The Desert Changed My Life. It Can Change Yours, Too.
An Interview with Chris Dettwyler
A couple of weeks ago, I met Chris Dettwyler. And I met him again a week ago over three days in the hot, dry, sun–dry, sun–dry heat of the Mojave Desert.
Dettwyler is a “writer of many voices,” according to his publisher at St. Martin’s Press. There is his poetry in Black Warrior Review, his prose in American Poetry Review, and some of his short stories in the anthology, The Lost World of the Middle East. He’s also the author of five books of poetry (The Desolation of the Heart: Prose Poems, The Desert Changes My Life: Poetry, The Desert Changes Everything: Poems, The Desert Changes My Life: Selected Poems, and The Desert Changes My Life: Poems and Other Essays). He’s the author of several other books of poetry, mostly in his “Maldorin-Wright-Stokes” vein, and he is also the editor of the poetry collection, “The Desolation of the Heart.”
While we met in the Mojave Desert, we had a bit of a problem. When I asked Dettwyler if he would read an excerpt from his recent poetry collection, The Lost World of the Middle East, I sent an e-mail to him explaining what I hoped we would do and that our second meeting was in order.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it was an excellent meeting indeed. Dettwyler read with great appreciation, and I found him even more interesting than I had found him previously.
In his introduction to The Lost World of the Middle East, he wrote:
It is a measure of the author’s talent and depth of his thought that despite his apparent maturity in literary life–as if he hadn’t been studying English