|Major American Poets|
November 30, 2006
Linda Pastan is the author of fifteen poetry collections. One of the main themes for Pastan, who postponed her writing career to marry and raise a family, is the complexities, passion, and dangers of ordinary domestic life, which has prompted reviewers to compare her work to that of Emily Dickinson. The Hudson Review called Pastan, ". . .a poet of a hundred small delights, celebrations, responses, satisfactions, pleasures." The Washington Post has called her, "one of the real treasures in poetry of our time."
Pastan's most recent collection is Queen of a Rainy Country (October 2006). Her earlier collections include Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems (1998) and PM/AM (1983), both nominated for the National Book Award, The Imperfect Paradise (1988), nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and The Five Stages of Grief (1978), which received the DeCastagnola Award.
Gerald Stern received the National Book Award for This Time: New and Selected Poems (1998), and the $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award of the Academy of American Poets (2005) for "proven mastery in the art of poetry." Stern has been called a "post-nuclear Walt Whitman" for work that shares the spoken rhythms, extended lines, open forms, love of nature, defense of humanity, and sheer exuberance of the "bard of Democracy." The Philadelphia Inquirer has declared that, "Stern's unadorned craftsmanship has few rivals in American letters."
Stern's newest collection is Everything is Burning (2005). In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said, "Forceful lines, brief lyric units and a sense of urgency make this 15th book from the much-honored Stern...his most powerful new verse for a long while." In a review that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Megan Harlan said, "What Gerald Stern, now in his 80s, has made is a prolific body of work whose terrific, boisterous energy has never flagged. If anything, his fire of creativity seems to be rising: Everything Is Burning… fairly crackles with his exuberance, impatience and an apparently consuming need to get his stories down."
Stern's earlier collections include American Sonnets (2002), Last Blue (2000), Odd Mercy (1995), Bread Without Sugar (1992), The Red Coal (1981), winner of the Melville Caine Award of the Poetry Society of America, and Lucky Life (1977), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of a book of essays, What I Can't Bear Losing: Notes from a Life (2004).
Gerald Stern was also a guest of the Writers Institute at a cosponsored event with RPI for the McKinney Writing Contest on April 26, 2000.