Mason’s poetry explores a wide range of subjects, including family, relationships, the outdoors, travel, history, and the American West. Adept in traditional forms, Ludlow uses blank verse to tell the story of the 1914 Ludlow massacre—in which miners and their families were killed by the Colorado National Guard. Brighde Mullins, reviewing Ludlow in the Dark Horse, called the book a “cinematic contemplation in poetry” in which Mason examines the lives of real and invented characters, the Colorado terrain, and the immigrant experience.
Mason’s prose includes a memoir about Greece, News from the Village: Aegean Friends (2010), and a collection of essays, The Poetry of Life and the Life of Poetry (1999). He has co-edited the anthologies of poetry Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism (1996), Twentieth Century American Poetry (2004), and Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry (2005), as well as the essay collection Twentieth Century American Poetics: Poets on the Art of Poetry (2003).
As a librettist, Mason collaborated with Lori Laitman on her opera The Scarlet Letter and on an opera adaptation of Ludlow, for which Mason received the 2009 Thatcher Hoffman Smith Creativity in Motion Prize from the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences. He has also been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Greece.
Mason teaches at Colorado College. He was appointed the Colorado poet laureate in 2010.
Poems By DAVID MASON
VideoNewsHour Poetry Series
- David Mason's Novel in Verse Explores the Old American West
Poet, essayist, and professor David Mason shares a look at a dramatic moment in American labor history through his poem about a 1913 mine strike that ended in violence.