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

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Robert Hass: Imagination and the Image

Robert Hass has been named the recipient of the 2007 National Book Award in Poetry for his collection, Time and Materials, published by Ecco/HarperCollins. His previous books of poetry include Sun Under Wood: New Poems (1996); Human Wishes (1989), Praise (1979), and Field Guide (1973), which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series.

He has also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Czeslaw Milosz, such as Facing the River (1995), and is author or editor of several other collections of essays and translation, including The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994), and Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984).

Robert Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. He also has won two National Book Critics Circle awards. Hass teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

One of my favorite passages that I have often quoted to my students from the critical commentary by Hass concerns his regard for the importance of imagination and the image. In “Images,” from Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry, Hass offers the following observation:

It seems to me that we all live our lives in the light of primary acts of imagination, images or sets of images that get us up in the morning and move us about our days. I do not think anybody can live without one, for very long, without suffering intensely from deadness and futility. And I think that, for most of us, those images are not only essential but dangerous because no one of them feels like the whole truth and they do not last. Either they die of themselves, dry up, are shed; or, if we are lucky, they are invisibly transformed into the next needful thing; or we act on them in a way that exposes both them and us.

In the above accompanying video from the 2007 Poets Forum at the Academy of American Poets, Hass speaks of his origins of “wanting to be an artist and wanting to write poetry,” defining writing as part of the “gift economy” in which those who are given a talent are obligated to pass along their gift to others. Readers also can find a brief interview with Hass about Time and Materials and the National Book Awards at the National Book Foundation website.

In addition to Time and Materials, the other nominees for this year’s poetry award: Linda Gregerson, Magnetic North (Houghton Mifflin Company); David Kirby, The House on Boulevard St. (Louisiana State University Press); Stanley Plumly, Old Heart (W.W. Norton & Company); and Ellen Bryant Voigt, Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006 (W.W. Norton & Company). The poetry judges for 2007 were Charles Simic (chair), Linda Bierds, David St. John, Vijay Seshadri, and Natasha Trethewey. I highly recommend each of the worthy works from this year's strong field of nominated volumes.

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