There is no finer teacher of writing than Richard Shelton. His wisdom and elegant use of diction encompass the lives of thousands of student writers over five decades, from Ai (Florence Haines) to Linda Ronstadt, back then a bright, chubby teenager who showed up barefooted to class. Richard and Lois brought Poetry to Tucson, with the support of Ruth Stephan. Kinnell, Merwin, Linda Pastan, Allen Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Mark Strand, Paul Zimmer, Diane Wakowski, Robert Frost, Leslie Silko, Richard Wright and hundreds of other poets came to the University of Arizona, under the aegis of the Ruth Stephan Poetry Center, under the Directorship of the magnificent, charming and brilliant Lois Shelton.
Richard's books, both poetry and prose, have inspired and continue to inspire so many. Each word having weight and meaning, well-thoughtout, measured, revised and ultimately brilliant. Great to note his most recent accomplishment, NOBODY RICH OR FAMOUS, a phrase taken from a poem about his father in THE TATTOOED DESERT. Like the desert he lives in, Richard Shelton survives, and through his decades of compassion and dedication, he has made the difference in hundreds of lives, forcing humanity, without thinking about consequences, in the right direction.... into the light.
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