MD, January 09, 2018 --(PR.com)-- The William Meredith
Foundation is proud to present the 2018 Award in Poetry
to James Beall, physicist, poet, and professor at St.
John's College in Annapolis. The award has no application
process, but comes to the author unsolicited in the spirit
of generosity that informed Williams interactions
with the world of poetry when he judged competitions and
supported new talent. A working association with Meredith
is not a pre-requisite for awardees, but in Jim Bealls
case, their history as colleagues makes this years
award particularly fitting and adds a particular glow
to the serendipitous decision on the part of the board
of directors in choosing Beall. The Meredith Award is
only one of the artistic projects supported by the foundation
to continue the legacy of this great American spirit,
and in this case, recognizes these brothers in the art.
1978, Beall approached William at a poetry reading at
the Folger Library while Jim was a Congressional Science
Fellow at the Office of Technology Assessment for the
U.S. Congress. Their collaboration led to The Science
and Literature Symposium in 1981, with Beall as co-moderator.
The program featured lectures by the the Nobel Laureate
in Chemistry, George Wald, O.B. Hardison (then director
of the Folger Library), Sir Fred Hoyle, Gerry Pournelle,
and Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame, among many others.
Beall is an astrophysicist, poet, and author on issues
related to public policy and national defense. He holds
the degrees of B.A. , M.S., and Ph.D, all in physics.
He is a member of the faculty at St. Johns College
in Annapolis, Maryland, and a senior consultant to the
U.S. Government. His first book, HICKEY, THE DAYS was
published in 1981 by Word Works, and his second book,
Republic was published by Toad Hall Press in 2010. The
Italian translation, Repubblica, translated by Sabine
Pascarelli was published by Toad Hall Press in 2013. Onyx
Moon is his third book published by New Academia Press,
a very fine publisher that can hang this title high on
their wall of honor.
rain, volcanoes, jungles, and mountains, appear throughout
his poetry, and like Audubon he paints his subjects with
exactitude of color and precision of detail. Stars shine
brilliantly throughout ONYX MOON as one would expect from
a physicist. In his poem, The Fire on Magdalena
Mountain, he recounts travel to the large array
of radio telescopes near Soccoro, New Mexico:
are like flowers tracking a dark sun.
Those distant instruments listen to the sibilant
stars, stars that mimic no human speech. It is a sound
similar to the wind blowing across old ruins,
a level just beneath hearing, that conjures
beyond our capacity to understand or comprehend.
Bealls work is at first an enigma. What to make
of his challenging vision, his unique voice, the round-about
syntax, his penchant for unfamiliar diction, his seemingly
schizophrenic take on the world. For here is a poet blessed
with double vision, a man who sees the world with both
brain and heart, who is fully at home in his bicameral
mind, scientist and mystic at once.
we see both the careful scientific method of observation
leading to a thesis as well as the appreciation of synchronicity
that informs the reality of a Reike practitioner or a
shaman. The two chevrons, orange-red on a blackbirds
wings at Gettysburg mirror the late sun, the way the speeches
of Pericles or Lincoln help his imaginary listeners understand
Military Intelligence, soldiers digging a
foxhole will make of his or her small space/ a home
of sorts, as carefully in place/ as any nest or den the
animals/or insects in their pantomime of thought/ would
take as ease. The soldiers here imitate the creatures
around them as do the creatures imitating thought.
and critics have sung Jim Bealls praises over the
years, but one thinks of Josephine Jacobsens poem,
her shock and pleasure when she comes across a real poet,
or Emily Dickenson who says you feel like the top of your
head has been taken off when you meet the real McCoy.
Here he is. The Foundation is so proud to celebrate this
rising star, shining among us. As Dr. Spock would say,
live long and prosper James Beall.
of this award comes on January 9th, the ninety-ninth anniversary
of Merediths birth and 11 years after his death