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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sneak Preview of New Book: TINTED DISTANCES

I was pleased to be informed that my new book of poems, Tinted Distances, which is scheduled for publication at the end of next month, now has its own web page in the online catalog at Turning Point Books. Although I have been notified about the ISBN number and price, these details are not yet public and will be added in a couple of weeks when the book is available for purchase.

However, I am honored to note that the web page does display a few kind pre-publication comments by Claudia Emerson, Sherod Santos, and Dorianne Laux about the poetry in Tinted Distances. I am thankful to these wonderful poets for their generous support.

I am also delighted by the book’s artwork, Mountain Landscape, a lovely and evocative oil on canvas by nineteenth-century artist Frederic Edwin Church that seems so appropriate to the atmosphere of the poetry included on the pages between the covers of Tinted Distances. I am grateful to the Brauer Museum of Art and its director, Gregg Hertzlieb, for permission to use this fine painting.

Among other reasons, the volume’s title has been chosen as a consequence of inspiration from lines in a Wallace Stevens poem, “The Auroras of Autumn,” that provides an epigraph for the collection: This is where the serpent lives. This is his nest, / These fields, these hills, these tinted distances, / And the pines above and along and beside the sea.

In addition, the publisher’s page for Tinted Distances supplies a link to a sample of four pieces from the collection, including the opening poem of the volume, “Morning Fire by the Shenandoah,” positioned to set the tone for those works that will follow. Therefore, I include this poem here as well:

Morning Fire by the Shenandoah

. . . . . We live by faith in such presences.
. . . . . —William Stafford

. . . . . I

Dried sticks or straw twist and sizzle
. . . . . as the hard barks of narrow branches crack

beneath a slender blue shoot of campfire
. . . . . smoke lifting again into this Virginia valley

damp with river mist. Those floating
. . . . . embers dispersed in the pre-dawn dark—

like even the lingering legion of late stars
. . . . . still visible, though kept far in that vast

pocket of emptiness locked at the edge
. . . . . of the universe—glow once more before

fading into a trapped scrap of shadow
. . . . . yet left to us in this fractured end of night.

. . . . . II

A quick glint of light tints a new group
. . . . . of thin clouds just showing in the distance.

Whole slopes are slowly opening up,
. . . . . one after another, unbuttoning in this dim

atmosphere hovering over everything,
. . . . . seemingly holding on only as long as it can.

Gray haze rises between these steep
. . . . . green creases to where a lone fire road turns,

a black switchback folding through one
. . . . . wooded hillside, still climbing even higher

to that frayed ridge of pines outlined
. . . . . by the red sunrise now burning behind them.

. . . . . III

The sleek Shenandoah, brightening
. . . . . like a tilted sheet of glass in this initial slant

of sunlight, whispers when it passes,
. . . . . as if it has to respond to those other voices

of dawn, the first squawks or whistles
. . . . . of bird calls now sounding out an alarm

all along the valley. By noon, when only
. . . . . a few cool pools of tree shade may remain,

they’ll have quieted, and the small circle
. . . . . of earth stained when we’d doused our fire

with river water will already be as dry
. . . . . as the nest of collected kindling we had lit.

I invite readers to visit the publisher’s web page for Tinted Distances to obtain a sneak preview of the book. I hope you will consider obtaining a copy when it is released next month and listings of the book appear at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Congratulations! I look forward to reading your new collection.