An Evening with Doc Dachtler at the Nevada Theatre | TheUnion.com

An Evening with Doc Dachtler at the Nevada Theatre

Laura Petersen
Special to Prospector
This month, Paul Emery will produce an evening poetry reading by local poet Doc Dachtler as part of the Nevada City Live Series at the Nevada Theatre.
Photo by Andrea Austin

KNOW & GO

WHO: Paul Emery’s Nevada City LIVE! Presents

WHAT: An Evening with Doc Dachtler – 50 Years of Poems & Stories

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 31, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City

TICKETS: $20 general admission, $30 premium reserved seating. Available at BriarPatch Co-op Community Market (530-272-5333) and online at http://www.paulemerymusic.com

This month, Paul Emery will produce an evening poetry reading by local poet Doc Dachtler as part of the Nevada City Live Series at the Nevada Theatre.

“An Evening with Doc Dachtler – 50 Years of Poems & Stories” will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan, 31 at the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street in Nevada City.

Doc Dachtler will share published and unpublished poems and stories during this retrospect looking back on 50 years of writing and living in the mountain communities of Nevada County.

Dachtler is the author of four books – “Drawknife” (Konocti Press, 1985), “Waiting for Chains at Pearl’s” (Plain View Press, 1990), “Skidmarks and Snowgeese” (Larkspur Press, 2011), and “Why Am I Telling You This?” (Longhouse Press, 2019). He has recorded two music albums: “Too Funky For You” (Lost Dog Records, 1987) and “The Buffalo Freeway” (Lost Dog Records, 1988).

“There’s a grace to all of existence. The world is a great mystery to me. It deserves reverence and care.”— Doc Dachtler

After graduating from U.C. Davis with a degree in philosophy, Dachtler moved to the San Juan Ridge to be a school teacher in the one-room schoolhouse that is now the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center. He became fascinated by the people and the stories he discovered while living on the Ridge. Stories first became songs on guitar before he began to sink his teeth into the art of poetry.

“I started writing poems and stories in the mid 70s. I’ve been writing ever since. I do keep at it. It’s really work,” he said.

“It’s a job. You have to sit down and work at it. I try to reveal something about humans and reality and what humans are involved in, what they think and where they are headed. I look around and see things, all kinds of forms of life — insects, wildlife and natural forces,” he said.

Dachtler lived on the Ridge from 1967 to 1983. It’s a place where the back to the land movement was strong and people chose to live close to nature. He built his home in the early 1970s and helped others in the community to build the Oak Tree School. Now he lives in town, but his time in the small community and the friendships he developed had a deep impact on his life.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder was one of those friends. Snyder mentored Dachtler with the form, ideas and outlook of his first two books. Other literary influences include Wendell Berry and Steve Sanfield.

When something taps a nerve, that’s when Dachtler knows he has an interesting idea to explore. The mysteries of the natural world weave through his poems.

“There’s a grace to all of existence. The world is a great mystery to me. It deserves reverence and care. I have a sense of awe of everything, really. It’s almost like a kind of prayer.”

Sometimes poem leads to story and other times story leads to poem. Dachtler will read poems from three books and share stories. Books and broadsides will be available for sale.


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