in: someone's else's stroke,
someone else's dialysis, a friend too rickety
to shuffle across a living room without falling.

Now you grip a fistful of volcanic ash
from three-inches below surface soil.
Now your blood is sober... no conclusion.

Phone is silent.  Your knee-high,
mule-eared Tony Lama boots scuff hardwood.
The window is open to drought-tough sagebrush
to coyote scream, to blacktop a mile or two
closer to some ditch wreck... to Nevada.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gravel over Rock

Gravel over Rock

Deadbone humor... broke-mirror ghosts...
black sunshine on the moon,
concussions... hemorrhages ahead...
if cheap-luck doesn't change.

Almost night... goddess-headed
sagebrush comes alive with rising coyotes.

You are kicked over sober
these months... manic note taker,
mailer of crumple-corner postcards.

Shot glass of bourbon skipped,
you thin-slice a banana... top it
with midnight's whipped cream.
Seventy, you claim you're youngish?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Hundreds of Miles Between

Hundreds of Miles Between

Pamphlet-speak: grassland-ruined-to-sagebrush.
You're driving... loose, a silhouette of youth.
A singer on CD boasts bar fight... lost love.


Deep blue sky over cast iron clouds.
Ages of anxiety... ages of aggression: no rain.
Another coyote September, non-Alpha pups
sent loping off, no-pack nomads... hungry.


Wind-blown splinter off an old corral board,
you're safe from bank vault gloss... employment.
You're on-the-scout for a whiskey-'n-rainwater.


Black-'n-starry cosmos, click-'n-ping satellites...
memory of cowtown gospel-pink topless angels.
Twenty-four years past broke-crystal-ball Vegas...
you night drive... shard-glass steering wheel.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ephemeral Sky... Evening

Ephemeral Sky... Evening

Miles north of the last patchy lawn
of a shrub steppe town, a hapless
flock of chalk-yellow birds....

Gentle early September wind
and you suffer a stainless steel
daydream as you bridge-rattle
across an irrigation canal.

Wood power poles stride
toward the fiery north...
pop of arthritic spines.

In the southbound lane,
store-fresh, bakery-wrapped,
hotdog buns on blacktop...
not quite road kill... not yet.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Thin Strips of Bed Sheet Tied to Barb Wire

Thin Strips of Bed Sheet Tied to Barb Wire

Out back of a boarded trailer,
scattered deer bones from poach years,
bright tricycle bars
poking up from drought grass,
a no-engine, no-tires Econoline Van....

There are worse places to drink.
A wife blowd bath tub bubbles,
manic hums, starts scissoring more
than colored paper cut-out dolls.
But you follow her to Gilroy.

Paved road, nearly eight acres,
good well, stove not used
in the last good dozen years.
Jaundice yellow-gray sky.
Call realtor before looking.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Always Trying to Make Country Singer Parallels

Always Trying to Make Country Singer Parallels

Brief reunions... old lovers at sunset:
1980's radio static, medicinal-purpose whiskey,
echo-drip of a missile silo pipe thirty miles east.

If showers from the Pacific weaken...
in case... in case Chelan fully burns.
you work toward a palette of smoke colors:
raccoon-blood smoke... lemon-sky haze.

Night-grazing horses, baled alfalfa
a mile west in pie crust light...
nothing explains pebbles in running shoes
or how far you keep at a stutter-jog before....

Or the lovers are honorary mayors
in rubble-thick villages, age-withered...
with gold cardboard keys to nothing.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

THE SEVENTH WAVE, A Red Shuttleworth One-Poem Chapbook

The Seventh Wave

a one-poem chapbook

Red Shuttleworth

The Seventh Wave, a poem first presented on this blog in 2011, slightly tinkered with, is presented by Bunchgrass Press as a limited edition chapbook.

On the Road, Milford to Ely....

Red Shuttleworth
ready for the next road trip....