Cowboy poet Sean Sexton was born in Indian River County and grew up on his family’s Treasure Hammock Ranch. He divides his time between taking care of a 600-acre cow-calf operation, painting, sculpting, and writing. He is married to artist Sharon Sexton, and they live on the ranch in a house they built with their own hands. He has kept daily sketch and written journals since 1973. He received an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the State of Florida in 2000, and is the author of Waldo’s Mountain (Waterview Press, 2004), Blood Writing: Poems (Anhinga Press, 2009), The Empty Tomb (University of Alabama Slash Pine Press, 2014), and Descent (Yellow Jacket Press, 2017). Sean has presented regularly since 2009 at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, and became the inaugural Poet Laureate of Indian River County by resolution on Sept 1, 2016.
Praise for May Darkness Restore
This is a glorious book—Sean Sexton's generous, unerring artist's eye finds extraordinary beauty in the often difficult everyday facts in the life of a third-generation Florida cattle rancher. He glories in the magic and alchemy of language and turns words and phrases like “Rhizobium leguminosarum” and “raggedy-assed tractor" into pure poetry. This book celebrates the beauties of generation, death, rebirth and love, and offers us all a share of truly redemptive grace.
—Sidney Wade, author of Bird Book: Poems
Buck Ramsey told us the earliest roots of contemporary cowpunch culture could be found in two sources: Hesiod’s Works and Days and the songs and poems of Robert Burns—the Greek philosopher carrying the subject matter and the Scots bard supplying the language. Were Buck with us today, he’d see the two come together in Sean Sexton’s May Darkness Restore, a risky and rewarding work that couples a poet’s words with the rhythms and cycles of the natural world. Risky—for that is where poetry lives—and rewarding—for that is where tradition lives. I highly recommend it.
—Andy Wilkinson, author of Surprise, Texas
It was Thomas Jefferson’s settled view that a nation in close contact with the land, directly involved with its cultivation during the seasonal round, would maintain the values that make for a great people. Yet poetry dealing with this vital subject is scarce, which is one reason we welcome Sean Sexton’s work. Another is that it embodies, in Keats’s words, “the holiness of the heart’s affections,” realized with originality, economy, and skill. These are poems for which we can feel true gratitude.
—Alfred Corn, author of Tables