ABOUT Jim LaVilla-Havelin


Jim LaVilla Havelin pictureb

Jim LaVilla-Havelin is the author of three previous books of poems: Rites of Passage(Charon Press, 1969), What the Diamond Does Is Hold It All In (White Pine Press, 1978) and Simon’s Masterpiece (White Pine Press, 1983). Simon’s Masterpiece was read from by LaVilla-Havelin at Joe Papp’s The Public Theatre in New York City, performed as a reader’s theatre production at SUNY Geneseo, and optioned for motion picture production. LaVilla-Havelin’s poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies including: The Texas Poetry Calendar (Dos Gatos Press), Between Heaven and Texas (University of Texas Press), Is This Forever, or What? (Greenwillow Press), and On Turtle’s Back(White Pine Press). LaVilla-Havelin has read his poems at coffee houses, bars, galleries, bookstores, universities, schools, theaters, and parks throughout the northeast, and Texas for over forty-five years. LaVilla-Havelin is an arts administrator, educator and critic. He is the Director of the Young Artist Programs at the Southwest School of Art & Craft, and the Coordinator of National Poetry Month events in San Antonio. A fifteen year Texan, LaVilla-Havelin lives with his wife, the artist Lucia LaVilla-Havelin, in Lytle, Texas.

Pecan Grove Press

by Jim LaVilla-Havelin

ISBN: 978-1-931247-80-1 $15

“We are lucky to have a poet as humane and elegantly aware as Jim LaVilla-Havelin. His work in Counting embodies such careful crafting of rhythm and sound, such a strong sense of rich image and spacious movement, we are honed and heartened by spirit and words, bells ringing through consciousness, off every page.”

—Naomi Shihab Nye


I remember when kids would die
imitating Superman. We never thought
what they wanted was to die. It always
seemed they really were trying to fly.

Without the magic of special effects,
when kids watch Saddam hang amid
bile-filled functionaries, they know what
they’re seeing, and what it means.

So when they play the hanging swinging
leader in his last moments, stealing futures
we have already stolen from them,
with the snap of a noose, what other pictures

worse than dying, are they hoping to shut off?

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