From Hell to Jackson Hole: A Poetic History of the American West

This collection of condensed biographies, delightful tidbits, and poetry, illustrated by works of Western art, is a journey through time and the whole sweep of the American West up to and including the Hollywood legends. The poems distill and condense the lives of colorful historical characters, some you already know and some you’ll want to meet.

Johnson’s ear is perfectly tuned to Western speech and humor. But some of the poems will stand your hair on end, like “Sand Creek,” a dirge of a report on broken treaties. When the last page is turned something sharp lingers in the mind — possibly the smoking brand of the West on the American psyche.

Step into the boots of 15-year-old John Wesley Hardin:

You draw the Colt won in a poker game,
and hold it like a rattlesnake
whose long bite you can aim
at anyone you please.
Excerpted from “John Wesley Hardin”

Includes museum masterpieces by Bill Ried, unknown Haida wood sculptor, Albert Bierstadt, Margaretta (Mrs. Jonas W.) Brown, James Earle Frazer, Charles M. Russell, Georgia O’Keefe, Peter Hurd, and Edd Hayes.

From Hell to Jackson Hole: A Poetic History of the American West
by Michael L. Johnson
ISBN: 0965348776
$10.44 or FREE with purchase of 2 other BHB books, if desired and so indicated by customer
144 pages; trade paper; full-color illustrations; endnotes

Updated June 4, 2014