Geography

New Poetry

Poetry - General
100 Pages
Reviewed on 02/06/2014
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Author Biography

Richard Pacheco is an award winning playwright, poet, artist, journalist, filmmaker, actor and educator. His play “Happily Ever After” was given an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest script competition. He is a SAG-AFTRA actor and also performs onstage. He was a finalist in the grant competition in playwrighting for the Massachusetts Artists Foundation (1976) and recipient of an ARTA (American Regional Theatre Award) best new play award in 1986.
His plays have received staged readings and performances at Playwright’s Platform, Culture Park and other venues. He was mentored in poetry by Daisy Alden and George W. Hayden, two Pulitzer Prize nominees. He was a finalist in the Boston Theatre Marathon several times.. He has acted in over 30 plays and acts in film and television as well. He holds a BFA in painting and an MFA in art education/printmaking from U. Mass. Dartmouth.
He wrote for the New Bedford Standard-Times for 23 years as arts writer of features and critiques on dance, drama, music an the visual arts. He was the only freelance writer to write investigative journalism for them in their entire history since 1850.
The city of New Bedford recognized his contributions to the arts with a special award.
He taught for 33 years in the New Bedford public school system, teaching everything from general art, to pottery, crafts, printmaking, sculpture, photography, computer graphics and web design. He was a single parent of three children, Joel, Jennifer, and Jonathan.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tim Dalgleish for Readers' Favorite

From the opening poem of this collection (‘Geography’) you know you are in the hands of a cultured, knowledgeable and thoughtful poet. Richard Pacheco knows art is about ‘vanishing points.’ Artists, like poets, direct their audience, as Auden might say, even to the quiet corners of the picture. Richard Pacheco has collected sixty-five poems for this Free Verse canvas (with the occasional rhyme). His style is engaging, cultured but not obscure, gently humorous and wry. Quite a number of the poems are one-line miniatures such as ‘Remains’ about a postcard in a puddle, or the William Carlos Williams-esque ‘shaped’ poem, ‘The Night Sky.’ The subject matter is nicely varied. There is the standard fare of Love (and separation), death (Lazarus in hospital), and beauty (half a dozen poems on specific artists).

Geography also has wittily irreligious poems (‘My Son First learnt of God’) – in which the son realizes he can switch out the light! - or the more serious ‘Vietnam Hero,’ but all have an easy-going, almost conversational style e.g. ‘Eh Henri [Matisse]…’, ‘Well, Max [Beckman]…’, ‘Will I find it in a Cosmo interview?’, ‘So Freud, what say you?’ etc. Pacheco’s poems have gently beautiful lines: ‘Your heart is a deserted alley/endorsed by the dust/of your failed dreams’ or ‘Exposing their nerves and secrets/Like peeled oranges’ and ‘I stitched tight/my pockets of grief.’ However, Pacheco generally doesn’t stray too far from simply telling amused, ironic narratives. This collection isn’t exactly a single picture (except in tone), but rather a series of occasional life studies.