Voices and Verses

National Poetry Month: [we decided …] By John Pluecker

The Houston poet reads a poem inspired by an obsession with language and Texas history.

Poet John Pluecker

In this sound portrait, we meet poet John Pluecker. He talks about how being a seventh-generation Texan influences his writing, and he compares poetry to an installation by artist Gabriel Martinez. He reads a poem that rearranges words cut from the journal of 19th century botanist Jean-Louis Berlandier.

John Pluecker is a writer, translator, interpreter, and artist. He frequently collaborates with artists, organizations, and communities. In 2010 he co-founded with Jen Hofer the language justice and literary experimentation collaborative Antena. His texts have appeared in journals in the U.S. and Mexico, including The Volta, Mandorla, Aufgabe, eleven eleven, Third Text, Animal Shelter, HTMLGiant, and Fence. He has translated numerous books from the Spanish, most recently Gore Capitalism (Semiotext(e), 2018) and Antígona González (Les Figues Press, 2016). His book of poetry and image, Ford Over, was released in 2016 by Noemi Press. He is a member of the Macondo Writing Workshop.



This poem is from Ford Over by John Pluecker (Noemi Press, 2016) and is reprinted with permission by the author.

Music used:  River Out Back (excerpt) by Mark O’Connor from Midnight on the Water; Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (excerpt) by J.S. Bach and Red (excerpt) by Joseph V. Williams II from Texas Guitar Quartet: Red

To learn more about this series, go here.


Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

More Information