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, August 28, 2009

Twentieth Century American Poets: Readers Reply

In a post at “One Poet’s Notes” a couple of days ago I presented a list of 100 poets that might be a representative sampling of Twentieth Century American Poetry. Since I composed the roster quickly as I was preparing a course syllabus on the subject, I was certain there could be some oversights, and I invited visitors to recommend additional names of poets they thought should be included as well. In the brief time since that article appeared, I have received from readers numerous responses, containing the names of more than 100 other poets, in the blog’s comments section, at my facebook page, and through personal emails.

I also appreciated the comments accompanying many of the suggestions. At first I was hesitant about sharing this list, thinking along the line that Robin Kemp stated in her comment, “Boy, you’re really asking for it, aren’t you?!” Nevertheless, I believe readers’ replies exhibited something expressed in John Guzlowski’s comment: “I think that what this list and the comments adding more names to the list suggest is that poetry isn’t dead. It's alive as you or I.” On the other hand, Daniel E. Pritchard at The Wooden Spoon offered a contrary view as he observed: “I’m struck by how sparse the century was in terms of really obviously great poetry. This list probably could have been 50 titles and some of them still would’ve been in dispute.”

Those individuals suggested by readers as additions to the Twentieth Century American Poetry list include the following (in alphabetical order): Anya Achtenberg, Kim Addonizio, Floyce Alexander, Sherman Alexie, Jack Anderson, Jenne Andrews, Maya Angelou, Zoe Anglesey, David Antin, David Baker, Amiri Baraka, Ted Berrigan, Frank Bidart, Besmilr Brigham, Lucie Brock-Broido, William Bronk, Olga Broumas, Christopher Buckley, Charles Bukowski, Kathryn Stripling Byers, Olga Cabral, Jared Carter, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Fred Chappell, Sandra Cisneros, Clark Coolidge, Alfred Corn, Gregory Corso, Edward Dorn, Sharon Doubiago, Alan Dugan, Denise Duhamel, Stephen Dunn, Cornelius Eady, Russell Edson, Claudia Emerson, Martin Espada, Kenneth Fearing, Gene Frumkin, Tess Gallagher, Reginald Gibbons, Jack Gilbert, Madeline Gins, David Gitin, Don Gordon, Linda Gregg, Thom Gunn, Marilyn Hacker, Donald Hall, Michael Harper, Lyn Hejinian, Edward Hirsch, George Hitchcock, H.L. Hix, Linda Hogan, Garrett Hongo, Susan Howe, Andrew Hudgins, Langston Hughes, Lynda Hull, T.R. Hummer, Dale Jacobson, Robinson Jeffers, Ronald Johnson, Jane Kenyon, Kenneth Koch, Ted Kooser, Dorianne Laux, Li-Young Lee, D.A. Levy, Thomas Lux, Jackson Maclow, David Mason, William Matthews, Heather McHugh, Michael McClure, Thomas McGrath, David Meltzer, William Meredith, Bernadette Meyer, Bert Meyers, Herbert Morris, Lorine Neidecker, Sheryl Noethe, Alice Notley, George Oppen, Gregory Orr, Alicia Ostriker, Michael Palmer, Dorothy Parker, Kenneth Patchen, Bob Perelman, Stanley Plumly, Carl Rakosi, Joan Retallack, Charles Reznikoff, Patiann Rogers, Kay Ryan, Sonia Sanchez, Sherod Santos, Leslie Scalapino, James Schuyler, Delmore Schwartz, Hugh Seidman, Dr. Seuss, Ron Silliman, Cathy Song, Gary Soto, Jack Spicer, Frank Stanford, Gerald Stern, James Tate, Natasha Trethewey, Diane Wakoski, Rosemarie Waldrop, Bruce Weigl, Philip Whalen, James Whitehead, Miller Williams, Keith Wilson, William Witherup, Franz Wright, Jay Wright, Robert Wrigley, Erika T. Wurth, Kevin Young, and Louis Zukofsky.

Some other figures recommended by readers would not qualify for a list of American poets: Margaret Atwood, Robin Blaser, Joseph Brodsky, Anne Carson, A.E. Housman, Ted Hughes, Federico Garcia Lorca, Czeslaw Milosz, Paul Muldoon, Pablo Neruda, Dylan Thomas, Derek Walcott, William Butler Yeats. W.H Auden became an American citizen about the age of 39, the same age T.S. Eliot became a British subject; yet, I usually have regarded Auden as a British poet just as I continue to consider Eliot as an American poet. Nevertheless, although Laure-Anne Bosselaar grew up in Belgium and Rosemarie Waldrop was born in Germany, I do regard the pair as American poets.

I thank all of you for the numerous replies, which I am passing along to students in my Twentieth Century American Poetry course for examination and further consideration. Certainly, my omission of Robinson Jeffers and Langston Hughes were inadvertent oversights. In addition, I was pleased to note readers also recommended many of my favorite poets, such as Donald Hall, William Matthews, Alfred Corn, Gregory Orr, Kay Ryan, and scores of others, some about whom I have written extensively and very positively elsewhere.

As I mentioned in the original post, “the artificial cutoff of 100 for myself necessitated painful decisions as a number of poets (more than a dozen) whose works I enjoy very much had to be left out. In fact, some of those poets are favorites of mine much more than others that were included; however, I reminded myself this is not meant merely to be a list of my personal preferences.” Indeed, if we were to strictly maintain a list of 100, perhaps the way a course syllabus must be limited, I now ask readers to consider the tough choices that would be involved in removing poets from the original list to make room for their many newly suggested individuals.

Again, my thanks for all the replies.


Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Daniel E. Pritchard. (But, the more poetry read, the better.) For me, the modern Americans I've come to love are Wallace Stevens and Robert Frost. Trailing them are Eliot, Moore, Bishop, Merrill, Roethke, Pound, Cummings, and I enjoy Graham in spurts. -- David Robbins

phyllisjohnson said...

I've met Claudia Emmerson and Gregory Orr and I love their poetry too. They have been to the Chesapeake Poetry Festival here in Virginia. The festival planners have been wonderful at inviting some of the most beloved wordsmiths to our area. One of our native poets, Professor Dave Smith has done a great job establishing an excellent poetry collection in the library. Thanks for posting this list of 100 outstanding poets. (I know the list could go on and on... and include Nathasha Trethewey, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, etc. etc.)
Phyllis Johnson

Susan Wood said...

I find it really incomprehensible that Stanley Plumly wasn't suggested by anyone--he's such a wonderful poet and has never received the attention he deserves. The place to start would be his selected poems: "Now My Father Lies Down Beside Me." That said, I know the list could be endless, but Plumly seems like a major omission.

John Guzlowski said...

Edward, you are a work horse.

The time you must spend thinking about poetry and poets and your students and all of us out here in poetry-land is mind-boggling. You're doing work that money can't buy.

You deserve a raise!

Thank you. Really.

Edward Byrne said...


You are correct. I will insert Plumly on the list.


Halvard Johnson said...

What! No Calvin Trillin? No Edgar Guest? No Ogden Nash?

Halvard Johnson said...

What! No Don Marquis?

Anonymous said...

A part of me laughed not to see Maya Angelou on the original list. Only because as one of the few poets who can make their living off their published works, I bet she'd be throwing her hands up in the air if she were to read the list. :P

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Edward, I'm amazed to find my name on the list! Thanks for adding Fred Chappell. He is our "resident genius," both here and across the country, as far as I'm concerned. So many poets! So little time! K. Byer

Art Durkee said...

Hayden Carruth, please.

There are so many others I could also name.

But then, these lists are so often lists of favorites, rather than something more "critically objective." If that's even possible.

Anonymous said...

edgar bowers and l. e. sissman

Shoshanna said...

Deborah Digges!!

UFC 102 Live Stream said...

great article. first time here in your blog. Keep up the good work! by the way, can we exchange links?

Unknown said...

Sorry that I am late getting to this.

I nominate "The Theory & Practice of Rivers" by Jim Harrison.

Lisa Nanette Allender said...

Great list, especially Li Young Lee, Tom Lux, Denise Duhamel, Natasha Trethewey....
but where are Cecilia Woloch(especially "Late" and "Narcissus")), Maureen Seaton(especially "Venus Examines Her Breast", and "The Sea Among The Cupboards"), Bridget Peegen Kelley(especially "The Orchard")?

Elise Paschen said...

Dear Ed, Just read the list this morning, and I haven't had a chance to study it closely, but I also would like to propose "The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems" of Agha Shahid Ali. As you may recall, he became an American citizen. For that matter, I believe Paul Muldoon also is an American citizen. What about Mary Jo Salter, Brad Leithauser, Molly Peacock, Richard Howard? What a challenge! With thanks! Elise Paschen

Anonymous said...

Fans of Franz Wright should check out

Readings from Wheeling Motel

Unknown said...

David Ray, Robert Stewart, Greg Field, MaryFrances Wagner.

Anonymous said...

Respectfully suggest that Wyslawa Szymborska, Polish Nobel Laureate who died recently belongs on your list. Diana Cobos