According to many of his friends, his eyesight is as sharp as that of a lynx although, 43 years ago, a sports accident robbed him of sight in his left eye.
For about twenty years he has lived in the damp smell of the rainforest, always at about two degrees north of the equator, moving around around the globe in that circle from Colombia to Nigeria to Borneo.
In the jungle, he listened to shamans and storytellers. In between shamans, he collected oriental ceramics and Ukiyo-e, pictures of the fleeting world, Japanese woodblock prints. Back in Europe, he occupied himself with living, reading and listening, making good use of his particularly sensitive antennae for the absurd, the unusual and the unexpected in life, literature and music. Memory like a steel trap. Passionate Francophile.
Stuart Dodds was born and educated in London, England. He served two years of National Service in the Royal Air Force and emigrated to the United States in 1958. He has worked in advertising and publishing in New York and San Francisco, most recently as editorial director of Chronicle Features, the syndication division of the San Francisco Chronicle.
He reports: “My first sustained efforts at writing poetry, in the late fifties in New York, were inspired by a New School poetry workshop given by Kenneth Koch who with John Ashbury and Frank O’Hara formed the nucleus of the Tenth Street Poets —an offshoot of the Tenth Street Painters, who became known as the New York School of Abstract Expressionists. It was an exciting place to be writing poetry.”
In 1962, Stuart won the New School’s prestigious Dylan Thomas Poetry Award for that year. His poems have been published in various journals throughout the U.S, including Blue Unicorn, Beloit Poetry Journal, Freefall, Pacific Coast Journal, Epoch, Carquinez Poetry Review and The Gathering.
Reflecting on his life and marriage, he speaks of retiring from newspaper work, in 1998, and returning to poetry “with renewed energy and a sense of vocation. I am honored that the story curator has agreed to publish my poems. Should I be fortunate enough to have a book of poems published, I will dedicate it to the editors of Blue Unicorn (for being among the earliest supporters of my work), to Jan Doets who has invited me to join him in cyber space and to the loving memory of a fine poet and superb editor, my wife of 30 years, Natasha Borovsky who died on May 31st, 2012.”
Stuart Dodds continues to write poetry “in the late afternoon,” and is an active member of the Ina Coolbrith Poetry Circle. He lives in Berkeley, California and is an occasional contributor to the Berkeley Daily Planet.