Butterfly Tattoo

For the first few decades, Paul was mostly interested in girls, tennis and pole vaulting. In college he dabbled in theatre, wearing long hair and an earring, and did some poetry writing at the U of Iowa undergraduate writers workshop, receiving a “Citation for Excellence in Creative Writing.” Later interests have included ad copywriting, disco, improv theatre, attachment parenting, and Netflix. He self-published a tennis book and an improv theater book. The latter is ranked 2,171,018 on Amazon. He has been practicing Transcendental Meditation twice a day since 1970, though he did miss once in 1997 (he still blames Deborah). He has a BA in English, an MA in English and Linguistics, an MA in the Science of Creative Intelligence, and some kind of honorary Ph.D in World peace, from MERU, we think. Professionally he has worked mostly in advertising and web marketing, and now serves as the Alumni Director and in Fundraising for MUM.edu.

“Whoever you are, you can rest assured that Paul Stokstad loves you. You may never cross paths in this life or the next, but in his mind’s eye there’s a picture of you, abundant in singular beauty. Through these poems Paul Stokstad is wishing you well, he is praying for your safety, he is willing the peace and happiness you crave to show up one day soon at your door. Accept this gift and enter a realm of generosity.” -Nancy Berg, Author of Oracles for Night-Blooming Eccentrics

Paul Stokstad’s poems speak the language of the heart with great fluency. “They dance across the page, with images of Oak and Maple avenues of a college town, beautiful in the white dawn . . . kisses like Krishna meeting milkmaids . . . a small, leaping wildebeest crossing the road . . . a world that twirls when a poet spins . . . the tips of five tenderly moving fingers . . . a mother’s arms reaching to embrace . . . shapes simply made for staring adoration. His poems are a reminder of how good it is to be alive. Poetry, like life, is a Butterfly Tattoo, and it flies to amazing places.” -Diane Frank, Author of Blackberries in the Dream House

“This collection of poems by Paul Stokstad calls me a liar, to believe that 108 pages and so much white paper between the black letters could equal the journey from which I am still returning. It is not equal. It keeps unfolding in me image after image of permeable dancers and other spinning pieces of ardent flesh living a present and beauty-drunk life. I’m a little dizzy still. . . think I’ll lie down and coax another dream.” –Sharon Bousquet

“These poems are so vivid in where they are and where they are going that we can’t help but be carried along.” -Bill Graeser

“Paul’s poems are so economical. . . few words, contained thoughts and images, delicate threads of feelings and ideas. . . and yet they opened up such a new, rich, extended view of Paul, with layer upon layer of exposure to his inner world. Delicious!” -Marcia Abrahams

“Paul is a passionate and somewhat enigmatic man. He speaks in these soft staccato bursts, filled with questioning and wonder, and you can hear this, if you listen close, in his poetry.” -Glenn Watt

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