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, December 14, 2009

Poet of the Year: W.S. Merwin

Each December “One Poet’s Notes” participates in the annual ritual practiced by numerous magazines, newspapers, and television programs that review the previous year in order to create various “best of” lists or to select an “Entertainer of the Year,” “Athlete of the Year,” or even “Person of the Year,” as Time magazine labels its choice. As has been the case in the past, “One Poet’s Notes” designates a “Poet of the Year.” At the close of each year, a poet whose notable work merited attention during the previous twelve months is selected for acknowledgment and appreciation.

Just as in previous years, a number of outstanding poets have distinguished themselves since last December to a degree that they earned serious consideration for this annual recognition. Nevertheless, one poet’s work garnered praise for its content and quality, but also encouraged a wide array of readers to review and reconsider a lifetime of considerable contribution to poetry worthy of acclaim and applause. Consequently, W.S. Merwin deserves designation as the 2009 Poet of the Year.

As noted in a “One Poet’s Notes” article last April, W.S. Merwin won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for The Shadow of Sirius, published by Copper Canyon Press. Merwin had previously won a Pulitzer Prize nearly forty years ago for his book of poems, The Carrier of Ladders, published in 1970. Indeed, W.S. Merwin has been an important voice in American poetry since winning the Yale Series of Younger Poets award with his first volume of poems, A Mask for Janus, in 1952.

Some of the accomplishments chronicled in that previous post at “One Poet’s Notes” include the following: “W.S. Merwin has published nearly two dozen collections of poetry and twenty books of translation, as well as numerous plays and books of prose. In addition to the two Pulitzer Prizes, Merwin also has won the National Book Award for Migration: New and Selected Poems, published in 2005. Furthermore, he has received the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Bollingen Prize, a Ford Foundation grant, the Governor’s Award for Literature of the State of Hawaii, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Harriet Monroe Award, the PEN Translation Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Writers’ Award, the Tanning Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. W.S. Merwin is a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and has served as Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress.”

During the last year, success enjoyed by The Shadow of Sirius, accompanied by some news features and interviews on television or radio, has expanded the audience for W.S. Merwin’s poetry and extended interest in his unique style of writing to numerous new readers of poetry. The spotlight focused upon Merwin’s latest collection of poetry has created a larger readership for his poems, one that consists of many younger readers just discovering his work, and resulted in renewing older readers’ attention to Merwin’s distinguished lifetime of writing.

Indeed, various reviews of The Shadow of Sirius have remarked upon the book’s sense of retrospection, how this volume seems to present messages that blend memory and imagination with a mixture of mature wisdom and acute awareness of mortality (“part memory part distance remaining”), apparently serving as an apt culmination of his career. The Harvard Review concluded: “The Shadow of Sirius may be showing us some of the best poetry written today, but unlike the impossible shadow cast by the sky’s brightest star, the book also shows the earthly possibilities of simple completeness in a writer’s mature work.” Harold Bloom has hailed The Shadow of Sirius as “the very best of Merwin,” and the Pulitzer Prize citation for The Shadow of Sirius declared it “a collection of luminous, often tender poems that focus on the profound power of memory.”

Commenting on The Shadow of Sirius in a lengthy televised interview with Bill Moyers, Merwin offered: “We are the shadow of Sirius. There is the other side—as we talk to each other, we see the light, and we see these faces, but we know that behind that, there’s the other side, which we never know. And that—it’s the dark, the unknown side that guides us—and that is part of our lives all the time. It’s the mystery. That’s always with us, too. And it gives the depth and dimension to the rest of it.”

W.S. Merwin has delighted and inspired readers with his singular style of poetry and insightful perceptions of the world around him for more than half a century. With The Shadow of Sirius, this poet continues to educate and enlighten everyone with an engaging work that in 2009 has reached a larger audience and now is establishing connections with a new generation of readers.

[Readers are invited to visit posts at “One Poet’s Notes” in the past that have announced the Poet of the Year: “Poet of the Year: John Ashbery” (2007) and “Poet of the Year: Mark Doty” (2008).]


Anonymous said...

Congratulations. He's Yes in PPoetry.
-Daniel de Culla

Get Info Here said...

He's old now, yet the bost poet. I salute you, sir.

dvestv said...

In my high school years, my fave subject is literature. I love reading poems in any kind.