Will Inman, 1923-2009
Will Inman was born in 1923 in Wilmington, North Carolina and received his B.A. in 1943 from Duke University. For many years he was active in the labor union movement and with other activist groups. Inman moved from the East Coast, notably New York City, to Tucson in 1973. With Clint Colby, Jim Fitzgerald, and John Hudak, he co-founded the Tucson Poetry Festival in 1981.
Inman published numerous books during his lifetime, including surfings: selected poems (Howling Dog Press, 2005), What Friend in the Labyrinth: Meditation in Thirty-Six Parts (Norton-Coker Press/Minotaur Press, 1999), you whose eyes open naked into me (Mille Grazie Press, 1999), Surfing the Dark Sound, Sacred Chaff, Center Walking (Pudding House Publications, 1998), Shadow Experiences: Poems and Potentials (Alcyone, 1992), A Trek of Waking (Landlocked Press, 1985), A Way Through for the Damned (Jelm Mountain Press/West, 1983), Selected Poems (Goethe's Notes Press, 1979), Voice of the Beech Oracle: A Shaman Song (Manroot, 1977), The Wakers in the Tongue (Blue Cloud Quarterly, 1977), and 108 Verges Unto Now (Carlton Press, 1964). His most recent book, a volume of new and selected poems titled I Read You Green, Mother, was edited by David and Judy Ray and appeared from Howling Dog Press in 2008.
Of Will Inman's poetry, Sam Hamill has said that it is "informed by a lifetime of compassionate social engagement--from the War Resisters League to working with the homeless--and is composed with an educated ear for natural idiom, cadence and image that W. C. Williams or Denise Levertov would admire. This is poetry that is earned, a rich vein in Whitman's grand tradition."
Will Inman died on Saturday, October 3, 2009 in Tucson after living with many years for Parkinson's disease. He will be dearly missed.