David Chorlton

The celebrated Southwestern poet David Chorlton will return to ASA to read his poems at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (May 24). His presentation is entitled “Living With Fire: Translating Science and Passion.” It will feature Chorlton’s translations of the Austrian poet Christine Lavant. He will also read his original poems. He was last here in July 2015.

Chorlton was born in Austria and grew up in England. He spent his 20s in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in the late 1970s. In Arizona he has grown ever more fascinated by the desert and its wildlife. He has said, “I live with a European past, replete with memories of art galleries plus a love of music, and a present rooted in the Southwest desert.”

Much of his poetry reflects his growing concern for the natural world. His poem “Writing in the Desert” ends as follows:

          The longer you stay
          the shorter the book you came to write becomes
          until the manuscript fits on the wings
          of a moth. Each dusk, a lifetime’s work
          draws closer to the flame.


His poetry collections include A Normal Day Amazes Us, The Porous Desert, Waiting for the Quetzal, The Devil’s Sonata, and most recently, Bird on a Wire. The book David Chorlton: Selected Poems was published in 2014. His A Field Guide to Fire was part of the Fires of Change exhibition, a 2015 collaboration of artists and scientists addressing forest fire in the age of climate change.

Chorlton’s poems have appeared in many anthologies, literary  magazines, and newspapers. His writings and translations have been featured in state, national, and international publications. He has won numerous prizes and awards. His paintings have been exhibited in Austria and the U.S,  One of his poems was interred with seed from Arizona’s Boyce Thompson Arboretum at the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway.

Written by Nelson Hubbell, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event

Poet Discusses ‘Translating Science and Passion’: May 2018