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, March 27, 2008

Edward Byrne: Responses at Nic Sebastian's Q&A

Poet Nic Sebastian, who blogs over at “Very Like a Whale,” has been conducting an ongoing series of interviews about poetry and poetics. The current series, her second, concerns issues related to publication for poets. Every installment in the series consists of the same ten questions posed to each subject. Nic honored me by asking that I participate, and my responses to her questions have just been published at the web site. I am particularly pleased by my company in the sequence of interviews: Kristy Bowen, Reginald Shepherd, Carolyn Guinzio, Nate Pritts, Sam Byfield, Neil Aitken, Rachel Bunting, Brent Fisk, Ivy Alvarez, Michaela Gabriel, Reb Livingston, and Ron Silliman. I encourage readers to examine their answers to the common questions as well.

As a sampling of the questions and my replies, I offer the first few in the Q&A list:

1. Describe your publishing trajectory. Where did it start? Where is it now? How long have you been at it?

I was fortunate at the outset of my publishing career. While I was a graduate student in an MFA program a few of my poems came to the attention of Al Poulin, the publisher of BOA Editions. He apparently liked what he read. He contacted me and asked if I had a manuscript available; therefore, I mailed him the MFA thesis I had been developing, and he accepted it for publication. After its release and some good reviews, the collection, Along the Dark Shore, was selected as a finalist for the Elliston Book Award. The book also included a foreword with introductory words by John Ashbery. Consequently, the volume received some additional attention.

Over the years, I have had five collections published. My sixth book, Seeded Light, is forthcoming from Turning Point Books with a scheduled release early next year. I have just finished another manuscript of poems, all of which already have appeared in journals; therefore, I will look to find a press for it.

2. What would you do differently if you had to start all over again?

When BOA Editions published my first book and it received the good reviews, as well as the recognition as an Elliston Book Award finalist, I hadn’t thought ahead to what comes next. Al Poulin asked me to send him another manuscript when I had one in which my confidence was complete. Unfortunately, I was young and continually doubted I had a finished manuscript, even though I now feel I did. I kept thinking I surely had to surpass the first book’s work before I could submit a second manuscript. I dawdled and delayed, and I got distracted pursuing other types of writing projects in prose. By the time I finally felt secure with a manuscript I believed I would be pleased to show Al, he had become very ill and died. I wish I had created a second manuscript for him more quickly, and I regret not doing so.

3. Why did you start seeking publication? Why do you continue?

I have never been one devoted to publication. I admire the way some poets are so dedicated and persistent in submitting work for publication. When it comes to submissions, I confess to being lackadaisical. Indeed, half the poems I publish in magazines are the result of editors soliciting material, and I am thankful to them. I usually dislike the paperwork process of mailing and tracking submissions, even with the ease permitted by journals that accept email submissions. I know this sounds odd coming from an editor who reads others’ submissions daily and a poet who has had more than 250 publications in journals over the years.

Nevertheless, I continue to seek publication because I like sharing my work with readers. As I always advise my students, our written words are meant for communication with others. Additionally, I especially enjoy engaging in the ongoing community of authors appearing in literary journals. In fact, I usually submit to magazines in which I have seen work by writers I admire, and upon acceptance I am pleased to be invited to join their group . . ..

I request readers visit “Very Like a Whale” for the rest of the interview. In addition, if anyone has other questions I can answer, please feel free to ask. Again, I thank Nic Sebastian for thinking of me as a participant in this series of interviews.

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