Click Image to Visit the Pecan Grove Press Web Page for Poetry from Paradise Valley


Poetry From Paradise Valley

Pecan Grove Press has released an anthology of poems, a sampling of works published in Valparaiso Poetry Review during its first decade, from the original 1999-2000 volume to the 2009-2010 volume.

Poetry from Paradise Valley includes a stellar roster of 50 poets. Among the contributors are a former Poet Laureate of the United States, a winner of the Griffin International Prize, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two National Book Award winners, two National Book Critics Circle winners, six finalists for the National Book Award, four finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award, two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and a few dozen recipients of other honors, such as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc.

Readers are encouraged to visit the Poetry from Paradise Valley page at the publisher's web site, where ordering information about the book can be found.

Best Books of Indiana 2011: Finalist. Judges' Citation: "Poetry from Paradise Valley is an excellent anthology that features world-class poetry, including the work of many artists from the Midwest, such as Jared Carter, Annie Finch, David Baker, and Allison Joseph. It’s an eclectic and always interesting collection where poems on similar themes flow into each other. It showcases the highest caliber of U. S. poetry."
—Indiana Center for the Book, Indiana State Library

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Elizabeth Bishop: The Poet's Voice

In the end of November 1977, less than two years before Elizabeth Bishop’s death, I was invited to attend a reading by her at the Guggenheim Museum, where Mark Strand delivered the introduction. Personally introduced to her briefly after the reading, I felt honored by even such a momentary meeting. I was a student who thoroughly admired Bishop’s poetry, and I still do. However, I remember my disappointment at the presentation, in which Bishop’s voice seemed weak and without much inflection or enthusiasm, appearing almost as if she believed she had been compelled to endure an unpleasant experience. Of course, I did not realize then how poor Bishop’s health had become, nor was I aware of her fragile emotional state at that time due to the poet’s continuing personal problems, as well as the recent death of her close friend, Robert Lowell.

Nevertheless, Elizabeth Bishop’s voice at that event always accompanies any reading of her poetry I have done in the three decades since that evening. In addition, Elizabeth Bishop, known and appreciated for her reluctance to publish poems until convinced—sometimes by mentors Marianne Moore and Robert Lowell—that they were ready for readers, also usually resisted personal recordings of her work throughout most of her career. Fortunately, however, a handful of recordings exists of Bishop reading her poems, including a few available online at Salon. Recent readers of Bishop’s poetry, like my students, now can associate her wonderful work with a more youthful voice in “The Fish,” recorded in 1947, and a bit more invigorated voice in the other poems (“In the Waiting Room” and “The Moose”) than I had witnessed, even though the later poems were recorded in the 1970s and Bishop still never seems fully comfortable with public performance.

Also, I’m pleased to note that one of my former students, Laura Ebberson, offers a fine article, “Elizabeth Bishop’s Poetic Voice: Reconciling Influences,” in Volume VIII, Number 1 of Valparaiso Poetry Review. I hope all will listen to Elizabeth Bishop’s readings and hear the poet’s voice. Additionally, I invite everyone to examine Ebberson’s essay about Bishop, which analyzes as well the impact upon her poetry by Marianne Moore and Robert Lowell.

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