Few poets have examined so poignantly the strange concatenations of history and contemporary experience that typify the modern West, or the ways that animals, wild and domestic, share our human space. Nor have the enduring pleasures of home--the burned cookies, rumpled sheets, and dreaming children--been explored with quite the same wisdom and affection.
What People are Saying About This
Paul Zarzyski, author of All This Way for the Short Ride
Reading Western Settings is akin to sitting in on a game of gentleman's poker with Hickok-'n'-Holliday, Waylon-'n'-Willie, Bukowski-'n'-Brautigan at the Bucket of Blood Saloon in Virginia City on a Sunday afternoon. Red Shuttleworth's poems are whiskey-throated and squinty-eyed. Yet, when the blue smoke clears, you'll find that this is a book about family and friends, about love and legends nurtured in, and by, the big two-hearted rural West.
Gary Gildner, author of The Bunker in the Parsley Fields
Western Settings would make one high-spirited film, if there were a film-maker around smart and high-spirited enough for the job, which there probably isn't; so it will most likely remain an entertaining, myths-and-legends-bumping, hard-nosed, sage-smelling, hilarious, even tender oh yes, even sweet ride of a book, by a poet not to be found among the fussy hedge-carvers or with the fid-fingered chest-thumpers, either. Here's to Red Shuttleworth, mixing it up.
Kirk Robertson, author of Just Past Labor Day
Red Shuttleworth's poems sit smack dab in the heart of the American west and they duct-tape together past and present outlaws who will never get caught or lost, and the knotted high desert skies and silent alfalfa bales of country music. In them you'll find Wyatt Earp, Jesse James and Belle Starr intertwined with Guy Clark, hookers from Pahrump and the loving rituals of a family life that stretches from Nebraska to Vegas. Like Cormac McCarthy, Red fuses the adolescent hope of a tick seeking fresh blood with the certain knowledge that age is not a ripening. In his landscape of terrible beauty lies the recognition that while you might not be able to go back, you sure as hell can go on.