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

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Frederic Edwin Church: MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE

Frederic Edwin Church was born in Hartford, Connecticut on this date (May 4) in 1826. Church learned his craft as a student landscape painter under the tutelage of an already well-known master and leader of the famed Hudson River School, Thomas Cole. After Cole’s death, when Church was still in his early twenties, the pupil assumed his mentor’s role by becoming a representative among the new generation in the Hudson River School, developing into a skilled creator recognized for vivid and idealized American landscapes on canvas. Later, Church traveled extensively, expanding his vision and producing remarkable landscape paintings of other lands as well.

The reverence with which Church approached the human presence among elements of nature’s terrain appropriately reflected similar attitudes revealed in the literature introduced by nineteenth-century Romantic poets who frequently wished to engender an attitude of awe in their readers towards a sacred nature. His immense and powerful paintings that stretched sometimes almost as wide as ten feet—such as Niagara, which established his fame, and Heart of the Andes, which sold for an amazing amount of $10,000 in 1859—signaled Church’s intention to use such a large scale to contrast nature’s power over a fragile humanity, usually minimally illustrated within nature’s impressive splendor, as well as to overwhelm viewers with the natural grace and grandeur of the countryside scenery he presented.

By the time he reached his forties—during the same period when Walt Whitman was depicting an authentic portrait of America and its natural vista in his poetry—Frederic Edwin Church had matured into an acclaimed American authority whose paintings displayed intense moralized landscapes that seemed to elevate nature and unite it with a spiritual essence, as if his wide skies with ominously dark or richly tinted clouds riding above extended horizons filled with lush features exhibited an ethereal beauty integrating heaven and earth.

I am pleased to note that one of Frederic Edwin Church’s magnificent panoramas—Mountain Landscape, surprisingly painted on the limited surface of a smaller canvas—appears as the cover art for Valparaiso Poetry Review’s latest issue (Spring/Summer 2008: Volume IX, Number 2). I invite visitors to view this artwork and to read an elegantly expressive essay—by Gregg Hertzlieb, Director of the Brauer Museum of Art—which contains commentary about this wonderful oil on canvas composition by Church and also is included in the new issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review.

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