Benjamin Myers

Benjamin Myers
Benjamin Myers is the author of the recently published collection of poems, The Family Book of Martyrs (Lamar University Press, 2022) as well as of three previous collections of poetry. His first book of non-fiction, A Poetics of Orthodoxy, was published by Cascade Books. Myers lives with his wife and three children in Chandler, OK. He served as the 2015-2016 Poet Laureate of the State of Oklahoma, and he is the director of the Great Books Honors Program at Oklahoma Baptist University, where he teaches courses on literature, writing, and Western civilization.

Recent Essays

Advent in Oklahoma

Like the people I grew up among, Puddleglum speaks hope sideways, hope being too sacred to speak outright. But he speaks it anyway, sideways and hedged but there, the way generations of my family might speak of maybe a better crop or a new well next year.

Ambiguity and Belonging in Oklahoma

It is hard to say who this land belongs to, but I know without a doubt that I belonged to it from my earliest youth. I was raised just south of town, on a defunct dairy farm surrounded by miles of pasture and scrubby woods. I can barely remember a time before I was allowed to roam over that countryside freely.

A Dictionary of Dumb Ideas: Tradition vs. Convention

We should aim to conserve what is deepest and true, not just what happens to have immediately preceded the present. It should be the conservative’s task to reconnect the manner of our lives and the institutions of our civilization—schools, colleges, churches, governments—to the solid truths beneath the surface, peeling away the layers of mere convention to find the “permanent things.”

Living In the Myth: A Review of Jason Stacy’s Spoon River America

Benjamin Myers reviews Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town by Jason Stacy. Stacey explores the changing and contested myth of the midwestern small town, particularly in relation to Masters’s famous Spoon River Anthology. In Spoon River and its echoes throughout literary and popular culture, innocence struggles with cynicism, tradition with modernity, and a persistent populism with a perpetual elite.

I’m Over the American Homer

I’m not canceling Whitman. But my own enthusiasm for his poetry is waning. The poet whose daring versification and daring lifestyle were once seen as the epitome of counter-culture has come to seem to me all too mainstream, the very voice of an age of superficial egotism.