Since the appearance in print of her early poems over seventy-five years ago, the poetry of Janet Lewis has grown in quiet acclaim and popularity. Although she is better known as a novelist of historical fiction, her first and last writings were poems. With the publication of her selected poems, Swallow Press celebrates the distinguished career of one of its most cherished authors.
Fifteen years in the making, Set the Ploughshare Deep is a memoir in prose, verse, and woodcuts. It depicts the consequences of Warren's advice for a writer who turned his back on cities and the academic world, who bought and sold, farmed and failed like his forebears, all the while distilling what he saw, heard, or felt into his tall tales and short verses. Timothy Murphy has harvested pheasants and ducks as well as wheat and apples.
Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, America was captivated by a muddled notion of “etymology.” New England Transcendentalism was only one outcropping of a nationwide movement in which schoolmasters across small-town America taught students the roots of words in ways that dramatized religious issues and sparked wordplay. Shaped by this ferment, our major romantic authors shared the sensibility that Friedrich Schlegel linked to punning and christened “romantic irony.”
Metaphysical, agnostic, and ironic with a modernist voice.
A unique voice among contemporary American poets, John Matthias has compiled here a major new collection, his first volume of poetry since the publication in 1995 of his retrospective collections of shorter and longer poems. Divided into three sections, Pages begins with thirty short poems that range in subject from Ovid and Akhmatova to remembered friends and family.
The widely divergent voices in this collection are united by their common interest in the American literary heritage and by their intention to redefine that heritage by altering our angle of vision or forcing us to re-examine some traditional values.
In 1919 a middle-aged Chicago advertising writer from Ohio, a failure as a businessman, husband, and father, published a small yellow book of short stories intended to “reform” American literature. Against all expectations, Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life achieved what its author intended: after 1919 and after Winesburg, Ohio, American literature would be written and read freshly and differently.
In 1906 a young, semiliterate Greek arrived in America with a fewdollars in his pocket and his people's legacy of proverbs, superstitions, and cultural traits to guide him through the dangers and opportunities of a new world. The Time of the Little Black Bird begins with the story of this young man and his plan to build a future for his family as it makes its way in America.
In the two decades that have passed since Robert Lowell’s death, Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors is the first critical survey of the poet's aesthetic efforts to make personal vision and public exhortation cohere and thus combine poetic genres that have been historically discrete.
“Mysticism is peculiar to the mountainbred,” Frank Waters once told an interviewer for Psychology Today. And in Mountain Dialogues, available for the first time in paperback, the mountainbred Waters proves it true. Ranging over such diverse subjects as silence, spirits, time, change, and the sacred mountains of the world, Waters sounds again and again the radiant, mystic theme of man’s inherent wholeness and his oneness with the cosmos.
The conquest, colonization, independence, the liberal reforms, the regimes, revolution, and dictatorships, the insurrections and ongoing peace dialogues all are combined in a narrative projecting the most important forces in Guatemalan history from the Mayan period to our own times.
The poetry of John Matthias has long been admired by other poets for the way it refuses to be categorized. Lyrical and experimental, cosmopolitan and rooted in place, it challenges our received notions of what poetry can be at the end of the twentieth century. This volume introduces the work of this significant American poet to readers previously unfamiliar with it and enriches the reading of those who have long admired it.
In this, his tenth book of essays, renowned raconteur Sam Pickering wanders from Nova Scotia to Tennessee, from a middle school athletic field to an English department. He tells stories about people named Googoo and Loppie. He examines trees and flowers. He watches a daughter play soccer and a son row. He attends funerals and remembers the past and imagines the future. His is the ordinary world observed closely. But reading Pickering makes life blossom.