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

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Perspectives on Faith in Prose and Poetry

Last month, in an entry noting posts by my wife Pam at her new blog, I commented that visitors to One Autism Mom’s Notes would discover that it presents clear, concise prose observations and commentaries frequently complementary to the matters or details viewed in many of my works of poetry. Occasionally, Pam’s perceptive points of view especially seem to mirror those pieces of poetry contained in the new sequence, Autism: A Poem, an ongoing experiment of a work in progress, which I have been sharing with readers recently.

In her current offering, “Faith,” Pam discusses our son Alex’s history of prayers and beliefs, as well as his inquiries about God or heaven as he has grown older. I have been pleased to see perspectives presented in Pam’s prose sometimes intersect with issues additionally addressed in my poetry, and I feel readers sometimes might enjoy viewing such thoughts on similar subjects as enriching companion pieces.

Indeed, I am thankful as I find Pam’s gracefully written compositions revealing glimpses at factual situations also aid me in better understanding the inspiration for my writing of imaginative incidents in my poetry. Therefore, since Pam’s observations in her latest post—on Alex’s curiosity about spirituality and his questions concerning the presence of God in this world—reflect the topic of faith referenced in the draft of a poem, “At the Chapel,” I wrote not long ago, I thought it appropriate that I produce it here with a recommendation visitors also read “Faith.”


As late daylight moves through
. . . . . a few stained windowpanes, these walls

take on an appearance of murals,
. . . . . though printed mostly in paler shades

of primary paint. My son slowly
. . . . . guides one hand along the tinted images,

dipping his fingers into that palette
. . . . . of illuminations now brightening white

space before him—as if he is trying
. . . . . to test its temperature or in an attempt

to enter an alternative existence.
. . . . . His wide smile disguises apprehension

when he reaches to touch the green
. . . . . serpent twisting like some vine winding

around the brown bark of a branch
. . . . . toward its ruby fruit. And by the time

Alex grabs at the image—hoping
. . . . . to hold an apple, his whole arm tattooed

with a brilliant glaze—he is sure
. . . . . this world offers more colorful options.

. . . . . —Edward Byrne


Pat said...

Ed, your poem so beautifully depicts an image of Alex reaching out in faith to explore both the natural and supernatural aspects of his world.

Maureen said...

Your and your wife's essay do beautifully complement each other. You've captured here Alex's delight, and his intuited sense of God's playfulness.

bryan said...

Faith is one of those sensitive issues that usually are not discussed. It is subjective to one's belief as it is to one's religion so to speak. It sometimes causes misunderstandings and gap in the workplace or even at home. Faith plays a very personal and pivotal role in a family, as in most families. Faith is an intrinsic facet of daily existence, extending beyond a cyclical visit to a house of worship. However true, dealing
with everyday work and personal life may be balanced. Truly, this
'Perspective on Faith in Prose and Poetry' is an expression of your view of your own faith.