Tuesday, September 13, 2011

And Know This Place

One foot in front of the other. Determined not to abandon this blog! It has brought me good things in the past - new poets discovered, friendships formed (that's the best part). The next thing I need to do is to start catching up on all y'all: friends, bloggers I don't know personally but like to follow - I have been missing out on a lot. Just call me the Prodigal Blogger.

But since it got late and I'm tired, this is just a quickie bit of shameless self-promotion, although it's a bit of others-promotion as well! There's a gorgeous new anthology in town - And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana, published by the Indiana Historical Society Press, edited by Jenny Kander and C.E. Greer. In the works for several years, this big (nearly 400 pages) volume includes Hoosier poets past and present, everyone from James Whitcomb Riley to Ruth Stone to Etheridge Knight to, well, yours truly. There is even a cool geographical index in the back, with a map of Indiana so you can find the places mentioned in the poems and the birthplaces of those poets who were actually born in the state.

The physical book itself (yes, this matters) is a hardcover - solid, hefty, with paper that feels good to the hand, well-chosen typography, and enough white space on the page to make the poems a pleasure to read. Bet you anything you will find some old friends here, perhaps some poets you didn't realize had an Indiana connection, as well as terrific new poets you hadn't encountered before. The poems aren't all "about" Indiana though many of them do evoke a strong sense of place; the foreword by Roger Mitchell puts this balance of inner and outer landscape in perspective as well as outlining a bit of Hoosier poetry history. It's an anthology I am very proud to be a small part of, and one I'll be digging into for quite a while.

And people, this puppy is a bargain - the list price is only $24.95. You can order it via the Indiana Historical Society's gift shop, or via the usual Barnazon & Amanoble megastores.

(Anyone out there working on a syllabus for a "poetry of place" type class or anything about Midwestern literature? This would be a fantastic title to include!)

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