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

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Maxine Kumin: "Seven Caveats in May"

Maxine Kumin was born on this date (June 6) in 1925. In an article at “One Poet’s Notes” last June, “Maxine Kumin: To Live Gracefully,” which includes links to a reading by the poet accompanied by a slideshow of lovely photographs of Kumin on her farm with some of its inhabitants, the piece demonstrated a bit of the graceful manner with which she lives. In that post I described Kumin’s career as a poet:
Maxine Kumin has published sixteen volumes of poetry, five collections of essays or memoirs, numerous children’s books, and a handful of novels. She has received various awards over the past four decades, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and she once served as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position that now carries the title Poet Laureate of the United States.

As I mentioned over a year ago in my review of Jack and Other New Poems (W.W. Norton, 2005), when encountering Maxine Kumin’s poetry one can sometimes become lulled by the steady and resolute direction of her unpretentious sentences. Whether guided by traditional forms and a regular rhyme or filled with the more relaxed sense of free verse, Kumin’s work normally ends up engaging the reader as she steers the content toward a determined end. Even the patterns in her poems, deliberate meditations on nature or mortality and dramatic pieces reflecting personal or political perspectives, rarely seem very surprising and are hardly suspenseful. Yet, this poet’s usually careful control of language and overriding tone frequently prove persuasive enough to enlighten and enrich.

Moreover, in her more formal poems she still manages to present a relaxed or informal voice, one with a lyricism that invites listeners and with a rationale that reassures readers. Now in her eighties, Maxine Kumin often maintains a lively and engaging monologue in which one witnesses a mixture of her wisdom and her wit.

In the video shown here, Maxine Kumin reads “Seven Caveats in May” at the New York State Writers Institute in 2005. Readers are encouraged to examine further details about Kumin and her poetry included in the lengthier previous posts mentioned above: “Maxine Kumin: To Live Gracefully” and “Maxine Kumin: Jack and Other New Poems.”

1 comment:

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Maxine was somewhat like a mentor to me years ago when I was just beginning my poet's journey (that makes it sound more "poetic." While I was struggling to get my first book published, she wrote me, "You have to be stubborn to make it as a poet." I didn't yet know how right she was, but I've tried to follow her advice ever since. I wish her many more Happy Birthday's. Kathryn Stripling Byer