Poetry in Print – April 2009

Last year for National Poetry Month, I prepared a bibliograph of poetry by Mormons in print. I was, of course, surprised by how much there was that I didn’t know about and hadn’t included in the list.

I think I’ve done a better job this year.

I’m not sure that the nature or quality of the list is significantly different this year. Most of those added are not new books, but authors that weren’t included last year.

Probably the most notable poet on the list is Tim Liu, who I knew when I was at BYU, but who, as I understand it, does not consider himself to be Mormon any more.

I’ve also found a few additional works published through Lulu, a self-publishing print-on-demand service, which has the unfortunate side-effect of unusually high cover prices on most books.

I’ve compared the authors on this list to those in the Mormon Literature and Culture database, to Andrew Hall’s superb review of what was published in the last year, and last year’s comments.  Of course, it is possible, if not likely, that I have missed something. Please let me know.

I’ve also included at the bottom of this post a list of  out-of-print titles that I’ve removed from the list, or considered and discovered that they are now out-of-print.

Poetry in Print:

—-

Out of Print:

  • Caldiero, Alex. Various Atmospheres
  • Caldiero, Alex. Body/Dreams/Organs
  • Card, Orson Scott. An Open Book: Poems
  • Howe, Susan Elizabeth and Sheree Maxwell Bench, eds. Discoveries: Two Centuries of Poems by Mormon Women
  • King, Arthur Henry. Conversion: Poems of the Religious Life, 1963-1994
  • Pearson, Carol Lynn. Day-old Child and other Celebrations of Motherhood
  • Whiting, Linda Shelley. My Wilderness and Other Poems

22 thoughts on “Poetry in Print – April 2009”

  1. Oh, cool. I didn’t know that R.A. Christmas had published several collections with Lulu. I only know his work from a few poems in Harvest.

  2. .

    The concept of “in print” needs a new definition, doesn’t it? In my mind, “in print” means that the publisher has run off an edition and the books are sitting around waiting to be purchased. But now, in the age of Lulu and other POD services, books are likely to cease going OUT of print. To say nothing of the coming proliferation of ebooks.

    And, speaking of Lulu, being “in print” is becoming less of a gatekeepery designation than it used to be. We may well reach a time when all books ever are “in print” according to common understanding, and then you’ll really be in for it, Kent!

    That said, a very nice list and one I intend to explore more carefully in the coming weeks.

  3. Regarding, Lulu, I think you are both right and wrong, Th. As far as the consumer is concerned, the only issue is whether or not the book is available, thus, “In Print” really means that it is available for purchase.

    But, you are also right that POD and ebooks mean that many, if not most, books will end up NOT going out-of-print ever. But I’m not sure that means we should attribute them to being “Out-of-Print.”

    If you want to exclude marginal POD titles, what will be your rationale and how will you determine what gets excluded and what gets included? How do you distinguish between the POD-produced books from solo authors and the POD-produced books from University presses and mainstream publishers.

  4. .

    Oh, I don’t want to exclude them. Just observing that the implicit meaning of “in print” is changing.

  5. We are working on a second edition of Discoveries, but it isn’t available quite yet. Soon, we hope. And we are also working on a compilation of ALL of Eliza R. Snow’s poetry, including a few poems we just found last year. Hopefully it will be available later this year.

  6. Marny, there was a self-published edition of ALL of Eliza R. Snow’s poetry done by someone in Salt Lake City. As I recall it never appeared on Amazon.com, and may not have even had an ISBN. I’m sure that there wasn’t all that many copies sold. Sam Weller’s had it.

    If you don’t have it, you might want to find a copy and make sure that your edition is more complete than that one.

    I know you usually have as good or better information than I do, but this edition was so poorly marketed and so hard to find out about that in this case it is possible you might not have seen it.

  7. .

    Yeah. As far as I could tell, it was listed my Sam Weller and is otherwise entirely unknown.

    If you follow through on the project, be sure your index is better. I hear that the other volume’s was, ah, nonexistent.

  8. Kent, the editors are aware of that book. They have checked against it, and this new edition definitely has more poems. There is also a short historical introduction/context for each poem. We are fighting to get the page count down, though; we are looking at over 1,200 pages and may break it into two volumes.

  9. Kent:

    A helpful list. A volume to add is Susan Elizabeth Howe’s Stone Spirits. If you want more information on it, I wrote a review and conducted an interview on Meridian Magazine. The review can be found under the title “Seeking the Best Books” and the interview, in one of my more compelling titles can be found under “An Interview with Susan Elizabeth Howe”.

  10. Marny, I’m very pleased at how the Eliza R. Snow project is going. I’m getting quite excited to have a copy.

    And your assurance that it will be at least more complete (and probably truly complete) than the previous compilation makes me glad I didn’t buy that one.

    Please let us know when these books you mentioned come out!

  11. I’m not quite sure I understand the intended scope of this list. Is this meant to be everything that’s currently in print? I would have expected there to be more than that…

  12. It is meant to be everything in print, Jonathan.

    I think that there probably is more than what is here, but I don’t know about them, and I don’t really have any ideas for how to find out about them.

    OTOH, it is poetry. Not nearly as many publishers are publishing poetry these days…

  13. Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry is now available. It ended up at 507 poems in 1,333 pages, including historical and textual notes. You can see more information on the BYU Studies Web site. It is available through the BYU Bookstore and Amazon.

    The hardcover second edition of Discoveries: Two Centuries of Poetry by Mormon Women is also out. It is slightly different from the first edition and printed in color.

  14. Thanks, Marny. I did hear about this edition of Snow’s poetry, and I’ve ordered my own copy already (Amazon says they will ship on Sept. 4th).

    FWIW, Kelsay also has her own website with news and background, and a page on poets & writers.

    She also has had four chapbooks published by Pudding House Press:
    * Buttercup Garden~Poems about Children
    * Forever in Avalon~A delightful Collection of Poetry About the Sea
    * Poetry For Suzanne~An Anthology
    * A Fist of Roots~Free Verse Poetry

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