Walt McDonald: Biographical information and bibliography
Darryl L. Tippens. “Evidence of Grace: An Interview with Walter McDonald.” Valparaiso Poetry Review 3.2 (2002). (Reprinted from Christianity and Literature 49.2 (2000): 173-187.) Web site for VPR is www.valpo.edu/english/vpr/v3n2.html
Essay, “Advice I Wish I Had Been Told”; six poems; and the editor’s introductory essay and review of All Occasions (Notre Dame, 2000). The Dakota House Journal Issue 4 (Winter 2001/2002). Web site for DHJ: www.homestead.com/dhj/CoverIssue4.html
The essay first appeared in Clackamas Literary Review 2.2 (1998). It was reprinted in the first on-line issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review (November 1999).
Essay, “Advice I Wish I’d Been Told.” Valparaiso Poetry Review, November 1999 (an electronic literary journal at Valparaiso University). The essay is reprinted from Clackamas Literary Review 2.2 (1998): 3-9.
The address for this essay on Valparaiso’s web site is:
Essay, interview, and poem in ND Review (Notre Dame Review, on-line), Issue 11, 2002.
“An Interview with Walt McDonald” by Chris Ellery (first published in Concho River Review).
A Brief Biography of Walt McDonald:
Walt was an Air Force pilot, taught creative writing and modern American literature for forty years at the Air Force Academy, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and Texas Tech University, and served as Texas Poet Laureate in 2001. A Texas Tech graduate (Ph.D., Iowa), he retired from Tech in 2002 as Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of English, Emeritus.
Walt’s twenty-three collections of poetry and fiction include Climbing the Divide (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003); Great Lonely Places of the Texas Plains (Texas Tech University Press, 2003–his poems paired with color photos by Texas State Photographer Wyman Meinzer); Blessings the Body Gave (Ohio State University Press, 1998); and Faith Is a Radical Master (Abilene Christian University Press, Spring 2005).
Some other recent books are A Thousand Miles of Stars (Texas Tech University Press, 2004); All Occasions (Notre Dame, 2000); Counting Survivors (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995); Night Landings (Harper & Row, 1989); A Band of Brothers: Stories from Vietnam (Texas Tech, 1989); After the Noise of Saigon (University of Massachusetts Press, 1988); and The Flying Dutchman (Ohio State University Press, 1987);
2,300 of his poems have been in journals such as The American Scholar, The Atlantic Monthly, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), London Review of Books (UK), New York Review of Books, and Poetry.
Four books received Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, including Whatever the Wind Delivers: Celebrating West Texas and the Near Southwest (Texas Tech University Press, 1999–Walt’s poems paired with archival photos of Texas Tech’s Southwest Collection, with a Foreword by Laura Bush, when she was First Lady of Texas.
Other awards include the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award in 2005 for Best Book of Poems; Texas Tech’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988; the Texas Professor of the Year award in 1992 from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, in Washington, D.C.; six awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, including the Award for Excellence Throughout a Career; and the Texas Book Festival Bookend Award in 2004, a lifetime award “for Outstanding Contributions of Texas Literature.”
Walt and Carol have three adopted children and eight grandchildren. By far his favorite award is their anniversary every August–for Carol and Walt were classmates at Lubbock High, and at the start of their sophomore year he told a buddy, “I’m gonna marry that girl someday”–an audacious dream that came true.