"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have
                                 the old  man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much
                                 he had  learned in seven years."                                      Mark Twain
"Every generation has its poets, and out of those a few will rise
up to compose songs of war.  Homer’s creation of  The Iliad,
looking back, beyond his own time to celebrate not only the
heroes but the horrors of combat and battle—is one such
collection of songs.  
Smoke and Stone, by Ron Wallace, is
another.  To read Smoke and Stone is not only to come to
know what is gained by the cost of war, such a cost -- but also
to understand what is lost.  Written with heart and compassion
by a man who honors both heroes and history with diligent
research,
Smoke and Stone is Wallace's second volume of
poems, and one that I highly recommend."  
                        
                           -  Lynn Doiron   -
author of Hand Wording (New and Selected Poems)             
winner of the Dominic J.Bazzenella Award in fiction.


". . . Like a big cat on the prey’s periphery, Ron Wallace’s epic
depiction of The Battle of Gettysburg clings to the emotional
rib of the reader.  Seldom is one afforded the opportunity to
uproot a monumental moment in this Nation’s history and have
earth, soul, bone, sinew and sound re-emerge like a cascade of
pounding breaths pushed up against our modern temporal
lobes.  Not only has the poetry in
Smoke and Stone far
exceeded my expectations; it has raised the bar of what a
reader should expect when the doors of history are thrust
open for our contemplation.  Historical perspective aside, and
there is much here, the reader walks the battlefield, in the
moment, from beginning to end.  A must read for Civil War
enthusiasts, but even more so, for those wanting to explore the
human condition faced with immense peril under uncommon
and horrific circumstances."

             - Ron Buck -
author of  Life on the Halfshell (Native Songs of a Cape Cod Son)      
and
Gallowglasses
"Ron Wallace is an exciting new poetic
voice in American Poetry. What grace!"
     
        
- Billie Letts -
Winner of the Walker Percy and the
Oklahoma Book Awards, New York
Times best selling author of
Where the
Heart Is.

"The words of this work will carry
themselves. Ron Wallace will make you
feel pride and passion, the history and
honor of this place we call home,
Oklahoma (Red People)."

- Chief Gregory E. Pyle -

Choctaw Nation
     of Oklahoma
"Native Son is a testament to Ron Wallace's hard
work and dedication, but what I enjoyed most in
reading his work was his very apparent love of
family and our great state."

 
Rep. John Wayne Carey
Oklahoma State Representative

"Ron, Thanks for the poems. Rock 'n' Roll."
  
Shooter Jennings
Put the O Back in Country, Wolf and
Electric Rodeo
" I have had the great pleasure of reading Native Son from cover to
cover three times now. One of the re-occurring themes is smoke and
fire, the deep sense of loss and the sense of revitalization. Wallace's
best work is an enigma where he places himself in the shadows and
describes the moment almost as a third party or detached eye, all the
while partaking in the event at the eye of the storm. The balance in
each work is what provokes in me the greatest admiration. This
distance has a yearning solemnity that is haunting, yet extremely
compassionate. I have my favorites, but the book on the whole is a
lasting impression that begs for recognition, not of self but of
self-awareness."
 
Ron Buck - Life on the Halfshell
"When poetry is good, it can be the missing piece of a puzzle;
long-unfinished, left in cob-webbed limbo until such a time
when words converge in a cavalcade of imagery and emotion.
Ron Wallace's poetry is the perfect example of the kind of
far-reaching depth sought after by avid and not-so-avid readers
of poetry. Allow yourself a quiet place, an open mind, and a
vulnerable heart; and allow his unique, artistic perspective to
wash over you like the memories of youth, the machinations of
history and the incredible feelings of returning home, finding
your recollections to be right where left them."

            
David Bradsher - Kindred Trinity

Smoke and Stone Reviews
and Remarks
This is a unique new perspective on the shelves of Gettysburg
readers that uses poetry as the vehicle to take the reader into the
minds of the men who fought this momentous, horrendous
bloodbath. Using a fictional marble angel on the top of Cemetery
Ridge as the focal figure in this epic story, Wallace delves into
the hearts and minds of all types of characters, from Lee and
Longstreet down to Billy Musgrove (a fictional foot soldier),
letting the reader see the battle, the impossible assignments, the
carnage and the grief generated by the Gettysburg
conflagration. Not an epic presentation that goes on and on, this
is a collection of relatively brief insightful poems, each one a
vignette of one moment in the chaos and confusion of the
Confederate debacle at Gettysburg, a fascinating new rendition
of a story veteran Gettysburg enthusiasts thought they knew.

Dr. Kenneth Nye - Searching for the Spring  and
From the Heart (Poetic Reflections on Growing Old in Maine)

"I deeply appreciate your acknowledgment of my father's work -
he would have been greatly pleased that you drew inspiration
from what he had written. Nicely done, Mr. Wallace, thank you."

  Jeff Shaara -  The Last Full Measure and   
                                                    
Gods and Generals  
Gen. John Buford U.S. Cavalry

illustration by Emilie Rice
General Robert E. Lee of Virginia

Commanding general of the Army
of the Confederate States of
America
illustration by Emilie Rice
Mr Wallace has given us a real gem of a read here; it is beautiful,
rich, haunting and stylish. It is simple and honest with a layer of
dignity and elegance; there is no pretentious 'poetry' here, there is a
witnessing of history that breathes new life... Wallace is not a poet of
form and method; he is not overtly concerned with meter and rhythm;
he puts the right word in the right place; he is a storyteller, a
craftsman of narrative poetry. His voice is remarkable, homely, like
that of a friend telling you a tale over a few beers as the Oklahoma
sun sinks behind the trees...
In
Smoke and Stone the reader has an experience one seldom gets in
poetry, that of witness. This book takes you there and demands you
watch what happened. I dare you to go with Wallace and be there in
1863; the journey is well worth it. Another thing I noted (and I don't
think Mr Wallace will mind me saying this) is that you'll find the ghost
of Walt Whitman in the pages of
Smoke and Stone, and what's more,
he likes it there.
                    
Rob McDermott (Dublin, Ireland)
                    author of Beneath the Waves
Reviews
and
Remarks