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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

“Tornado” from TIDAL AIR

Many throughout the central sections of the nation during the past few days have witnessed the extent of destruction possible from widespread turbulent weather in the spring and the consequent human suffering that can result. As reports of devastated neighborhoods and rising death counts filled front pages of newspapers and television or computer screens, I recalled an article I wrote three years ago on One Poet’s Notes, “Tornado Thoughts,” which recounted an unusual early breakout of severe storms and tornados during the month of February in 2008.

On that occasion, I noted the recurrence of tornado warnings each spring, as well as “the many times I have heard such sirens in the nearly twenty-five years since I moved to the Midwest, and I recalled stories told by a couple of old-timers who witnessed such devastation and recollected the enormous cost felt by neighbors in their own hometowns when they were young men.” I also confided: “On some spring evenings or summer nights when the prolonged signal of a tornado siren can be heard outside my windows—and the Doppler radar on the Weather Channel indicates possibly dangerous conditions—my wife, my son, and I have gathered in our second office and the entertainment room, those two large basement spots providing the safest places in our house and each furnished with extra guest beds.”

In addition, I included a poem, “Tornado,” which appeared in one of my books, Tidal Air. Today, as images of communities leveled by a tornado’s powerful winds and sorrowful accounts of loss—not only of materials but more tragically of so many lives—remind all of the pain or life-changing conditions that can occur due to nature’s uncontrollable power and its inherent unpredictability, I invite readers to revisit “Tornado” once more.

1 comment:

John Guzlowski said...

Like everybody else, I've been watching the news from Joplin about the tornado that hit there. My hopes and prayers go out to those folks. I know the kind of fear that takes hold of you when a tornado appears.

Years ago, we were living in Charleston, Il, when a tornado hit the southeast edge of town. It set down near where we were living. Here's a poem I wrote about the time before the tornado and the time just after.

My Daughter Lillian is Outside Playing

In the quiet space of the dining room
My wife and I lay out the place settings

The forks beside the Wedgwood plates
The spoons and knives in their places.

A napkin in her hand, she pauses
And tells me again of how her mother

Would starch and iron the squares of cotton
Wash the plates by hand and again by machine.

I smile, nod my head and turn to the window
See the roof next door lift, shingles

Exploding like scattered sparrows, and there
It is—the howl of the locomotive wind

And then a pounding at the glass door
And a screaming that will not stop.