Feature Poet 4: Henry Oso Quintero
Henry Oso Quintero is a very mean man. He likes guns. He lives alone a ranch outside of Tyrone, NM. He eats rabbit, and snake and horse meat regularly... Or so the Hollywood version of Henry's life would go. In reality Henry is a native New Mexican, from a generation of landed, college educated mestizos who annually reclaim their ancestral lands through rituals of poetry and song.
What I love most about Henry's poetry is that his wildness finds voice and purpose. It is a poetry that fuses hallucinogenic, altogether godly meditations with the heard and transcribed voices of the animal world made conscious.
In The Animal People, and in many other poems, Henry shows how the trans-psychic space of the American West exists anywhere that native space has been taken for granted or violated. His animals speak from their kingdom of atomic possibilities, each conditionally teaching us how to read the stars again, and how to follow their secret-sacred game trails at midnight. Henry has spent much of his life outside, on ranches and in the wildness exploring. It's no surprise that his poems take us deep into the wide sky and dark forests of Grant County, NM, and beyond.
Henry has published poems in the Antioch Review and the South Ash Press, among others. His chapbook, THE ANIMAL PEOPLE, is available from Dry Crik Press.
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