has been publishing since the early
sixties with several books and chapbooks
in this century. He was born in Bakersfield,
California, and has lived most of his life in
the southern San Joaquin Valley, which
provides the setting for most of his poems.
Don and his wife Chris live on her family's
farm near Buttonwillow in the house
that has been home to four generations.
Contact Don at email@example.com
"...quiet, deeply compassionate and sensitive... Acute observations
and precisely-rendered language are strenghtened by metaphors that
are both apt and bold. Something quite remarkable and truly memorable
arises out of this combination."
-Gray Jacobik, Sunken Garden Poetry Prize Judge
"If there was an official poet laureate of the West, Don Thompson would
be my choice. For four decades he has reminded us what it means to be
alive out here, coping with a world we do not fully understand."
-Gerald Haslam, author of Straight White Male and
Leon Patterson: a California Story
"...full of meditative surprises... strikes to the heart of a thousand ordinary
things... all witnesses to the dusty struggle of human life in the San Joaquin."
-Paul J. Willis, author of Say This Prayer into the Past
He finds beauty in the San Joaquin's austere, often corporate fertility,
making room in his poems for its inescapable clouds of dust and fog.
Ironies and unsettled quests unfold with sharp-edged political, religious
and economic contexts. Man's place in nature becomes a model for
-Allan M. Jalon in the LA Times
Where We Live
Nocturnal creatures must teach their young
to be heard and not seen.
Coyotes yip to the east of us
and to the west, frogs beat their drums.
Somewhere to the south, a bird calls--
two thin, falling syllables
in a language we'll never know,
except for rough translations into loneliness.
Where we live, you have to listen hard
through cricket noise to hear yourself think.
I like that. For once, everything human
has to shut up and sit still.
You can't even hear the traffic on I5,
only a few miles to the northeast,
where big rigs drift by like ghosts with lanterns
trapped in a long, dark hallway.