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

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Celebrating Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts was born on this date (August 7) in 1963, and the delightful video above shows him celebrating with fellow musicians in the Wynton Marsalis Septet on his birthday in 2008.

As I have mentioned in the past, I often enjoy listening to jazz when writing poetry, and I frequently choose the music of Marcus Roberts. A blend of jazz, classical, and gospel influences seems evident in many of the compositions Roberts plays. Blind since five years old, Roberts taught himself on the piano and first performed in a Baptist church as a boy. Later, he received classical training as a student at Florida State University. When he was only 21, Roberts became an important member of the Wynton Marsalis band.

In the liner notes to The Truth Is Spoken Here, the pianist remarks upon the impact Marsalis had on him: “Wynton gave me a lot of crucial philosophical information which helped me consolidate and develop a conception of music. This conception served as a type of blueprint, keeping my thoughts very well focused while still developing. He helped me understand that in order to exhibit true personal identity and character in music, one must have a thorough grasp of the fundamentals and complete history of both the respective instrument and the relationship of that instrument to the overall tradition. In addition to discovering the grave importance of instrument tone (the quality of sound produced), Wynton also introduced me to the concept of using and developing melodic themes in solo and group performance.”

Roberts repeatedly recognizes those great figures of the past that have held sway over his playing, perhaps most notably Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington but also John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, Scott Joplin, and even George Gershwin. Consequently, throughout his career, Roberts has been difficult to define because he appears at ease in various situations—as a soloist, in a trio, in a larger band, accompanied by a symphony orchestra—and when performing a number of diverse styles, whether traditional jazz, ragtime, blues, or improvisation, all of which are reflected in my collection of his recordings.

1 comment:

bryan said...

I'm not a poet nor am I into music, but I do appreciate the beauty of
it. Just how brilliant someone can create poetry and music it gives me
goosebumps! This artwork usually is sprung up from an artist's emotion
or imagination. This mode of expression is dependent on the artist who
treats the underlying aim in a manner which an individual faithfully
conveys the essence of the underlying form.