BOO & THE CULTURE From the Big Thicket to Vietnam and Back BY MARIAN HADDAD Coming to Terms By H. Palmer Hall Plain View Press 159 pages, $14.95 Reflections from Pete’s Pond By H. Palmer Hall Pecan Grove Press 31 pages, $5.00 To Wake Again By H: Palmer Hall Pudding House PUblications h pages, $8.95 hree years ago, San Antonio poet H. Palmer Hall came across a notice that National Geographic was going to air a live video stream on its Web site that would allow viewers to watch a pond in Africa. The pond had been built on a game preserve in Botswana because poachers were killing elephants that left the preserve’s safety to drink at a nearby river. It was dubbed Pete’s Pond, after its builder, Pete Le Roux. “I logged into it and became fascinated,” Hall says. “It was a three-year process, as the live stream runs from about May through December. I joined this discussion group, maybe 12 aficionados of Pete’s Pond; I began writing poems about what happened at the pond.” Hall ultimately published Reflections from Pete’s Pond through Pecan Grove Press, the small publishing house he has run for almost 18 years. Pecan Grove will celebrate its 20th anniversary this fall. \(The press has also published dence with Le Roux, and the collection of poems wound up on sale at the Mashutu Game Reserve. Pete’s Pond is one of the many wells from which Hall, 65, has drawn during a literary career that has established him as an icon in San Antonio. Hall has been library director at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio since 1978. One year after arriving, he also took the reins of the Louis J. Blume Academic Library as well as teaching creative writing and other courses at the university. An accomplished poet in his own right, Hall has used his publishing house to help launch other poetic voices. Lately, he has begun drawing the accolades many think he has long deserved. Hall was a recent nominee for a Pushcart Prize for his poem “Vietnam JANUARY 11, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19
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