Betrayal Creek

An Affair of the Stilled Heart

by W.K. Stratton

Kip Stratton’s Betrayal Creek is contemporary confessional poetry at its finest. It lays bare the inward landscape of an “ordinary man / with spurs and a saddle-scarred soul” through a lover’s betrayal, into the depths of depression, and finally out into the glorious Texan sunlight beckoning on the other side of a window. What’s most striking about these poems is their ability to connect the personal to the universal—the suffering of one man to the suffering of a country in peril. Betrayal Creek grieves the loss of a love, the loss of life amid a global pandemic, and our collective lost humanity at the hands of racism and gun violence. The collection ends with the forlorn yet resilient speaker speeding off into the open road in a red Cadillac, offering a kind of symbolic hope that our world, too, can survive such darkness and emerge wiser, stronger, and scarred. 


Order from any bookstore, local or online. This title is also available from Fleur Fine Books of Galveston, Texas. 

About the Author

W.K. Stratton

William Kip Stratton—friends call him by his middle name—is a native of the West. He has called Texas home for most of his life and currently lives in Austin. He put himself through what’s now known as the University of Central Oklahoma while working as a newspaper reporter, taking a degree in English with honors. He later received a master’s degree in English from the same school, submitting a novel for his thesis. He spent several years working on newspapers. He also wrote for magazines on the side.

His first book, Backyard Brawl, appeared in 2002. Chasing the Rodeo followed in 2005, as did Splendor in the Short Grass, a book he edited with his longtime friend Jan Reid. That year he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. In 2009, he published Boxing Shadows, about Anissa Zamarron’s rise from a troubled adolescence to prominence in women’s boxing. In 2011, his book of poetry, Dreaming Sam Peckinpah, was published to acclaim. Floyd Patterson: The Fighting Life of Boxing’s Invisible Champion was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2012. Also in 2012, Stratton was elected President of the Texas Institute of Letters.

In 2015, his second book of verse, Ranchero Ford/Dying in Red Dirt Country, was published. The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film, about the classic American movie The Wild Bunch and its director, Sam Peckinpah, was published in 2019.