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Lightning Rod

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Lightning Rod is the pen name of Clayton Barry January, a Texas poet, writer, musician, dramatist and social critic. Schooled as a journalist, Lightning Rod has published articles and poetry in numerous print publications and myriad locations on the web. His blog column The Poet's Eye has appeared online since 2003 and enjoys a worldwide readership.

Contents

[edit] Biography

[edit] Early Life and Education

Lightning Rod was born Clay January in Dallas, Texas, 1948. He spent the bulk of his childhood in Abilene, Texas where he endured sandstorms on his contact lenses as he played his daily round of golf at the Dustbowl Municipal Golf Course. In this flat West Texas desert he first became fascinated with his language as an apprentice journalist for the Abilene Reporter-News.

In his academic years from the late '60's to the early '70's he studied literature, theater, music and bop psychology at North Texas University in Denton, University of Texas at Austin, Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. and the University of California at Berkeley.

[edit] Literary Career

Lightning Rod began performing his poetry in 1966 at Stone Place Mall in downtown Dallas. Since then he has taken his brand of music/poetry/social commentary to audiences in nightclubs, schools, festivals, political events and venues as diverse as the Dallas County Jail and the Texas State Capitol Rotunda.

In 2002 Clebo Rainey, the coach of the National Championship Dallas Slam Poetry Team declared that Lightning Rod was the "Original Dallas Slam Poet."

The past 30 years have seen Lightning Rod performing music (as well as poetry) on many stages with many different groups and musicians including Red Garland, James Clay, The Jay Miller Band, Spence Pershkin and Shivas Headband, Joey Lemming and the Mighty Angelbull Band, David Crosby, The ZigZag String Quartet, Amazing Space, Scott Johnson and Cosmic Chimp, Will Clay and the Potatoes, Cindy Horstman, Rene Lawrence, Barry Gremillion, Simon Iff, as well as his own groups, The Freefall Lyric Ensemble, Captains Electric, The Infamous Joy Urchins and Voodookazoo.

He has published seven volumes of poetry and commentary. In 2010 Lightning Rod released his continuing E-Book, Cool, Calm, Collected.

Currently, the artist is at work on his upcoming memoir, Dharma for Dummies, which describes the life of an outlaw poet.

[edit] External Links

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