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

Friday, April 2, 2010

Poetry for World Autism Awareness Day: "Song for One Who Cannot Speak"

According to information available at the World Autism Awareness Day website, in 2007 the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. The UN resolution establishing this annual recognition was intended to draw the world's attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions—to urge everyone to engage in activities that raise awareness about autism throughout society in order to encourage early diagnosis and intervention. The occasion was also developed to further express deep concern at the prevalence and high rate of autism in children evident in all regions of the world as well as the consequent developmental challenges.

Participants observing World Autism Awareness Day describe autism as a growing global health crisis. They have instituted various activities to help increase and develop world knowledge of the autism epidemic. Additionally, those supporters of the day’s events celebrate unique talents and skills exhibited by individuals with autism. Organizers request that all join in an effort to inspire compassion, inclusion, and hope as we give a voice to millions of individuals worldwide who are undiagnosed, misunderstood, and seeking assistance but often cannot speak for themselves.

In the spirit of this special day, I offer the following poem, which appeared in one of my collections, Tidal Air (Pecan Grove Press, 2002):


Another flare of morning light shows
. . . . . over the threshold of low and rolling

hills that lies before us, and even
. . . . . as this early sun, seemingly weightless,

rises into an otherwise empty sky,
. . . . . I wonder why I believe today may

be any different. Last evening
. . . . . as I was writing in my notebook,

I listened to the distant drift of melody
. . . . . lifting from somewhere beyond this

balcony, a song with its music now
. . . . . muffled and lyrics as soft as an intimate

late-night whisper murmured between
. . . . . lovers. Though those words could not

be heard, carried away as easily
. . . . . as autumn leaves in a sea breeze

or those far-off harbor boats
. . . . . that disappear at dusk in a developing

mist, I imagined phrases forming
. . . . . themselves, sentences taking shape—

lots of white space clotted by ink blots
. . . . . of notes and by organized knots of letters,

like lines from lost compositions
. . . . . rediscovered, found inside an old record

album. I pictured these symbols
. . . . . that mimic speech, the way I sometimes

do when I watch your struggle
. . . . . to be heard, mouthing sounds that never

emerge, as instead an absence is further
. . . . . emphasized, only the silence is noted.

Once again, I imagine—if on this day
. . . . . the doctors were proven wrong—how

your voice might imitate that song,
. . . . . and I wonder what you would say.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . —Edward Byrne

[Readers are reminded that Tidal Air is currently available at a special discount price of $10.00 during the month of April, National Poetry Month. Please see details above or in sidebar about the book sale.]


Maureen said...

This is a very special poem, so beautifully written and evocative, and tender.

Catherine Fraga said...

I was very moved by this poem. Its sensibility is profound and timely. I just discovered this site and will definitely be a frequent visitor.

For those who might be interested, I have started a blog in honor of April as being National Poetry Month. I am publishing a poem a day for the month of April...some written by me and others are favorites of mine.