Mixed-media collage by Skyler Lovelace (2017), inspired by
“Piatt Street, 1965” by Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Collaborative photo-poem copyrighted © 2017 by Lovelace and Dean.
All rights reserved.
—Previously published in 2017 by River City Poetry for their
Wichita Broadside Project, which features “dynamic
collaborations between Wichita Poets and Artists.” Artwork appears here with
permissions from both the artist and the poet.
Piatt Street, 1965*
Hell that winter
fell in black and white
singed our Sylvanias
smudged our special editions
white jet fuel tongues licked
black smoke streets where
no one we knew ever ventured just a
mile two miles over we heard the boom
tires houses families we’d never
Oh the Negroes Oh my father wept
two months later Bloody Sunday
someone else’s families Oh my father said
in black and white turning off the set
—Poem and author’s note were published in Dean’s collection of poems
At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018); both appear here with his
is an artist in Wichita, Kansas who works in paints, pixels, and words. The midwestern
landscape and wildlife, including bison, are frequent subjects in her work. Her
literary work has been published in Poetry Magazine, Cutbank, and River
City Poetry. Her photographs and paintings have appeared in The Georgia Review,
Essay Daily, and KYSO Flash.
An expanded bio and her portfolio are available at:
The Mystery of Disappearing Bees, photo-poem with visual art by
Skyler Lovelace and poetry by Roy J. Beckemeyer, reprinted in KYSO Flash
(Summer 2019) from River City Poetry and the Wichita Broadside Project
Flint Hills Night Burn, an acrylic painting by Skyler
Lovelace in KYSO Flash (Issue 11, Spring 2019).
is the author of two full-length books: The Aerialist Will Not Be Performing, ekphrastic poems and short fictions after the art of Steven Schroeder (Turning Plow Press, 2020), and a poetry collection, At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018). His chapbook, Pulp, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in July 2022.
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2019 and multiple times for Best of the Net, his work has appeared in Chiron Review; Flint Hills Review; Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance & Solidarity; I-70 Review; Illya’s Honey; KYSO Flash; MacQueen’s Quinterly; MockingHeart Review; October Hill Magazine; Red River Review; River City Poetry; Sheila-Na-Gig online; Shot Glass; The Ekphrastic Review; Thorny Locust; and the Wichita Broadside Project.
A native Kansan, Dean studied music composition with Dr. Walter Mays at Wichita State University before going on the road as a bass player, conductor, and arranger; he was a professional musician for 30 years, playing with acts such as Jesse Lopez, Bo Didley, Frank Sinatra Jr., Vic Damone, Jim Stafford, Kenny Rankin, B. W. Stevenson, and the Dallas Jazz Orchestra. And he put in a stint with the house band at the Fairmont Hotel Venetian Room in Dallas. While living in Dallas, he also worked 20 years for The Dallas Morning News and made the transition from music to writing before moving back to Kansas in 2007.
Dean is a member of the Kansas Authors Club and The Writers Place, and the event coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music, held annually in Wichita, Kansas. He lives in Augusta, Kansas, along with a universe of books, CDs, LPs, an electric bass, and a couple dozen hats. In his spare time, he practices the time-honored art of hermitry.
Hopper and Dean: Interview and poems in River City Poetry
Metal Man, ekphrastic poem inspired by a 1955 photograph of
Dean’s paternal grandfather in the Boeing machine shop; published in
The Ekphrastic Review (28 July 2018) and nominated for Best of the Net.
Two of Dean’s ekphrastic works in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 5,
October 2020): Impression, CNF after Berthe Morisot’s painting Woman and
Child on a Balcony; and
Eyes on You, a poem after Aurore Uwase Munyabera’s painting
Windmill, ekphrastic poem inspired by Dean’s maternal
grandfather; published in KYSO Flash (Issue 11, Spring 2019) and nominated
for the Pushcart Prize. This poem is among half-a-dozen of Dean’s ekphrastic
works published in KYSO Flash (Issues 11 and 12).
Llama, 1957, ekphrastic haibun inspired by Inge Morath’s
photograph A Llama in Times Square; published in The Ekphrastic
Review (13 January 2018).