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About This Newsletter
Greetings and welcome to American Bardic Poet.
Joseph S. Plum is a poet in the bardic tradition. He lives off-grid in rural Iowa and composes his unique chant-like oral poetry for fascinated audiences around the world. Joe has over 16 hours of oral poetry memorized in his head. He pulls from this collection of rhyming lines to compose poems according to the energy of the audience listening. Joe does all of this without writing the poems down on paper or holding any notes.
Joe’s daughter, Emily Lupita, typed up his poems over the years and launched Dreaming Deer Press to publish his work. He now has nine poetry books for sale on Amazon that can be purchased on Joe’s website - here.
About The Poet
“Who is the poet to you?”
I’ve asked this question to many different people during my 40+ years as the poet’s daughter. I’ve always wondered who other people see when my father enters the room.
The listeners who have seen him compose his bardic poetry on stage have told me that Joe has a fascinating “mind-bending” memory and a unique poetic voice they’ve never encountered before. They see a talented artist and performer.
After his shows, members of the audience have told me how they were completely mesmerized as he stood on stage and spoke chant-like rhythmic poetry from memory - for an hour straight - without any notes.
The practitioners who know him from the Star Knowledge Family have told me that they see Dad as a respected Elder who has dedicated himself to a lifetime of learning Native traditions from Chief Golden Eagle. They’ve told me of Brother Joe composing his nature-based poetry as healing energy around the table and in traditional ceremonies. They see him as a mystical healer and as someone who is in touch with spirits in other realms.
Some people in this sacred circle have shared with me that their communion with Brother Joe and his poetry has altered and enhanced their perspective of life forever. What a deeply humbling and generous statement to make about my father.
The family & friends who know Joe in his everyday life in Iowa will tell you that he is a complex and beautiful soul who has always been intricately connected to the natural world - to the creek and prairie and timber. To the deer and birds and coyotes. He’s always lived off-grid and been in a sort of…daily fluid connection…with the natural environment (and its corresponding spiritual realm) that exists all around us.
Joe and my mother, Juana Maria, raised my two brothers and me on a secluded hill in the countryside in this same way. Nature. Spirit. Poetry. Art.
The offspring who know him as their father (my two brothers and I) will tell you that his magnetic talent pulls everything toward it at a faster and faster speed, like a star exploding into itself. And that we love him more than any measure.
That Joe is our one and only irreplaceable and irreplicable father / poet.
That our childhood off-the-grid in the countryside with our bardic poet father and artist mother - remains the most foundational aspect of our adult lives.
I asked Dad once what our childhood living in the divinity of nature meant to him, and he said, “It was our own stolen season, a time outside of time.”
That’s a pretty normal reply to get from my father to my questions. Along with selections of his poetry, I’m including a series in this newsletter all about my conversations with Dad. I’ve been asking him questions and recording the answers for years. May it be a blessing.
(the poet’s daughter)
Post go out via email every Sunday morning. You can also access all posts via the newsletter website anytime.
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🙏🏼 Thank you. Please share with others you think may be interested.
Copyright / Consent / Contact
This Substack newsletter was born from a conversation Dad recently had with someone he trusts and respects, a local friend of many years. And this person convinced Joe that now is the time. My eternal gratitude to you, Dr. Bob Leonard.
Dr. Bob, like so many of us who have been witness to Joe’s unique talent, has been encouraging him for many years to share his bardic poetry with a wider audience on some type of social media. But my father is disconnected from technology. And he distrusts it.
I have been waiting for Joe to consent to going online beyond the basic one-page website he consented to a few years ago. People have asked me quite a lot about why I haven’t posted about Dad on my own social media accounts - the reason is because he had not given his consent…until now.
Now is the time Dad chose. Now I have his blessing to post. Substack is the medium he chose. Substack is the path. May we walk it together.
Joe has not consented to any other form of online / social media beyond this Substack newsletter and his one-page website. He does not have Facebook or Instagram or TickTock at this time. Please feel free to share posts from this Substack newsletter on any social media platform. Please share far and wide.
Sections of this newsletter and his website may be quoted / referenced without his consent as long as it is published with proper credit and a link back to the original piece.
To obtain consent to publish his work or for an interview, please contact his daughter, Emily Lupita.
All poetry copyright Joseph S. Plum 2023
All writing copyright Emily Lupita 2023