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Woven Words: Poetry of the Sonoran Desert

The distance in between us was a third animal.
Photos by Don Knight

Mountain Woodlands: Great Horned Owl Mask by Beckie Kravetz, poem inside by Alberto Alvaro Ríos

The distance
in between us
was a third animal.

(from the poem “Why Animals Stay Away”)

Of Interest

In the Mountain Woodlands exhibit, the speaker in this poem attempts to communicate with an owl. This excerpt from the poem alludes to the distance between the speaker and the owl. The excerpt is presented on the inside of a Great Horned Owl mask made by mask artist Beckie Kravetz. A great question for interpretation: What is that third animal?

Alberto Alvaro Ríos was born on September 18, 1952, in Nogales, Arizona. He received a BA degree in 1974 and an MFA in creative writing in 1979, both from the University of Arizona. Since 1994 he has been Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University in Tempe, where he has taught since 1982.

Mountain Woodlands: Ringtail Mask by Beckie Kravetz, poem inside by Eric Magrane

Of course a poem is not human
A poem is its own animal

Eric Magrane is a poet and geographer. He is Poet in Residence at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and is the founding editor of Spiral Orb.

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