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

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

W.D. Snodgrass (1926-2009): Walking Through the Universe

When I received the sad news early Tuesday afternoon from his wife Kathy that W.D. Snodgrass had died during the morning hours, succumbing to the lung cancer he had battled for the last four months, I was relieved to be informed he at least had passed away quickly and without pain. In addition, I was grateful that I had an opportunity just last week to communicate to De how much he and his poetry had meant to me and many other fellow poets or readers of contemporary literature. Indeed, only eight days earlier I had published at “One Poet’s Notes” a tribute to the poet on the occasion of his 83rd birthday. In that article I had provided visitors with a link to a video interview, demonstrating De’s lively ability to engagingly discuss poetry and displaying his lovely personality. At the time, I was pleased to learn from Kathy Snodgrass that De had seen the note of appreciation and had heard of numerous similarly complimentary comments coming from others as well.

Today, as those of us who love passionate poetry and value fine literature mourn the passing of W.D. Snodgrass, and as we offer comments of condolence to his family and friends, let us realize we will miss the man, but through the magnificent words of his poetry, De will forever be “walking through the universe” and will always remain in the hearts of his readers. In fact, let us begin compiling our treasury of Snodgrass’s poetry with the following appropriate piece, “These Trees Stand . . . ,” which first appeared in his groundbreaking premiere collection of poems, Heart’s Needle, published fifty years ago in 1959.


These trees stand very tall under the heavens.
While they stand, if I walk, all stars traverse
This steep celestial gulf their branches chart.
Though lovers stand at sixes and at sevens
While civilizations come down with the curse,
Snodgrass is walking through the universe.

I can’t make any world go around your house.
But note this moon. Recall how the night nurse
Goes ward-rounds, by the mild, reflective art
Of focusing her flashlight on her blouse.
Your name’s safe conduct into love or verse;
Snodgrass is walking through the universe.

Your name’s absurd, miraculous as sperm
And as decisive. If you can’t coerce
One thing outside yourself, why you’re the poet!
What irrefrangible atoms whirl, affirm
Their destiny and form Lucinda’s skirts!
She can’t make up your mind. Soon as you know it,
Your firmament grows touchable and firm.
If all this world runs battlefield or worse,
Come, let us wipe our glasses on our shirts:
Snodgrass is walking through the universe.

—W.D. Snodgrass


Anonymous said...

RIP, Snodgrass.

Anonymous said...

Ed, thank you so much for letting us speak to him last week, and for passing on this news to us.
Helen Frost

Anonymous said...

there's an interesting obit in the Independent newspaper (London). Independent.co.uk and a nice piece by jay parini in the Guardian (London) -- Guardian.co.uk. Funny how England seems to appreciate him more than here...