Blue Notes – Brian Daldorph

Alum Brian Daldorph has had his sixth book of poetry published, entitled ‘Blue Notes’.

Brian studied English and American Literature from 1980-83 at Kent before doing graduate work in English at Illinois State University and the University of Illinois, graduating with a PhD in English in 1990.

Since 1990 he has been teaching at the University of Kansas and from 2001 he has been teaching as a “shadow career” in the U.S. prison system, recently completing a full-length manuscript on his experience, Words Is a Powerful Thing.

His most recent book ‘Blue Notes’ contains fifty poems about music of all kinds, starting with jazz and blues poems about Eric Dolphy, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis and Coltrane, each jazzman playing his own version of the American Dream. A poem too about bluesman Robert Johnson who was said to have sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the gift of music.

Eight poems about Johnny Cash, a singer with a special connection to American inmates because of his famous live albums recorded at San Quentin and Folsom prisons. In the final section, ‘Stars,’ poems about crooner Des O’Connor, Emmylou Harris, Dylan, the Beatles, Tim Buckley, Nick Drake, Hank Williams, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain.

Brian, always strongly influenced by music in his writing, hopes these poems will help readers find their way down Hank Williams’ lost highway.