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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Georgia O'Keeffe: RUST RED HILLS

Rust Red Hills
Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin on this date (November 15) in 1887; therefore, I believe today is an appropriate occasion for inviting visitors to read Gregg Hertzlieb’s splendid commentary on O’Keeffe’s Rust Red Hills (pictured above), cover art for the current issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review. Since the Fall/Winter 2009-2010 issue (Volume XI, Number 1) celebrates ten years of VPR’s existence, I felt the anniversary publication deserved a dramatic and vibrant cover. Consequently, when making my selection, I could think of no better example than O’Keeffe’s painting, which is one of the most popular pieces among those in the permanent collection at Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art, where Gregg Hertzlieb serves as Director and Curator.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Rust Red Hills from 1930 is one of the Brauer Museum of Art’s most beloved paintings, a masterpiece by the artist and a concrete example of the wisdom and prescience of the museum’s founding director, Richard Brauer. Brauer purchased the painting in 1962 for the museum’s permanent collection; at that time, the price was modest because American art had not yet become desirable for collectors and because viewers were still gaining an appreciation for O’Keeffe’s contributions and creativity. Rust Red Hills now stands as a monetarily and culturally valuable work, a true gem in the Brauer’s collection that dramatically depicts a New Mexico landscape that captured the artist’s imagination.

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) endures as a key figure in the history of art, the history and development of modern art in particular. While Western art prior to the twentieth century primarily was preoccupied with representational or realistic goals, with artists striving to transcribe the scenes or subjects before them, modern artists of the twentieth century (in part reacting to the representational possibilities afforded by the camera and photography) sought instead to present in their works interpretive views that commented as much on the artists’ individual identities and states of mind as they offered literal likenesses of the selected subjects. For early modern artists, abstraction gave them opportunities to see the world in new and fresh ways, sharing through their pieces their attitudes about objects or scenes that prompted or inspired them, with the actual vocabulary of painting or art making providing additional vehicles for metaphor and commentary.

Early in her career, O’Keeffe explored the abstract possibilities of various natural forms, using them perhaps as commentaries on fundamental or primal states of being as well as investigations of coloristic and gestural effects. She also painted New York cityscapes of expressive color and stylization, with such grand scenes speaking to the size of her ambition for her art and impulse toward abstraction. O’Keeffe’s husband, the famed photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), encouraged her in her efforts, praising her innovation as he did other pioneering modernists whom he championed and who were connected with his influential Manhattan gallery, An American Place.

O’Keeffe’s marriage to Stieglitz faced significant problems, however, leading O’Keeffe to travel in 1929 without Stieglitz to New Mexico and the American Southwest. This setting fascinated the artist, leading her to return every year before eventually settling permanently in 1949 in the New Mexican village of Abiquiu. O’Keeffe’s discovery of the American Southwest as a source of lasting inspiration lies at the heart of a moving and inspiring story in art that continues to captivate viewers of her pictures and readers of her biography. Here is an example of someone who truly looked deeply within and without before finding a place that enabled her to realize herself . . ..

Readers are urged to examine the rest of Gregg Hertzlieb’s commentary on Rust Red Hills, as well as the other contributions to the special tenth anniversary Fall/Winter 2009-2010 issue (Volume XI, Number 1) of Valparaiso Poetry Review.


dves said...

Wow! I like the picture. It's so nice.

Justine Valinotti said...

I love the painting, too. I've mentioned it and this post on my blog: http://transwomantimes.blogspot.com/2009/11/georgia-today.html