"I once included Harley Elliott in a group I referred to as
"Poets of the 6th Principle Meridian" (the north-south line
used as a base for the Public Land Survey System that laid
out the hatch-work of green and brown quadrangles we see
as we fly over heartland America). He has lived for many
years within a stone's throw of that meridian and his poems
often speak as straight as a section-line road about the beating
hearts of prairie denizens. The forms of the poems on the
pages of Creature Way put me in mind of that characterization;
short line lengths make the poems on their pages into graphic
depictions of prairie perspectives; apparently simple words
put together in what appear to be simple ways are revealed
by attentive reading to express insightful truths as inter-
twined and intense as the tillering subsurface webs that
sustain prairie grasses through drought and fire and flood.
You owe yourself this conversation with Harley Elliott."
-Roy Beckemeyer, Author of Mouth Brimming
Over (Blue Cedar Press, 2019)
"Few poets can meditate on a prairie scene (or any scene)
with Harley's wicked, intelligent wit. For instance, when
climbing through a barbwire fence following a lovely woman,
Harley writes, "If she turns and / parts the wires for you /
call the preacher." That's all Harley: voice and smarts and
humility and romance, all at once."
-Kevin Rabas (Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2017-
2019), All That Jazz
"Harley Elliott is a homespun philosopher with a gifted ear
and the heart of a laughing scavenger."
"Harley Elliott is the poet who made me want to be a poet.
His new book of revelations, Creature Way, continues to
interrogate the relationship between humans and other
living beings--including stones. The poem "Turquoise"
asserts, Some say it looks like sky. / Some say it is sky."
Artifice collapses. This is an essential book about the cosmos
from the poet who changed my life. "
-Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate