Greetings, One & All~
I trust this finds you all in good health and spirits, keeping reasonably warm where it is terribly cold and reasonably cool where it is terribly hot, wherever you live on this crazily changing little planet of ours. February promises to be full of fair weather, fun fables and at least one foible here in Willyworld; allow me to address the foible before getting on with the fables.
And the GRAMMY goes to. . .
. . . someone else. Dang! I had composed a lovely little acceptance speech in my mind as I sat in the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles waiting for our category to be announced; allow me share it here since I didn’t get to there:
Thanks to R. Carlos Nakai for his enduring artistry, vision and spirit; to everyone at Canyon Records for their steadfast support over a quarter-century of making great music together, especially to our producers Robert Doyle and Stephen Butler, our recording engineers Jack Miller and Alexis Santos, and our mastering engineer Russ Marsden; to our manager Pamela Hyde and our publicist Kathy Norris; to all our fellow members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences who honored us with their votes; to our fans around the world who make our music-making possible; to my family and friends for their positive energy; and to my best friend and biggest fan Shery Christopher. May Awakening the Fire continue to awaken the fire of creative possibility in us all!
On Saturday February 8th at 8 PM I’ll perform with R. Carlos Nakai and Valerie Franzese, a wonderfully eclectic cellist from Telluride CO, in a meditation concert at the new Galactic Center in Tucson AZ. You all know all about R. Carlos (who doesn’t?!) but Valerie may be a new treat for you as she will be for me: she plays everything from classical music to the blues, and has performed with artists as diverse as Otis Taylor, Yo Yo Ma and Paul Simon. I’m looking and listening forward to this very special event, and you can find out more about it by clicking on the link below and scrolling down by date to our display ad:
On Friday February 21st at 4 PM and again at 7 PM I’ll perform with R. Carlos Nakai in two duo concerts, followed by meet-and-greet CD signings, in the intimate setting of The Kiva Room at Western National Parks Association in Oro Valley AZ. We’ll be playing selections from our GRAMMY® Nominated CD Awakening the Fire as well as presenting some new solo pieces and engaging in our infamous flare for in-the-moment improvisational inspiration. These shows promise to sell out early, so advance tickets are recommended and can be reserved by calling 520.622.1999, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. MST, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records
On Sunday February 23rd at 1:45 PM, R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman will perform an outdoor festival set at the annual Southwest Indian Arts Fair at the Arizona State Museum on the campus of the University of Arizona, followed by a meet-and-greet CD signing at the Canyon Records booth immediately adjacent to the main festival stage. Information, performance schedules and festival tickets are available at:
Starting on Monday February 3rd and running through Tuesday February 18th I’ll conduct an Artist-in-Residency with fourth grade students at Sonoran Sky School in Scottsdale AZ entitled Arizona Alive!, which will enrich the students’ Arizona history curriculum by empowering them to explore history (or herstory!) through creative storytelling. They’ll select their own topics from their existing syllabus, compose original stories that personalize and fictionalize the people, places and events they’ve studied, and have an opportunity to tell their stories to a live audience of invited family members and friends at a special showcase on our last day. How fun is that?!
On Friday February 28th at 7 PM MST I’ll be interviewed live on the Under the Surface Internet radio program by show host and paranormal mystery author Lori Hines. You can find out about more about this fascinating program and log on for the live stream that evening at:
If you happen to miss the live stream, the show will be archived within minutes of completion at:
And if you prefer social media, Lori posts items about her shows an related topics at:
I’m honored to be included in a new Special Edition of the Southern Poetry Review entitled Looking West, which focuses on writers from the American West who have previously published in SPR. My poem Skinning Coyote was selected for inclusion, and I’m delighted to appear in such good company in such a high-quality publication.
Southern Poetry Review: Looking West can be accessed on-line at:
and I’ll include Skinning Coyote as the February Poem of the Month below.
Poem of the Month
Skinning Coyote was composed many winters ago and depicts an actual experience of mine. The poem is about the attempt to reveal the mysterious inner workings of things and to preserve the mysterious essence of things, and how that attempt sometimes goes terribly awry in ways that are self-revealing while confronting us with an entirely new and perhaps even more profound mystery. As Rilke wrote: Live the questions!
Working close with razor blade and hunting knife
the dancer and I dance our way in
between muscle and skin.
She doesn’t know what made her stop
to grab this road kill on her way to the lab,
and I don’t believe I’m doing this again
after quitting the knife for more than half my life.
We’re anxious; inside it is slippery and wet.
Just as the light gets too dark
I slice my right middle fingertip down to the bone.
My fresher blood mixes with coyote’s–
his spirit accelerated out of its slow flesh again–
and whether or not he knows this insult now
is matter for prayer alone.
As for us, we peel off the luxuriant pelt
and marvel at the alien machinations underneath,
discover the crumpled snout and broken skull
as if he’d turned to bite the dazzling light
that killed him.
A blue glow clings like musk to everything
as the night air goes cold with first winter,
and though we have the part we’re keeping all nailed down
we’re lost, and don’t know what the rest of it means.
(© William Clipman 2014, from Wilderness in the Marrow; originally published in Southern Poetry Review and reprinted in the Special Edition Southern Poetry Review: Looking West)
May your February be truly fabulous
and may your inner coyote continue to howl!