Loretta Diane Walker
Loretta Diane Walker, a musician who plays her tenor saxophone sometimes, a daughter navigating a new world, a teacher who still likes her students, and an artist who has been humbled and inspired by a collection of remarkable people and poets, is a multiple Pushcart Nominee, and Best of the Net Nominee, won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House (Bluelight Press).
Loretta was named “Statesman in the Arts” by the Heritage Council of Odessa. In December 2016 she had the rare opportunity to be the commencement speaker for the University of Texas at the Permian Basin. Loretta was honored to be the featured poet in February 2017 for Red River Review. In 2018 she was a featured poet in Langdon Review of the Arts Literary Journal, Volume 15. Her work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies including, Her Texas, River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-First Century, Texas Poetry Calendar, Pushing Out the Boat International Journal, San Pedro River Review, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, Diversity: Austin International Poetry Festival, Boundless Poetry: Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival, Pushing the Envelope: Epistolary Poems, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VIII: Texas, Bearing the Mask: American Southwest Persona Poems, The James Dickey Review, Voice de La Luna Literary Journey, Sugared Water Literary Journal, , Concho River Review, and is forthcoming in The Baylor Line.
She has published four collections of poetry. Her most recent collection is Desert Light, Lamar University Press. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She teaches elementary music at Reagan Magnet School, Odessa, Texas.
Naomi Shihab Nye states, “Loretta Diane Walker writes with compassionate wisdom and insight—her poems restore humanity.”