Moffeit, Tony A. 1942-
MOFFEIT, Tony A. 1942-
PERSONAL: Born March 14, 1942, in Claremore, OK; son of Archie and Virginia (Bell) Moffeit; married 1962; wife's name Diana (divorced); children: Miles. Education: Oklahoma State University, B.S. (psychology), 1964; University of Oklahoma, M.L.S., 1965.
ADDRESSES: Home—1501 East Seventh, Pueblo, CO 81001. Offıce—University of Southern Colorado Library, 2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, CO 81001. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Central State University, Edmond, OK, reference librarian, 1967-71; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, archivist, 1971-74; Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, social sciences librarian, 1974-76; University of Southern Colorado Library, Pueblo, department chair, library services and poet-inresidence, 1976—; Oklahoma Dept. of Libraries, Oklahoma City, field librarian, 1965-67. Board of directors, University Press of Colorado; director, Pueblo Poetry Project.
AWARDS, HONORS: Jack Kerouac Award, Cherry Valley Editions, 1986, for Pueblo Blues; National Endowment for the Arts Writer's fellowship, 1992; Thomas Hornsby Ferril Poetry Prize, Denver Press Club, 1997; Provost's Award for Excellence in Scholarship, University of Southern Colorado, 2000.
Pueblo Blues, Cherry Valley Editions (Cherry Valley, NY), 1986.
Luminous Animal, Cherry Valley Editions (Cherry Valley, NY), 1989.
Poetry Is Dangerous: The Poet Is an Outlaw, Floating Island Publications, 1995.
(With Kyle Laws) Tango, Kings Estate Press, 1997.
Midnight Knocking at the Door, Ye Olde Font Shoppe, 1998.
Contributor to periodicals, including Chiron Review, Poetry Motel, Abbey, Bogg, Bloomsbury Review, Butcher's Block, and Atom Mind.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Outlaw Blues (poetry), Butcher's Block Press.
SIDELIGHTS: Tony A. Moffeit told CA: "There is something mystical about being a poet. Something magical and yet ghostlike in creating words which express who and what you are, your inner self, your poetic self. Words, language, rhythms, images are communicated in a kind of ghost language, so that there is a kind of mystical connection between poet and reader. The unconscious comes into play, the dreamlife comes into play, there is a magical transformation of syntax, so that communication takes place between dreamworld and dreamworld. It is this talking in ghost language, talking with the ghosts, which is my primary motivation for writing.
"Who or what particularly influences my work? Those poets who write in a kind of ghost language: Federico García Lorca, d. a. levy, Robert Desnos, and Friedrich Nietzsche. The lyricism and rhythms of the blues. Performers of song and poetry: Mick Jagger, Jack Micheline, Elvis Presley. The actor James Dean. Those huge energetic yea-sayers of life: Neal Cassady, Henry Miller, Walt Whitman. Zen Buddhism. Surrealism. The Beats.
"My writing process involves getting in tune with the ghost energy. This may come about through an old blues, through an old movie, or through silence. Getting in touch with the inner depths, a kind of seance. A line from another poet. A song off the radio. The pure connection with the unconscious. A wave of pure electricity so that the poem almost writes itself. The blues, New Orleans, and voodoo have been a super-charged inspiration. Visiting New Orleans, meeting the Chickenman, the oldest and the greatest of the Voodoo Kings, listening to the blues on street corners, soaking in all the mystery and ambience of the French Quarter. I am a blues singer as well as poet, so that the energy of the blues is soaked into my work. The West: Taos, New Mexico, Billy the Kid, the outlaw spirit, independence, wide open spaces, going your own way, all these come from growing up and living in the West. This obsession with liberty is not only American, but a product of the West. Creating one's own laws, creating oneself."