Rick Marlatt

Poet and Professor in English Language Arts and Literacy, Director of the School of Teacher Preparation, Administration, and Leadership, New Mexico State University. Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Rick's poetry lets him express his loves - of land, of family, of friends, the changing seasons, and of boots. He always uncovers the paradox of the simplicity and complexity of ordinary lives found in that love. "For me, trying to write a poem can be like the experience of trying to meditate." ~ Rick Marlatt.

Rick Marlatt is one the shining stars of University of Nebraska at Kearney’s English department. Not to be confused with his father Rick Marlatt who is a shining star among Kearney’s theatre personalities over the years, Rick the younger is one of our own who stepped into the bigger world.

Dr. Rick Marlatt, Professor of English Language Arts and Literacy, currently serves as Director of the School of Teacher Preparation, Administration, and Leadership within the College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation at New Mexico State University. He received Digital Learning’s Leading the Way Award in 2020, was nominated for the Patricia Christmore Teaching Award in 2019, and received the College of Education’s Emerging Scholar Award in 2018. Marlatt received his MFA from the University of California, Riverside and his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

His work bridges the fields of teacher education, creative writing, digital literacies, literature study, and sociocultural theory. His recent interests include the cultivation of critical digital pedagogy in secondary English, incorporation of poetry writing into preservice teacher education, and the implementation of video games and virtual reality technology to enhance adolescent literature study and literacy identities. His most recent work appears in English Education, Research in the Teaching of English, English Journal, Journal of Education, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and Action in Teacher Education.

He is also the author of three poetry collections: November Father, from Finishing Line Press; Desired Altitude, winner of the Standing Rock Cultural Arts Poetry Award, and How We Fall Apart, winner of the Seven Circle Press Poetry Award. His latest co-edited book, Teaching for Equity, Justice, and Antiracism with Digital Literacy Practices, is forthcoming from Taylor & Francis in 2023. He has been a faculty member at NMSU since 2017.

Truth or Consequences

The trick is to always dream of water
with your arms east and west
your face under the sky

When the blue rain comes at night
the circles we formed in the sand
will sing and vanish

In its swirling orbit the tumbleweed
dances with no origin story
so has no fear of an end

Stand tall before the skeleton tree
and chant about
the simple

You are always at the place
the trails we traced
in your palm led

Pluck your stone from my back
carry it until your eyes
no longer burn

Leave me here in the white desert
where I can see the sugar
that she makes

I will walk toward the mountain
cowering with one partner
in a storm of soft ash

I will hold your voice in my pocket
because there is always
nothing to say

Enjoy your red beard while it lasts
like love it will winter on you
in a whisper

Written by Kate Benzel and Chuck Peek
* "Truth and Consequences" not yet published
* Photo by Kina Marlatt

People: Rick Marlatt Categories: Literature