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

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Poet of the Year: Rae Armantrout

As has been the case since the initial year of its appearance, each December One Poet’s Notes designates a “Poet of the Year.” At the close of each year, a poet whose notable work merited attention during the previous twelve months is selected for acknowledgment and appreciation.

Once again, a number of outstanding poets have distinguished themselves during the calendar year to a degree that they earned serious consideration for this annual recognition. However, one poet’s work garnered praise for its content and quality, but also encouraged a wide array of readers to review and reconsider a lifetime of considerable contribution to poetry worthy of acclaim and applause. Consequently, Rae Armantrout deserves designation as the 2010 Poet of the Year.

Despite her long and noteworthy history as a poet of ten collections, throughout 2010 Rae Armantrout has achieved a higher level of acknowledgment from those in the literary world, and her presence as a significant contemporary poet has become more obvious. With her latest volume of poems, Versed (Wesleyan), selected earlier this year as the poetry winner of both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Rae Armantrout’s profile perhaps has finally also been elevated among a larger audience of general readers of poetry.

Armantrout, who is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, San Diego, has often been cited as a member among the first generation of West Coast Language school of poets. She has continually produced brief short-lined poems that have consequently and contrastingly expanded the scope of poetry because of their subtle, even surprising and deceptive, use of technique, as well as her ability to fuse details of the ordinary with consideration of the extraordinary. Ron Silliman has perceptively written that Armantrout’s poetry presents “the literature of the anti-lyric, those poems that at first glance appear contained and perhaps even simple, but which upon the slightest examination rapidly provoke a sort of vertigo effect as element after element begins to spin wildly toward more radical . . . possibilities.”

In a New York Times review of Armantrout’s Next Life, Stephen Burt observed: “Her poems reject almost all the consolations we expect literature to contain: they do not tell us that love (or anger) will endure, they do not say that our lives can satisfy us, and they never advise us to trust our instincts. The poems give, instead, the invention, the wit and the force of a mind that contests all assumptions as much as it can: they say that no matter how much we doubt ourselves, at least one poet has doubted us more.”

Some of Armantrout’s previous accomplishments and awards include the selection of Versed as a finalist for the National Book Award, the naming of Next Life (2007) by the New York Times as one of that year’s most notable books, and the nomination of two collections—Up to Speed (2004) and Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001)—as finalists for the PEN Center USA Award.

In the more than thirty years since her first book of poems, Extremities, was published in 1978, Rae Armantrout has shaken up preconceptions of poetry and astonished readers with her stunning pieces written in an innovative style. With Versed, this poet in the past year continued to deliver startling work that one hopes has now reached a wider readership and attained even greater appreciation.

[Readers are invited to visit posts at One Poet’s Notes in the past that have announced the Poet of the Year: “Poet of the Year: John Ashbery” (2007), “Poet of the Year: Mark Doty” (2008), and “Poet of the Year: W.S. Merwin” (2009).]

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