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, July 28, 2009

John Ashbery: "Interesting People of Newfoundland"

John Ashbery was born on this date (July 28) in 1927. In recognition of the occasion, I suggest readers view the above video, which was recorded upon Ashbery’s winning the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize for his volume, Notes from the Air: Collected Later Poems. The video clip contains an excerpt from the Judges’ Citation—including the observation that “Ashbery’s is one of the best and most intense poetry productions of the twentieth century. Its famous difficulty does not repel: it invites”—and Ashbery reading one of his poems, “Interesting People of Newfoundland.”

The complete Judges’ Citation appears as follows: “The pleasure of reading John Ashbery’s poetry defies explanation. The YOU the author makes reference to is ME, the transcription being rendered, paradoxically, by a poet who eschews autobiography; thus the I as well as the YOU names the reader. Ashbery’s is one of the best and most intense poetry productions of the twentieth century. Its famous difficulty does not repel: it invites. It offers a ‘site of survival,’ a real mirror for human beings today, providing a place of honour and dignity for the very personal and secret hidden in everyone. His poems reach the private part of each individual. No wonder he has declared in interviews that he’s ‘like everybody else’—the body breathing inside the poem is as much himself as ourselves. But the person who knows how to observe and therefore how to be unique is John Ashbery, ungraspable, inexplicable and as mysterious as the Delphic oracle. In Notes from the Air, Ashbery has taken the opportunity provided a long-living poet not to collect but to select what in his opinion constitutes the best part of his later production. These ‘notes’ proceeding from the air or written by it honour the defining economy of poetry, unique lexical territory where one cannot go against the plurality of meaning embodied in words. He grants unity to this volume by sequencing poems deftly linked, forged with the delicateness of time, its overwhelming theme. The vigilant eye cast on this selection is omnipresent, and does not let a single detail go loose. With this personal organization of the most meaningful part of his work, Ashbery offers a new way of reading it, testing language by virtue of the American tongue, making it a true ‘remnant of energy’ for which only the poet can take responsibility.”

As a way to celebrate John Ashbery’s birthday, readers will find additional articles concerning him on “One Poet’s Notes” in the following posts: “John Ashbery: ‘Forties Flick,’” “John Ashbery, Pierre Martory, and Jackson Pollock,” “John Ashbery and Fairfield Porter,” “John Ashbery: 'Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,'” “Poet of the Year: John Ashbery,” “John Ashbery: 'My Philosophy of Life,'” and “Poetry, Painting, and Economy: Rothko, Warhol, and Ashbery.”


Anonymous said...

This reminds me very much of something I would hear from Gurney Norman. Something very down homey about it, and it's not even close to being my home. Geographically that is.

The ease with which his words flow is admirable; something for which I strive always for in my own poetry.

Anonymous said...

It's not Ashbery's home, either. He's never been to Newfoundland, it was written/collaged from an old children's book. It's interesting to compare this piece to "The Instruction Manual" from JA's first book, SOME TREES.