In Socorro, poet and non-fiction author Tony Reevy (Old North, Passage) revisits his childhood hometown, Socorro, New Mexico. Although the largest community for miles in any direction, Socorro is haunted by its past, and by legends stemming from its combined Native American-Hispanic-Anglo heritage. Reevy’s poems explore a childhood on the edge of the desert, view legends and legendary figures such as La Llorona and Elfego Baca, and then look back at these experiences from an adult point-of-view. In Southwestern towns like Socorro, where the sidewalks are still marked “WPA 1935”, the past, and even the supernatural, never seem far away.
Praise for Socorro
Tony Reevy nails it in his new book, Socorro, that is, the Southwest, its arid land and sunlight, the encrustations of culture enameling the rites of Hispanic and Anglo and Indio cultures, overlapping and creating brocaded weavings of cultural rites, the feel of life, the humming of the landscape. Mr. Reevy has captured it, almost impossible to do, but with his words and poetic sensibility, he triumphs!
A beautiful book of poetry, one you’ll go back to again and again to read and recommend to others.
—Jimmy Santiago Baca
In Socorro, Tony Reevy’s poems start with rich, concrete narratives of his boyhood in a high desert town in New Mexico. Abandoned mines, herbal cures, ghost stories and a bear outside a sleeping tent all serve to help story bring legends to life in a land rich with history, mystery and too often blood. I am reminded that Georgia O’Keefe described the winter landscape of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains as The Far Away Nearby. The legends and dreamscapes that complete the collection, shaped by a strong personal voice, give readers a true sense of place in a complex, diverse culture with a past filled with both sorrow and beauty.
I have admired Tony Reevy’s poems since I joined his love of trains and railroads—and now—what relief Socorro brings to my childhood, prompted by memories Reevy mimes in imaginative longings to keep his biography in place, secure in dreams and legends, summer storms and clay-dollops, in coyotes sniffing whatever poetry is, right here in—Socorro.
—Shelby Stephenson, Poet Laureate of North Carolina