In this collection, you’ll find two versions of each poem, created by two poets sharing one voice in their own distinct way. A collaboration that experiments with editing and style by Merritt Waldon & Ron Whitehead.
“Oracles from a Strange Fire: poems by Merritt Waldon and Ron Whitehead was born out of an exchange between Ron Whitehead and me. Upon receiving a gift package of books and CDs from Ron, and in the spirit of free sharing between poets, I sent Ron a handful of poems. He told me he liked them, and that he had been editing them. His words were more than welcome as I have been scarcely published, and never edited. Then it came to me: what if a book was published of my original poems, along with Ron’s edited version. on opposite pages, or next to one another, similar to bilingual editions of poetry. Ron liked the idea so I selected random poems from the past five years and sent them to him. Ron’s edits grew. Two voices became one then another voice was born. And so the birth of my first published BOOK, an experiment in language in life in living in poetry, a joint collaboration between two poets on the opposite sides of the Ohio. I proudly present Oracles from a Strange Fire.” —Merritt Waldon
“Not long ago Merritt Waldon sent me four poems and asked me if I would read them and offer feedback. I edited two of them. Often, when I edit I end up losing myself and rewriting the poem(s). Merritt suggested we do a volume of his poems accompanied by my edits/transformations. In the midst of working on some other big projects I said HellYeah! A couple of weeks later, the Oracles from a Strange Fire collaboration was completed. Merritt’s poems are on the left hand page and my edits/transformations are on the right hand page.
I’m excited for Merritt on getting his first book accepted for publication. I’m honored to be part of it. Thank you to James Dennis Casey IV and Cajun Mutt Press for publishing this experiment in poetry. Language always has been and forever will be an experiment.”
—Ron Whitehead, Kentucky Outlaw Poet