A Poetry Reading by Gailmarie Pahmeier
Join us for and evening of poetry with Nevada Poet Laureate
This event is free and open to the public.
GBAE is pleased to welcome Gailmarie to the backroom of the Martin Hotel to share her poetry, passion, and love of Nevada with us. She is currently serving a two-year appointment as the Poet Laureate of the state of Nevada. Her project Nevadan to Nevadan:What I Need to Tell You invites residents to share their Nevada voice and experience with each other.
Gailmarie Pahmeier, now Emeritus faculty, taught creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Widely published, she’s the author of three chapbooks and three full-length collections of poetry, the most recent being Of Bone, Of Ash, Of Ordinary Saints (WSC Press, 2020) which was nominated for the High Plains Book Award. In 2015, she was appointed Reno’s first Poet Laureate, in 2016 she was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, and in 2017, she was selected as Outstanding Teacher in the Humanities. In 2021, the governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, appointed her Poet Laureate, State of Nevada. In 2022, she was selected as a Laureate Fellow, Academy of American Poets.
Where Do You Go from Tonopah?
Because the Mizpah Hotel has claw foot tubs,
this is where you stop. This place has its own
ghost, a good story about The Lady in Red.
It’s said she was murdered here, discovered
by her husband in the arms of her young love.
She’d have lived to wear her lace and heels
if it hadn’t been for the train being late,
her husband missing his connection, stopping
in for a cold drink, seeing her, seeing him
ascend the steep stairs. In Nevada,
it’s always about trains, drinks, connections
missed and made and wholly imagined.
Because, you’re told, Tonopah is for those
with a thirst for adventure, you venture
into the Long Shot Bar, order steaks,
a fine red wine and, arguably, the best
margarita between Reno and Las Vegas,
listen to some old man chat up the young
couple from Henderson who say this is
the farthest north they’ve been, exploring
their new state, transplants from Atlanta.
The old man says this is the real Nevada,
but suggests they also make Elko, Winnemucca,
decent towns he’s fond of, would live in, given…
And because you love books and the beauty
of dust, you’ll spend hours wandering
the dense aisles of Whitney’s Bookshelf,
where paperbacks are a dollar hardbacks, two.
What you’ll take home is a first edition,
hardback, John Gardner’s On Moral Fiction.
Inside is a personal inscription, June 1978.
Bob, it says, keep writing in NYC. Thanks
for all your help these two years in Tonopah.
Best of luck. I’ll miss you here. Love Jack.
This event is made possible by support of Nevada Arts Council and funds donated in memory of Aliceann Doyle.