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, November 7, 2010

A.E. Stallings: Interview, Poems, and an Essay

The new issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review contains an interview I did with featured-poet A.E. Stallings compiled from parts of an ongoing conversation conducted in a series of e-mail messages to her in Greece during this past summer. Stallings has published two books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999), which won the Richard Wilbur Award, and Hapax (2006). Her recent verse translation of Lucretius, The Nature of Things, is published by Penguin Classics.

I enjoyed learning additional information about this poet’s background and her approach to composing or translating poetry. I also appreciated her responses concerning expectations or labels sometimes placed upon contemporary poets closely associated with traditional form and rhyming poems. For example, Stallings opens her reply to one question regarding perceptions of formalist poets with the following:

Personally, I find it a little depressing and somewhat perplexing that people want to divide up poems based on whether they rhyme or not. (And let’s face it, this is about rhyme—blank verse can often “pass” for free verse. Meter doesn’t get people exercised, but rhyme sure does.) Are Emily Dickinson and Alexander Pope similar poets, should they be in the same school? Well, they both rhyme. That’s how absurd it is, seems to me. I’d like people to look beyond that to other aspects of the poems.

There are bad and boring poets that rhyme, of course. It is interesting to me that in attacks against formal poetry (and I have served as a jumping off point to some of them in reviews), there is never any naming of names, just clichéd generalities about “new formalism,” whatever that is . . . .

I invite visitors to examine the entire interview with A.E. Stallings and to read the rest of Valparaiso Poetry Review’s Fall/Winter 2010-2011 issue, which also includes a trio of new poems by Stallings and an extended essay on her work, “String Theory: The Poetry of A.E. Stallings” by Angela Taraskiewicz.

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