Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Drummond Hadley

Drummond Hadley has lived and worked over forty years along the Mexico-New Mexico-Arizona border as a cowboy and rancher. He is most recently the author of Borderlands and The Light Before Dawn, plus a handful of strategic books of poetry and song. Drum founded the Animas Foundation, which supports sustainable agriculture in step with the environment. He is also a founding member of the Malpai Borderlands Group, a community-based ecosystem management project. He lives in the Arizona-New Mexico borderlands, when not tucked away in the James Fenimore Cooper region of New York State.

Thinking of Drummond Hadley

I first met Drummond Hadley about a quarter century ago when we drove from Vermont into New York State to hear him read with mutual friend Jim Koller. Both poets spaced their readings nicely, revealing their long friendship, and I thought Drum that night sounded like Jimmy Stewart.

Our next 'meeting' was when my book of poems
Where Rivers Meet was published and I don't know how Drum got a copy but he got a copy and he called me from his southwestern ranch. He told me it was on his cellphone and he had driven to the highest point he could find on the land where he was working, standing outside of his pickup truck and he wanted to tell me what the book of poems meant to him. Certainly memorable to me.

The third time was just yesterday when Jim Koller was visiting here and wanting to go over to New York State to visit with Drummond. He was concerned about his old friend's health. We all are, too.