Alumni Programs

Gary Feuerstein

Education

B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1973

Email

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Biographical Note

Gary Feuerstein died on June 30, 2010.

Here is his biographical note, in his own words:

In 1971, Evergreen's campus was mostly trailers and mud. I rented a room in Delphi valley from Evergreen art instructor Don Heard and family. Some 3 weeks after the start of school Don at the corner of Mud Bay Rd. and Overhulse, by the fire station inexplicably made a left turn in front of a on coming logging truck and was killed instantly. Don's widow left town for some months and it fell to me to care take the house and rent rooms. During my stay at the house in Delphi Valley the poet Gary Snyder came to Evergreen to give a reading. Jose Arguelles, lead instructor for the Man and Art program I was attending, approached  me with, "Gary Snyder wants to meet with the local poets. We could do it at my house or we could do it at your house, why don't you do it at your house." So about 20 of us gathered to meet with Gary. That evening changed my life. I had never met anyone who had the life energy and vitality that I saw in Gary. I had been warned that Gary was a hash critic, so i thought I'd read him my very best poem. He hated it (for good reason) and taught me to write not what was thinking but what i felt. He also urged us to get together on a weekly basis, read our poems, give comment, and when we had a group of poems we all felt good about, make a publication. He told us not to try and get money or approval from the college but just do it ourselves. So this was the start of the Delphi Valley poets. We met at my house in the Delphi Valley and we liked the allusion to the famous Oracle at Delphi, hence the name. We put together the Delphi Valley Review, paid for it ourselves, sold it, took the money from sales, bought many gallons of wine, and held a poetry reading for the whole school in the first floor lobby of the library. That is the story of the Delphi Valley poets.

Publication Type

Poetry

Latest Publication Title

A Dance with Cassandra

Publication Excerpt


The late summer grass has grown tall
And in a gentle breeze silently sways.
Growing shadows over the cut fields
The harvest is in. The grain silos full
My eyes swell and I can't see her any more.
The grass grew and now bends at the tops
With the weight of light brown seeds;
Everything grows to ripeness.
It pleases me, like the cool air that sometimes
Rises from the creek on a hot day to remember
The seeds promise next year's growth.

Time passes with soft tears
Or swollen creeks.
A silent breeze through the tall grass
Partners so willing to dance.