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

Friday, February 6, 2009

Henry David Thoreau on Writing a Journal: 300 Posts

I have just noticed that the number of entries to “One Poet’s Notes” passed the 300 mark in the last week. When I began the blog a little bit more than two years ago, I had no sense of the direction or frequency of posting that might take place. Nevertheless, I knew I wanted the blog’s purpose to approach the intentions often witnessed in a writer’s journal—a record of observations and experiences, as well as personal perspectives on literature and writing—while also acting as an editor’s notes inviting and engaging readers with references to works included within the issues of Valparaiso Poetry Review. Certainly, my associations with examples of writers’ journals reflect back to my studies on the extensive logs of such authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, though I make no pretense that the entries in this blog even approximate the excellence found in the works of those two figures.

Additionally, despite my own surprise at the amount of content I have offered here over the past two years, I remain stunned by the phenomenal extent of the compositions by Emerson and Thoreau in their various volumes. Indeed, Thoreau kept his journals for decades and accumulated more than two million words. Furthermore, Thoreau viewed his endeavor with great seriousness of intent as a writer, including an attempt to use language for better understanding the connections between humans and nature, through images and the imagination, as well as between the realms of the physical and the spiritual evident to Thoreau in the elements of the world surrounding him.

Consequently, in an expression paying homage to these individuals one might regard as possible precursors to the contemporary blog, I present one of the entries Thoreau wrote about the act of recording one’s observations and thoughts regularly in a journal, proposing periodic writing of personal perceptions as a natural gesture arising from one’s imagination and evoking significant spiritual sentiments.

My journal is that of me which would else spill over and run to waste, gleanings from the field which in action I reap. I must not live for it, but in it for the gods. They are my correspondent, to whom I send off the sheet postpaid. I am clerk in their counting-room, and at evening transfer the account from day-book to ledger. It is as a leaf which hangs over my head in the path. I bend the twig and write my prayers on it; then letting it go, the bough springs up and shows the scrawl to heaven. As if it were not kept shut in my desk, but were as public a leaf as any in nature. It is papyrus by the riverside; it is vellum in the pastures; it is parchment on the hills. I find it everywhere as free as the leaves which troop along the lanes in autumn. The crow, the goose, the eagle carry my quill, and the wind blows the leaves as far as I go. Or, if my imagination does not soar, but gropes in slime and mud, then I write with a reed.

—from The Journal of Henry David Thoreau: February 8, 1841


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