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, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day and Irish American Poetry: Hayden Carruth's "Her Song"

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I remind readers of an impressive anthology, The Book of Irish American Poetry: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present, edited by Daniel Tobin and published by the University of Notre Dame Press (2007). The collection includes poems from over 200 individuals in a volume extending more than 900 pages. As I noted in a previous post, Tobin compiled the anthology in an effort to address a specific question raised in the book’s introduction: “What does it mean to be an Irish American poet?” The book jacket copy suggests the anthology “answers this question by drawing together the best and most representative poetry by Irish Americans and about Irish America that has been written over the past three hundred years.”

In fact, in that previous article on this topic I observed: “since the book explores Irish American poetry rather than just Irish American poets, Tobin’s editorial reach is extensive, as one finds within the volume’s covers a wide array of poets who claim Irish ancestry or who write pieces about Ireland and the Irish: Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Robinson Jeffers, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, John Berryman, Thomas McGrath, Robert Creeley, Frank O’Hara, Ted Berrigan, Charles Olson, Galway Kinnell, X.J. Kennedy, Jean Valentine, Alan Dugan, Maureen Stanton, Brendan Galvin, Billy Collins, Susan Howe, Michael Ryan, Irene McKinney, James Schuyler, Maureen Owen, John Logan, Joan Houlihan, Walt McDonald, Eavan Boland, and many others.” I am pleased to report my own work is represented as well by a pair of poems in the anthology, including “Homecoming.”

Additionally, Daniel Tobin includes in the anthology a poem (“Her Song”) by Hayden Carruth, whose death at the age of 87 last September 29 was reported in a “One Poet’s Notes” post with an accompanying video of the poet offering his poetry. The presentation was taped during an appearance by Carruth at Marlboro College only months before his death, and it displays Carruth reading “Ray,” a poem dedicated to his old friend Raymond Carver, and poignantly reminiscing about the time when he heard of Carver’s death. I encourage readers to revisit the video.

Today, as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, seems an appropriate time to share with everyone Hayden Carruth’s lovely poem, “Her Song”:


She sings blues in a voice that is partly
Irish. But “music is international.” Singing
With her blue eyes open, her auburn hair
Flung back, yes, searching a distant horizon
For a sometime beacon or the first glimmer
Of sunrise. She sings in the dark. Only her own light
Illuminates her, although in the shadows
Are dim shapes, motionless, known to be
The tormented—in the bogs of Ireland, in
The bayous of Louisiana, relics of thousands
Upon thousands who suffered unimaginably
In ancient times. And in her husky contralto
They are suffering still. Knowingly she sings.
Music is anthropological. This is a burden,
For in her song no one can be redeemed.

—Hayden Carruth

Hayden Carruth published more than thirty books during his career of about 50 years, including Toward the Distant Islands: New and Selected Poems (2006) and Doctor Jazz: Poems 1996-2000 (2001). Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995 (1996) earned the National Book Award for Poetry, and Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991 (1992), received the National Book Critics' Circle Award. Carruth also authored a number of nonfiction books and collections of critical essays, as well as a novel. At various times, Hayden Carruth held fellowships from the Bollingen Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lannan Literary Foundation. Among his prizes and honors, Carruth won the Lenore Marshall Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Vermont Governor's Medal, the Carl Sandburg Award, the Whiting Award, and the Ruth Lilly Prize. He taught at Bucknell University and at Syracuse University.


John Guzlowski said...

Edward, thanks for the note and the reference to the video of Carruth reading "Ray."

I first heard of Hayden through his tremendous 1970 anthology of American poets The Voice that Is Great with Us. I couldn't put the book down, carried it where ever I went, read from it to every one who would listen. For me, he showed me who the American poets were more than any class I took.

Thanks for telling people about him.

Alfred Corn said...

Thanks, Ed, for alerting us to this anthology, which I didn't know about. Also, for the Carruth poem.

My grandfather was Liverpool Irish, and my grandmother a descendent of Irish immigrants to Nova Scotia in the 18th century. A book of mine titled =The West Door= has a series of poems set in Ireland, under the title "After Ireland." Ireland is the only country I've ever visited where answering the question "What do you do?" provoked no embarrassment on either side. Erin go bragh!