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, August 23, 2010

Listening to Brad Mehldau

As I have mentioned a number of times, and as noted in a recent post about Marcus Roberts, I often listen to music when writing. I particularly enjoy a variety of pianists who blend jazz and classical influences. The recordings of Brad Mehldau have frequently been favorite choices for background sounds when composing poems. I appreciate very much the outstanding work he has done over the years with his trio, but I also turn to his more personal solo performances as well.

Mehldau’s Elegiac Cycle, recorded in early 1999, is one of his solo discs I repeatedly play while writing. Appropriately, in his liner notes Mehldau expresses a debt to literary works as inspiration, and he quotes a few of the authors whose writings have moved him to compose his music. Indeed, one of the nine tracks on this album is “Elegy for William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg,” inspired by the lives and literature of the two authors, both of whom died in 1997.

In his comments about the music in Elegiac Cycle, Mehldau remarks upon being attracted to the elegiac strains of art “that mourn so many kinds of loss, from the most profound to the most prosaic of them all—what the French aptly call ‘la petite mort.’” Mehldau especially points toward the works of “writers like Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs” as representative of authors who “mourned—at times, ecstatically—America’s loss of naiveté.”

Brad Mehldau was born on this date (August 23) in 1970. Therefore, I thought today would be a fitting time to present the video above, which offers a good example of Mehldau’s talent as a soloist and as the member of an outstanding trio.


Maureen said...

He's really wonderful! Thank you.

Joe the Novelist said...

Nice piece by Brad Mehldau. What always fascinates me is that some people can write or read while listening to music. I've tried many times. To me it's like listening to two songs at once. Writing while listening to music just doesn't work for me. Same with reading and listening to music. Interesting how our brains are often so different.