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, April 2, 2011

World Autism Awareness Day: "The Art of Memory"

In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day, intended to draw the world's attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions. The UN resolution hoped to urge everyone to engage in activities that raise awareness about autism throughout society in order to encourage early diagnosis and intervention. The designated day was also designed to further express deep concern at the prevalence and high rate of autism in children evident in all regions of the world as well as their consequent developmental challenges.

World Autism Awareness Day is meant to draw attention to autism as a growing global health crisis. Various activities have been planned to help increase and develop world knowledge of the autism epidemic. Additionally, the day’s events celebrate unique talents and skills exhibited by individuals with autism. Organizers have requested that all join in an effort to inspire compassion, inclusion, and hope, desiring to give a voice to millions of individuals worldwide who are undiagnosed, misunderstood, and seeking assistance but often cannot speak for themselves.

In the spirit of this special day, as well as National Autism Awareness Month during April, I offer the following poem, “The Art of Memory,” which appeared in my recent chapbook, Dark Refuge (Whale Sound, 2011). The poems in this chapbook represent a sampling from an ongoing program of poetry I have been composing, Autism: A Poem. The sequence of works addresses particular observations or impressions concerning the characteristics and consequences associated with autism, delivered through a poetic chronicling of personal experiences with my son Alex.


First he lists the digits, numerals
. . . . . tied together in his mind like ivory

beads for keeping count on a rosary.
. . . . . He knows intimately those figures

most cannot fathom, has memorized
. . . . . pi to thousands of places. We believe

he visualizes the numbers printed
. . . . . as columns of cuneiform characters

posed in pictures seen on a tinted
. . . . . screen, perhaps in the way Cezanne

celebrated nature’s abstract gifts
. . . . . by suddenly delivering vivid imagery,

broad lush brush strokes imitating
. . . . . its right angles and vibrant tones

or those blunt shapes of dull stones,
. . . . . discovering true hues of shrubbery,

finding bright lines of sunshine, light
. . . . . sliding over slopes of shadowy hills.

. . . . . —Edward Byrne

I remind visitors that Dark Refuge is available for readers to experience in differing manners, including free as online audio, online text, downloadable mp3, pdf manuscript, and e-book, as well as a cd, and in a print edition.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

You honor Alex with your tender and lovely poem.