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

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Remembering Rochelle Ratner: "Fish Tank"

The VPR Poem of the Week is Rochelle Ratner’s “Fish Tank,” a prose poem which appeared in the Fall/Winter 2004-2005 issue (Volume VI, Number 1) of Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Rochelle Ratner, who passed away March 31st at the age of 59, was the author of sixteen collections of poetry, including Practicing to Be a Woman: New and Selected Poems (Scarecrow Press, 1982), Someday Songs (BkMk Press, 1992), House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003), and Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), which was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Book Award. Ratner also authored two novels published by Coffee House Press, Bobby’s Girl (1986) and The Lion’s Share (1991). An anthology she edited, Bearing Life: Women’s Writings on Childlessness, was published by The Feminist Press in 2000.

Her poetry and criticism appeared widely in literary journals, including Library Journal, Nation, Poetry Review, and Shenandoah. Over the decades she contributed to literature, Ratner served as an editor for a number of periodicals, including more than twenty-five years as Executive Editor or Associate Editor of American Book Review. In addition, Rochelle Ratner was a member of the Book Critics Circle board of directors, and for a couple years she was the National Book Critics Circle Vice President for Publications.

I am pleased Valparaiso Poetry Review was able to present Rochelle Ratner’s “Fish Tank”:


It just seems perverse to her, to have this fish tank dead center in the ophthalmologist’s waiting room. To have people sit trapped and facing those small moving forms, their reflections captured in the glass at different angles. Black and white against green foliage and rich brown coral, small stripes, wide stripes, hints of red, not to mention pebbles. Deep unmoving and unflinching eyes. Relentless sound of gurgling. New shapes appearing out of nowhere. One with long, thin whiskers that she didn’t see before.

Tuesday of each week “One Poet’s Notes” highlights an exceptional work by a poet selected from the archives of Valparaiso Poetry Review with the recommendation that readers revisit it. Please check the sidebar to view the list of poets and works that have been past “Poem of the Week” selections. Additionally, readers are reminded that VPR pages are best read with the browser font preference in which they were set, 12 pt. Times New Roman, in order to guarantee the stanza alignment and the breaks of longer lines are preserved.


crocodile said...

I did not know Rochelle had passed away, And it is always painful to see something in print when a page is opened for other reasons. Thank you for noticing her with elegance. I knew her. Grace Cavalieri

Marie said...

I only "met" Rochelle once...in the late 60s...but we have been friends, in the way writers have always been friends by mail and then e-mail, ever since. Still, I never knew she was ill. Never knew she'd died until today.

She was an extraordinary writer. An original.

Marie Harris

Anonymous said...

I never knew her, but we occupied some of the same publications and I respected her. I'd exchanged an email with her about six months before she died, and she mentioned nothing about her illness. She was a serious worker in the fields of literature, and I feel her absence.

Kelly Cherry

Anonymous said...

Rochelle Ratner was my cousin and I was so happy to see your tribute to her. She was a brave soul and I miss her alot.

A said...

A poem entitled fish tanks? ROFL... I dunno what she was thinking... fishes? aquarium? coral reefs?