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, May 3, 2010

Pulitzer Prize for a Small Press and a New Poem

When the winners of the 2010 Pulitzer Prizes were announced recently, I was pleased to see Tinkers, a debut novel by Paul Harding, had been chosen for the fiction award. Indeed, many were surprised by the selection: not only was this an initial book for the author, but also a small fledgling nonprofit publisher, Bellevue Literary Press (a project of the New York University School of Medicine), had released the volume.

Indeed, an article that appeared in the New York Times following news of the Pulitzer Prize selections labeled Tinkers as the “one that got away” not just because the major publishing houses missed out on the book, but also because the New York Times hadn’t even bothered to review the novel. As Gregory Cowles explained: “Every now and then a good book completely passes us by: we don’t get a copy, for whatever reason, and we don’t request one because the book’s not on our radar. That’s what happened with Paul Harding’s first novel, Tinkers, which was published at the beginning of 2009 by the Bellevue Literary Press, a small publisher that had only been in business for a couple of years.”

The publisher reports Harding’s Tinkers as a novel chronicling the thoughts and imagination of a dying man. It is a book “about the legacy of consciousness and the porousness of identity from one generation to the next. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, it is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature.” Although Harding signed a two-book publication deal with Random House after Tinkers was published, those of us who especially appreciate small presses enjoyed this opportunity to remind everyone of their important role in contemporary American literature.

Likewise, I’d like to remind readers about Bellevue Literary Review, also published by the Department of Medicine at New York University Press. On its website, the journal is described by its editors: “Bellevue Literary Review is a unique literary magazine that examines human existence through the prism of health and healing, illness and disease. Each issue is filled with high quality, easily accessible poetry, short stories, and essays that appeal to a wide audience of readers. Because of the universal themes, many readers feel a personal connection to the BLR and find reflections of their own lives and experiences.” In fact, the journal also carries a descriptive subtitle—A journal of humanity and human experience.

I am particularly proud to note that one of my new poems, “Autism: Hyperlexia,” appears in the Spring 2010 issue of Bellevue Literary Review. The full table of contents for the current issue includes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by Amanda Auchter, Callista Bachen, Allison Baker, Edward Byrne, Jack Coulehan, Gregg Cusick, M.M. De Voe, Fay Dillof, Albert Dixon, Ron Drummond, Rachel Contreni Flynn, Larry Hill, Mark Holden, Helen Hooper, Joan Kip, Margaret Kogan, Jenifer Browne Lawrence, Kent Leathem, Carol McCarthy, David Milofsky, Anna Mirer, Nancy Carol Moody, Amanda Newell, Ben Orlando, Rebecca B. Rank, Alexa Rose Steinberg, and Virginia Chase Sutton.

I offer a sneak preview of the issue with “Autism: Hyperlexia,” and I urge readers to visit the Bellevue Literary Review website to order a copy or to begin a subscription.


My son eyed the large and wide print
. . . . . stenciled across an interstate billboard.

At three, he’d already taught himself
. . . . . to read over a year earlier, even before

he could tell anyone how well he knew
. . . . . to spell words we had never heard him

say. My wife and I were surprised
. . . . . once again by the way he spoke terms

learned through no method we know,
. . . . . on this day reciting lines of a highway

advertisement shining under bright
. . . . . summer sunlight, its bold gold and red

lettering—Family accommodations,
. . . . .
adventurous activities, and exhilarating

attractions ahead—sending a message
. . . . . to tourists that now seems meant more

to us as a lesson we only discovered
. . . . . somewhere much farther down the road.

—Edward Byrne


Maureen said...

I recently learned about Bellevue Literary Review and find it to be an impressive publication.

Congratulations on having your beautiful poem published there.

Josiah Bancroft said...

I particularly like the lyric in the phrase "shining under bright / summer sunlight, its bold gold and red lettering."

Judith van Praag said...

Fantastic news that small presses are on the radar of judges for the Big Prizes such as the Pulitzer!

Judith van Praag said...

Would you consider adding the "followers" gadget to your blogpost template? I'd like to keep track or your posts.

Christa said...

Congratulations on the publication of this beautiful poem.

May I post it, with a link to your blog, on my blog, Hyperlexicon, where I write about raising a son with Hyperlexia? I think my readers would really enjoy it.

Thank you!


Edward Byrne said...

Hi, Judith. Thanks for your suggestion. I have added a "followers" box in the sidebar.


Edward Byrne said...

Thank you, Christa.

Of course, please feel free to use the poem on your blog and direct your readers to "One Poet's Notes" for additional poems or information. I will check out your blog as well.

Isn't it an unusual experience filled with many surprises having a child with hyperlexia?

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...


What a tender, gorgeous, important poem! A poem hasn't reached me like this in a long while. Thank you!