Poet David Chorlton, originally from Austria and England, and now 30 years an Arizonan, will share some of his vast and varied writings with an audience at the Arizona Senior Academy Great Room at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (July 30).
Chorlton is very much a poet of the desert: much of his work evokes—with a distinctive lyricism—the sights, voices and scents of the Sonoran desert we know. He is also a lover of animals, spending much of his time caring for a wide range of creatures from doves and a starling to cats. And besides the obvious present, his poetry consequently adds a certain dimension of time, calling to memory the people and animals that have inhabited this place from its beginnings.
Asked what kind of writing routine he follows, he said he tries to work daily, but poetry comes to him sometimes in almost subconscious ways (he told of a particularly productive bout of writing interspersed with watching the World Cup on television).
His reading preferences are as varied as his own work: among others, W. S. Merwin, Drummond Hadley, the Italian poet Eugenio Montale, and the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. He frequently reads and rereads some of their work, as well as looking for new discoveries. In addition, Chorlton had a life as an accomplished watercolorist who was never away from home without his sketchpad.
Chorlton’s Thursday reading is entitled, “Desert as a Second Language,” but he expects to shift gears at some point in the afternoon and share a somewhat different theme or perspective. Whatever the theme, he makes sure whatever he addresses—be it the trials of a harsh climate, the plight of the homeless, or the challenges of the people of the borderlands—is done with an artistic sensibility.
Written by Janet Kerans, Academy Village Volunteer