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, September 28, 2011

Autism in Poetry and Prose

As noted here a number of times, I have been composing an extended sequence of poetry, a work-in-progress titled Autism, which I share on a separate blog. The work presents lyrical illustrations reflecting experiences and observations involving my son Alex.

At the same time, I have previously mentioned that my wife maintains another blog, One Autism Mom’s Notes, which she describes as “reflections on raising a child with autism.” In her posts, Pam regularly displays another perspective through her prose, insightful journal entries that chronicle and comment upon the daily involvement of family members dealing with autism. She also offers a glimpse at the various efforts made over the years in attempting to assist our son as he copes with difficult challenges or tries to overcome some of the obstacles associated with autism. As in the past, I once again encourage readers to visit Pam’s blog.

However, today I also especially urge everyone to consider a new book, Wit and Wisdom from the Parents of Special Needs Kids. Released this week, the anthology—written by members of the blogging community who routinely examine, exhibit, explore, and explain issues confronted by families including children with special needs—presents readers with an array of concise narrative essays that express a vast range of various and honest emotions, from heartening to heartbreaking or amusement to anger.

The volume’s back cover declares: “More than forty essays are included in this unique compilation, covering topics such as sensory issues, the difficulties of social interaction, the impact on marriage and typical siblings, and the world of special education and therapies.”

I confess, my opinions about this book are not impartial ones, since I am proud to report that Pam contributes an essay, “Expecting the Unexpected,” in which she confides one of the approaches we have discovered necessary in order to perceive Alex’s complex schedule of personal growth—the stops and starts, slips and successes—something we have both hoped to capture in some of our writings about our son:

Through the years we have learned that Alex must always do things on his own terms when he’s good and ready. Progress for him isn’t always linear, and it certainly doesn’t follow the pattern outlined in child development books; however, progress always eventually comes, often when we least expect it. For us, life with autism has meant learning to wait patiently and celebrating successes when they arrive—essentially a matter of always expecting the unexpected.

The brief stories provided in this book by mothers or fathers of children on the autism spectrum are authentic and authoritative. These evocative vignettes are often enlightening, encouraging, engaging, enjoyable, and entertaining. For those interested in reading succinct, straightforward, informal, and intimate accounts of families’ experiences with autism, I recommend this collection.

1 comment:

Alexander said...

Great review! I`m reading this for sure!