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

Thursday, April 2, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day: A Poem by Barbara Crooker

On this date (April 2) recognized around the globe as World Autism Awareness Day, I’d like to remind readers of Barbara Crooker’s appropriate poem for the occasion, “Driving Under the Clerestory of Leaves,” which first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2002-2003 issue (Volume IV, Number 1) of Valparaiso Poetry Review.


We drive to your special education preschool
under an arch of maples, half green, half turned to gold,
the dark branches bold as the ribs
of a great cathedral, flying buttresses
that bend the light.
You haven’t changed in the last two years,
developmentally delayed, mildly retarded,
school a struggle to stay in your seat,
say the beginnings of words,
point to colors and shapes.
While you wrestle with scissors,
daub with paste, I sit in the hallway,
trying to write, turn straw into gold.

When our two hours are spent,
we drive back up the hill toward home,
see the stand of mixed hardwoods
in full conflagration: red-gold, burnt orange,
blazing against the cobalt sky.
The architect who made these trees
was sleeping when he made this boy.
And my heart, like the leaves, burns & burns.

—Barbara Crooker

Readers also are invited to visit a previous post on “One Poet’s Notes” with poetry concerning this issue, “Autism and Poetry.”


Anonymous said...

If I believed the "architect was sleeping" when he made this boy or mine, I'd be very sad. For me there is purpose, reason and beauty in the difference and I'm here to learn the lesson. Of course there is sadness mixed in as well and perhaps she's just expressing one emotion here.

EMMLP said...

I am glad to see Barbara's work here. I've admired her poems about her son and autism for a long time.
To me, it is the very notion that "architect was sleeping" that lends emotional depth to the poem.