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

Monday, October 19, 2009

Editor's Note of Appreciation

In an article posted over the weekend at Blogalicious, Diane Lockward kindly noted the tenth anniversary issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review, released last week, and offered complimentary comments focusing on some of my remarks in the editor’s note that opens the new issue of VPR. I appreciate Lockward’s response, and I am particularly pleased that she directs her readers to two points expressed in my introduction to VPR’s current collection of works and authors. First, she applauds my continuing desire to produce an online journal that contributes to the growing stature of electronic magazines seen in recent years. Second, she shares my contention that we are witnessing the arrival of acceptance—by readers, academics, and publishers—of online magazines as existing on a par with various valued print periodicals.

As I mention in the editor’s note (reprinted below), and as I have previously discussed in a piece (“Online Literary Journals: Coming of Age”) that appeared last spring in “One Poet’s Notes,” I believe numerous online literary journals, especially those concerning the genre of poetry, have progressed tremendously during the past decade. Many magazines also have undoubtedly matured into quality publications deserving more attention and the greater respect they now seem to be receiving. Such positive reactions have been reflected in the large number of visitors to Valparaiso Poetry Review in the seven days since the tenth anniversary issue appeared, as well as in the many favorable personal messages I have received this week from readers offering praise about the poems and reviews included by contributors to the new issue of VPR, for which I am again thankful.


Ten years ago, in October of 1999, the initial issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review premiered as an online journal designed to introduce new, emerging, and established poets to the larger audience available on the Internet. Much has changed since that publication of Valparaiso Poetry Review’s first issue. At the time, the concept of an online literary journal was still a fairly novel idea and relatively untested. Reputations of existing electronic literary magazines, among authors and readers, were spotty at best. As Sandra Beasley stated in a recent article for Poets & Writers: “Online journals were a pale imitation of print, marred by amateurish fonts, garish backgrounds, and the lack of editorial accountability.” Consequently, one could not blame any writers who wondered about the wisdom of publishing material in such venues, where even the environment might diminish readers’ responses to the work.

Indeed, in the early issues of Valparaiso Poetry Review I was particularly grateful to those poets and critics who contributed to the journal based solely upon a confidence that their good works would appear among other fine pieces and be placed in an atmosphere reflecting literary integrity. I appreciated their faith that I would exercise editorial judgment in a manner that would benefit all the contributions included in every volume of VPR. Over the opening decade of the journal’s existence, I have always attempted to honor the privilege bestowed upon me by those writers who entrusted Valparaiso Poetry Review with their poetry, reviews, and essays.

Additionally, I felt a responsibility to produce an online literary journal that would attain a certain amount of respect and would contribute to the overall stature of electronic magazines, whose standing was already beginning to become more elevated due largely to the exemplary efforts by a number of other editors at similar sites. These individuals also were working toward building a community of Internet publications that would complement the numerous excellent titles in the world of print journals. I believe most readers of contemporary literature have been amazed in the past decade by the growth in popularity and the increased sophistication level of various online literary journals. I know I admire the wonderful work witnessed in many electronic publications nowadays, and I regularly applaud the activities of their editors. Moreover, as I have suggested in my writing elsewhere, I believe we have finally reached a point where readers may safely say they are observing a coming of age for the online literary journal.

I have been pleased to notice, as further evidence of an increased respect for online magazines, the “table of contents” pages of some electronic literary journals now display a wide range of well-known poets and fiction writers whose presence was limited to print journals not too long ago, and whose contributions bring greater attention to those emerging authors publishing exciting work alongside them. Moreover, when I glance at the “acknowledgments” pages of new books of poetry or volumes of literary commentary, I find myself noting how many titles of online journals, including Valparaiso Poetry Review, are represented side by side with those titles of traditional print periodicals, all of which seem to have adopted at least some degree of online presence as well in recent years. In fact, various print journals have evolved into “hybrids,” also offering their content online, and during the past few years, readers have seen esteemed literary magazines start to migrate fully from a print format to an online-only status.

I value all the poems and depend on each author in Valparaiso Poetry Review; therefore, I wish to take this special opportunity to express again my appreciation to everyone whose splendid work has appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review during the past ten years of the journal’s publication. The number of people to whom I am grateful for contributing their writing rises every year, as VPR currently includes about 500 poems and more than 100 works of prose commentary in its twenty-one issues.

Likewise, the readership for Valparaiso Poetry Review has soared far beyond my expectations over the years, and I am pleased to report I am confident VPR’s readers can look forward to more exceptional work in the future with poems, essays, interviews, reviews, and commentary that visitors to Valparaiso Poetry Review will find equally as entertaining, engaging, and enlightening.

Additionally, I appreciate very much all the ongoing support and positive feedback Valparaiso Poetry Review has received in e-mails or through readers’ comments at “One Poet’s Notes,” the VPR editor’s blog, as well as in messages sent by means of the VPR Facebook page. I also look forward to any responses readers might have to this special tenth anniversary issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review, which celebrates the occasion by presenting significantly more poems than previous issues of VPR.

Once again, thank you to all, writers and readers, for the numerous outstanding contributions and many kind words of encouragement concerning Valparaiso Poetry Review during the past decade.

With gratitude,
Edward Byrne
Editor, Valparaiso Poetry Review

Visitors are invited to read the tenth anniversary issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review (Fall/Winter 2009-2010: Volume XI, Number 1).


Diana Manister said...

Dear Ed,

Congratulations on the success of Valpairaso Poetry Review. I can understand the need to publish conventional poetry and well-known poets when an ezine is in startup mode, but once established perhaps you'll present new poets whose work is risky and strange.

denparser said...

I remembered this poetry. We've taken this when I studied in College. Just last year.