Amarillo Author is a Local Treasure
By Danny Mize, Bereavement Coordinator for Hospice Care of the Southwest
When you see Moments in Mourning, the book of poetry by Amarillo author, Marianne McNeil Logan, you may dismiss it because of its small size or title. After all, who wants to read about grief?! Even if it is small enough to tuck into a purse or carry in your pocket.
Give it a chance! The sixty-page book traces her journey with her husband’s illness and decline into the pain of grief upon his death in 1991, after forty-two years of marriage. The reader witnesses her transition from mourning to hope with:
"I’m taking off my wedding rings, to pack them carefully away with other sentimental things."
There’s a message to Grant, her deceased husband: “I stand atop our small white bridge where haunting shadows lie; I promised if my life would change I’d come to tell you why.” Then, she writes about finding her second chance at romance with a lonely widower who came into her life.
In March, 1994, she married that lonely widower, Claude Logan, of Dumas. They spent much time traveling to writing seminars and “cowboy gatherings,” where she was often a scheduled speaker. Her joy turned to grief once again when Claude died in October of 2012, while Marianne was having cancer surgery on her eyelid.
Unable to focus on writing during Claude’s illness and death, Marianne found herself in a two-and-a-half year writer’s dry spell. Recognizing everyone’s need to engage in laughter, late in 2012 she published The Worth of Mirth: Poetry for Those Who Love To Laugh and Those Who Need To. This was a project she had begun and put aside fifteen years earlier. It was as if it “waited” until she needed it to help save her sanity.
Readers will smile through family stories and laugh through sections about each of her husbands. Wait until you see the “Cowboy Lingo” section which wraps up the book!
Marianne McNeil Logan IS a much-loved poet AND a local treasure! She is a Councilor-at-Large for the Poetry Society of Texas, and has organized many writing activities for the Panhandle area writers.
She helped establish cowboy poetry in the Panhandle—Old West Days, monthly breakfasts at the Big Texan (now at the Country Barn). She founded, and moderated the Senior Citizens group for twenty years. Fifty-six members were published. She founded the Tri-State Fair Literary Contest, has encouraged area poets in readings on KGNC for National Poetry Day, promoted poetry readings at the Amarillo Art Center, set up poetry displays at “Taste the Arts,” and organized many cowboy poetry programs in neighboring communities.
Marianne Logan has won over 2,000 poetry contest awards! Three of her books have garnered five national awards, two receiving Pulitzer Prize nominations. Her favorite cowboy poem, “Someone, Somewhere” is on Youtube. “Won’t someone help me find a friend in the old-time cowboy style, who’s thoughtful, gentle, mannerly, with the devil in his smile?”
She has been awarded the prestigious Hilton Ross Greer Award by the Poetry Society of Texas, the Heritage Award by the Southwest Cowboy Poetry Association, and the Lifetime Award from the Poetry Society of Texas and Panhandle Professional Writers. Her books are available at Hastings Bookstores, Barnes & Noble, and online at Amazon-Kindle. You will be impressed with her work and proud that she is a local writer.