A Swallow Press Book
"What moving poems you fashion out of your sadness. Beautiful, wistful poems of deep feeling. You have not lost your gift. What a pair we are. I have been fighting cancer for six months. May be well in August. I will read your poems to my students."
Anaïs Nin to Felix Pollak
"This book is both useful and entertaining, because it offers a discussion of the writers aesthetic beliefs while revealing the intimate thoughts of two romantic, creative individuals. Recommended."
In the winter of 1951-52, Anaïs Nin was a writer in despair. More than a dozen publishing houses had rejected her new novel, A Spy in the House of Love, and Nin became desperate for literary acceptance. Encouragement came from an unexpected source. Felix Pollak, an Austrian emigré and Rare Book Librarian at Northwestern University, had been entrusted with the task of acquiring some of Nin's manuscripts for the library. A longtime admirer of her work and himself an emerging poet, Pollak wrote Nin a letter of appreciation, and this quickly blossomed into an animated and devoted correspondence.
Through this correspondence of over 200 letters, both writers present nuanced self-portraits that shed fresh light on their complex personalities. Their frank and open exchange of views on life and art spanned twenty-five years. Editor Gregory H. Mason provides us with a unique insight into the development of these two writers as they grow in their friendship and as artists.
Gregory H. Mason is a professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. More info →
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Although Alan Swallow's work on behalf of other poets has tended to overshadow his work as a poet, the reputation of his poems has been upon the ascendancy. This volume, a “selected” one, runs the gamut of Swallow's themes. John Holmes reviewed in The New York Times, speaking of “love and compassion warming the face of the carving.” The volume was published in a beautiful limited edition by Carroll Coleman's The Prairie Press.
Critical essays provide sources for stimulating new thoughts and perspectives on poetry. Finding such essays on specific poems can be a frustrating experience for the scholar or the student. American and British Poetry: A Guide to the Criticism, 1925–1978 guides the researcher quickly to relevant sources of critical writing.
Recollections of Anaïs Nin presents Nin through the eyes of twenty-six people who knew her. She is the unconventional, distant aunt; the thoughtful friend; the owner of a strangely disarming voice; the author eager for attention yet hypersensitive to criticism; the generous advisor to a literary magazine; the adulteress; the beautiful septuagenarian; the recommender of books—the contributors elaborate on thses and many other perceptions of Nin.