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English Professor Publishes “Elegy for Trains”

OBU faculty member Benjamin Myers recently published a collection of poems titled “Elegy for Trains,” through Village Books Press.

“The motivation came when I was approached by the publisher after I read at a local poetry reading,” said Dr. Meyers, associate professor of English. “Given the opportunity to publish a collection, I wanted to bring together poems on the theme of loss and redemption, a theme I began exploring in poetry after the death of my father 11 years ago.”

The book has been praised by, among others, Jim Barnes, who is the current Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and the former editor of the Chariton Review.

“Ben Myers takes us over the hills, through the skies and fields, and down to the bottom of Oklahoma’s lakes – from space shuttles to noodling for catfish,” said Nathan Brown, poet and winner of the Oklahoma Book Award. “He makes us ghosts in its graveyards and guests among the buffalo grass. And among it all, we can hear the coyotes, frogs and blue herons.”

Myers earned his bachelor’s degree from University of the Ozarks, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. degree in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. He has taught at OBU for the last six years.

Myers lives with his wife, Mandy, and their three children in Chandler, Okla.

“Elegy for Trains” currently is available in paperback for $15 through the publisher at villagebookspress@yahoo. com. It will be available through in the near future.


Men long and thin like the late afternoon

shadows of the mountain pines, they followed mules with plows bumping over rock and red dirt, listing to one shoulder, lopsided on the slant of hard Oklahoma hill,

and here am I

following this lawn mower, self-propelled over the easy green.

What would they say to the painless hush of everyday, the low,

bookish hum of my morning in the office?

I imagine them coming in from the cold of black and white

photographs, to sit sharply angled on our leather furniture, little china coffee cups in blue and white flowers balanced above the worn places on their trouser knees.

They are silent and looking at me.

I want to explain to them it is hard where I am also, the struggle not with rock nor earth but still to plant one green thing in the minds of my students.

I, too, lie tired and wide-eyed in the darkness. From “Elegy for Trains”


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