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Congratulations to The Texas Observer. Trinity University Press, Publishers of Fifty Years of the Texas Observer FIFTY YEARS OF EDITED BY CHAR MILLER FOREWORD BY MOLLY IVINS Inspirational Holiday Gifts FOLK ART & OTHER TREASURES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 209 Congress Ave, Austin, Tx 512/479-8341 Open daily 10-6 www.tesoros.com Congratulations, Texas Observer, on your first fifty years! “micas tont R E S O U R C E S, LP Putting creativity to work. WWW.LIAISONRESOURCES.COM memory. But those who love poetry also are deeply invested in the notion of the efficacy of words, the idea that they make a difference in what happens. Poetry surveys the marvelous created world around us, bears witness to our social interactions, and guides us into the interiority of experience that we call consciousness. At its best it gives us the words to identify what we feel and to speak of who we are. Kaleidograph is no more. Some cuttingedge academic critics claim that following the death of the author, print itself is on its last legs. But there is the excellent journal Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts \(supported by the UniverCallaloo: Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters In the direct tradition of Kaleidograph there is also the feisty and unpredictable Skanky Possum. Published from Austin by poets Dale Smith and Hoa Nguyen, it’s a hand-stapled publication backed up with an Internet Web site. Now, that’s 21st century for sure! Whether or not you want to call it progress, the fact is that almost everything that was limited to an underground or localized coterie in the 1950s has since found a niche in the glossy electronic communications universe where we now live. Most important though are strong voices and fine poetsenergetic proponents of the art such as Peggy Zuleika Lynch, Naomi Shihab Nye, Raul Salinas, Bryce Milligan, Tammy Gomez, James Hoggard, Cyrus Cassells, Susan Bright, Jas. Mardis, Jack Myers, and others. It is due to the efforts of all those we’ve been discussingand many others as wellthat we are a bit closer to realizing Ricardo Sanchez’s hope that our society can “begin to affirm that to be human is to act humanely.” That’s the job poetry is still called upon to do. Lorenzo Thomas was born in Panama and grew up in New York. He is a poet, critic, and professor of English at the University of Houston-Downtown. His most recent book of poetry is Dancing on Main Street, published this year by Coffee House Press. Poetry, continued from page 41 64 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 12/3/04