Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials
A 2016 Southwest Book of the Year
Texas, with its expansive geography, offers thousands of spontaneous roadside memorials, usually marked by small metal crosses. The prominent display of these iconic white crosses, some with accumulated mementoes, is often ignored by motorists. Yet these roadside memorials are invitations to pause, invitations to ponder the meaning of life and death.
Vanishing Points (Texas Review Press, 2016) responds to these invitations with a volume of stunning black and white photographs of these Texas roadside memorials with accompanying poems written by some of the state’s finest poets.
Vanishing Points is edited by Sarah Cortez with original poems by Larry D. Thomas, Jack B. Bedell, Sarah Cortez, and Loueva Smith. The driving force behind Vanishing Points is the gorgeous photography of roadside memorials taken over a ten-year period in the San Antonio-Austin area by Dan Streck. His photographs offer a richness of composition and emotional texture with breathtaking landscapes and skyscapes which soar into the reader’s memory through the book’s graphic design by award-winning artist Nancy J. Parsons.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Bedell is the recipient of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Humanist of the Year award and the Governor’s Award for Artistic Achievement; he is a three-time finalist for Louisiana Poet Laureate.
Sarah Cortez is a Councilor of the Texas Institute of Letters and Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Winner of the PEN Texas Literary Award, she has placed finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas awards and the PEN Southwest Poetry Awards. She has won the Southwest Book Award, multiple International Latino Book Awards, and the Skipping Stones Honor Award. She is a featured expert on the American Trigger Sports Network and both a Houston and Texas recent finalist for poet laureate.
Loueva Smith is the winner of the 2015 Robert Phillips Chapbook Prize awarded by Texas Review Press.
Larry D. Thomas, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, served as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate. He has won two Texas Review Poetry Prizes, two Western Heritage Awards (National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum), the Violet Crown Book Award (Writers’ League of Texas), a Violet Crown Book Awards Special Citation, a nomination for the 2007 Poets’ Prize (Nicholas Roerich Museum), and eight Pushcart Prize nominations.
The Visual Artists
Dan Streck began photography in college. After pursuing a career in healthcare management, Streck became a full-time motorsports photographer. More recently, he has shifted his attention to African wildlife. His African wildlife photographs have been published in Africa Geographic.
Graphic artist Nancy J. Parson brings her award-winning skills to perfectly meld photography with poetry in this landmark volume’s design and layout. She has won an Award of Merit from the International Design Conference, four Telstar Awards for Excellence in Communications, six Catalyst Communication Awards, and a Texas Alliance for Education Arts Award. In fine art, she has won awards in Professional Oil Painting, the Lone Art Guild Exhibition-2015, Texas Fine Art Association’s State of Texas Touring Show, and many others, including participation in juried shows.
Texas Review Press is affiliated with Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, specializing in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from Texas and the Deep South.
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Publication Date: November 2016
List Price: $22.95