POETRY FROM PARADISE VALLEY

POETRY FROM PARADISE VALLEY
Click Image to Visit the Pecan Grove Press Web Page for Poetry from Paradise Valley

POETRY FROM PARADISE VALLEY web page

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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Wake": Poetic Response to the Gulf Oil Spill



. . . spotted with dark clots, each swirl
of oil floats near the beach.


As the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico continues to spread, nearly three months after the initial explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig in late April, the full extent of the disaster still cannot be predicted. Even if current attempts to cap the gusher succeed soon, tragic consequences for the waters and shoreline of coastal states will continue to spread throughout the area. In addition, one can only guess the number of years, perhaps even decades, over which the damaged region will be negatively impacted, environmentally and economically. Finally, nobody will ever be able to measure the detrimental emotional toll and injury to individuals’ spirits that will result from this harmful experience.

Like many writers, nature has constantly remained an integral focus of my work, not only as a poet, but also as a professor teaching environmental literature courses. In fact, having lived by the ocean throughout my years growing up and now residing only a dozen miles from the magnificent dunes along Lake Michigan, my writing has incorporated seascapes and shoreline characteristics throughout my body of publications.

Therefore, as has been the case for a number of other authors, my response to the heartbreaking scenes reported in the news and seen on my television screen has involved seeking expression through lines of poetry. Indeed, the tremendous amount of poems composed as a reaction to this historic event can be observed by readers who choose to visit Poets for Living Waters, a blog site designed by editors Amy King and Heidi Lynn Staples to display on the web examples of poetry being produced in response to the catastrophe.

In recent weeks I have written a few poems inspired by images and circumstances arising since the beginning of this unfortunate situation, and I have contributed one of those pieces, “Wake,” to Poets for Living Waters. The version at Poets for Living Waters is a draft written during the early days of the oil spill, which I have altered slightly and reprint here, including a minor change of title that carries multiple meanings I trust readers will recognize:


WAKE

. . . . . I

The skyline opens under early sunshine.
. . . . . Amid slightest shift of a mild breeze,

slender shafts of marsh grass provide
. . . . . a border for the shoreline. Every blade

wavers above waters hiding its roots.
. . . . . Stains yet remain from the nightly rise

of a high tide, as dawn light brightens
. . . . . a seascape painted with fresh strokes.


. . . . . II

New hues deepen from blue to black.
. . . . . Along the shoal one last boat slowly

passes toward that vast morning sky.
. . . . . Somewhere closer to a shore already

spotted with dark clots, each swirl
. . . . . of oil floats near the beach. A sheen

smears the surface of these shallows,
. . . . . stirring in the littlest waves of a wake.


. . . . . —Edward Byrne

2 comments:

Eternal said...

Its very useful article. I like it
Thanks
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Maureen said...

Tiny change to the title but great in terms of allowing for the multiple meanings.

I also very much like your other changes (from "shoots" to "shafts"; the addition of "yet"; from "stains" to "smears"), each alteration minor, yes, but together creating a shift in the meaning of the catastrophe's implications.