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

Monday, March 1, 2010

Helen Vendler, Robert Lowell, Modernism, and LIFE STUDIES

Robert Lowell was born on this date (March 1) in 1917. Therefore, this appears an appropriate moment to present Helen Vendler speaking a bit about Lowell’s contributions and influence, as well as his place among modern poetry and art. As seen above, Vendler was interviewed last October by Jim Cuno, Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she offered a lecture on “Robert Lowell and the Modern Legacy.” Audio of Vendler’s complete presentation is available in a podcast.

Perhaps this is also an apt time to remind visitors of my essay, “Life and Language: On the 50th Anniversary of Robert Lowell’s Life Studies,” which appeared in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue (Volume X, Number 2) of Valparaiso Poetry Review and includes the following excerpt referencing Helen Vendler:

As readers today remember the lyrics of Lowell’s Life Studies produced fifty years ago, they might also observe the many ways in which much of today’s poetry resembles those early explorations of self through thoughtful reflection and frank language, an examining of one’s personal situation by a focus on evocative images or exact details. They might recall those words written about Lowell’s Life Studies by Helen Vendler in her essay, “The Difficult Grandeur of Robert Lowell”: “It was not the confessions that made Life Studies so memorable; it was rather the quality of memory indelibly imprinted, a brilliance of detail almost unconsciously preserved in a store of words perpetually refreshed.”

Since Robert Lowell expressed displeasure with the “confessional” label with which he had been burdened, he most likely would be pleased to see readers appreciating him for his distinct ability to depict dramatic personal incidents or troubling instances in his private life through an emphasis on his well-chosen words and compellingly phrased statements, valuing his poetry not as much for the chronicle of a troubled life lived with personal difficulties but for the innovative stylistic devices and impressive illuminating studies of that life in lasting lines of lyrical inquiry.

In addition, I recommend readers examine the following previous posts at “One Poet’s Notes”: “Robert Lowell’s Voice,” “Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Hardwick,” and “Robert Lowell: ‘New Year’s Day.’”


Joelle Biele said...

Thanks so much for this, Ed--good to hear she's doing a book on Dickinson & I'm looking forward to hearing the podcast--

Hannah Levitt said...

This information about Lowell is very interesting. Most of Lowell's work provides much insight into his life, from the time he was young and just starting out with poetry to the end of his life. His first books show more inner personal conflicts, such as the conflict of religion that plagued him throughout his life because he was born Christian and converted to Catholicism. However, in his later books some of his inner issues seem to be resovled.