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, June 29, 2011

Fiction Suggestions for Summer Reading

Last week I posted an article to One Poet’s Notes with a list of titles in the current issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review on its “Recent and Recommended Books” page, which includes various new volumes of poetry and poetics. At the time, I suggested the roster might assist those seeking current published collections of poems or essays about poetry for their summer reading.

As I suspect is the case with most readers of VPR, although I regularly pore through numerous books of poetry or volumes about poetic issues, I do not limit my reading to these items. Especially during the summer months, my materials for reading always include books of fiction, averaging at least one novel or short story collection each week, more during vacation time. In fact, since I am now a co-editor of the new online literary journal, Valparaiso Fiction Review, I have also received requests recently from some readers for recommendations of fiction books that might provide valuable selections for summer reading.

My habit has been to consciously alternate between contemporary works, usually published within the last year or so, and classic books of fiction that I have not yet gotten around to reading, as Marilyn Monroe seems to be doing with James Joyce’s Ulysses in the accompanying photo. I also sneak into the mix volumes of historical nonfiction on a number of topics, biographies or memoirs, and collections of critical commentary on poetry, art, film, music, etc.

However, since the older books of fiction I have been encountering lately are meant merely as a way for me to catch up and to fill gaps in my past experiences as a reader, openings which would be singular to each individual, I thought I would share today, in time for the Independence Day to Labor Day season, only the recently published books of fiction that I have read in the last few months. These books represent part of my early summer reading (between the close of spring semester and the July 4th weekend), and I mention them with the intention of recommending these new works as possible additions to others’ reading lists during the remaining months of summer.

I am not aware of any particular theme or type of writing prevalent in the books included below, since there was no deliberate pattern concerning content or style during the selection process. Nevertheless, some might note that eleven of the sixteen books are authored by females—purely a coincidence, but one that nicely balances the alternating list of classic books I have been reading, a majority of which happen to be written by males.

Although I have enjoyed some of these books more than others, and I regard a few of them as excellent, all have proven to be rewarding to read. In addition, I realize any person’s choice is idiosyncratic and subject to personal taste. Therefore, as with the poetry recommendations last week, I will not add any commentary or rank the selections in this post. Indeed, I do not have any desire at this time to offer critical reviews of the books; instead, the titles of these personal suggestions are merely listed alphabetically by author:

Sunset Park, Paul Auster
Once Upon a River, Bonnie Jo Campbell
All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost, Lan Samantha Chang
Room, Emma Donoghue
The Collected Stories, Deborah Eisenberg
The Adults, Alison Espach
Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
Lord of Misrule, Jaimy Gordon
Great House, Nichole Kraus
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann
The Paris Wife, Paula McLain
A Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore
The Wilding, Benjamin Percy
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
Brooklyn, Colm Toibin

I hope everyone enjoys the summer ahead and all find lots of leisure time that might allow for further reading.

1 comment:

Lenasledgeblog.com said...

Room is one of my favorites. Great story and hauntingly done from the pov of a 5 yr old.