Poetry in Print — April 2010

This is the third year that I have prepared a bibliography of poetry by Mormons in print for National Poetry Month. Surprisingly, this year we only added titles to the list — nothing went out-of-print. But don’t think that is because all these books are easy to find.

2009 was a very good year for poetry. I’ve identified 8 new titles published since last year’s list. In addition, seven titles by Karen Kelsay, who let us know about her poetry last year, are included on this year’s list.

The only downside is how difficult it is to get some of these titles. Last year, when I learned that BYU would issue The Complete Poetry of Eliza R. Snow, I ordered a copy from Amazon.com. Three months later the book still hadn’t arrived — BYU never sent it to Amazon. When Amazon canceled the order, I ended up purchasing the book from a dealer.

Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual. BYU normally does this with the books they publish — and the new edition of Discoveries: Two Centuries of Poems by Mormon Women, also released last year, doesn’t even appear on Amazon–or anywhere else for that matter.

Another of the new volumes released last year, Mary Lythgoe Bradford’s Purple, also isn’t available from anywhere but the publisher, Dialogue. But unlike BYU, this is likely because of Dialogue’s relative inexperience in distributing books. In addition, many of the titles published using Lulu, the vanity printer, such as R. A. Christmas’ When it Snowed in Pasadena, released last year, also don’t appear on Amazon or other major sellers, probably because the authors don’t know about  alternative printers and distributors who can sell on Amazon at a reasonable price (Lulu charges extra to sell books outside its own website).

The problem with this is, of course, that the titles that don’t make the national distribution network, and through this network appear on Amazon.com and other major booksellers, are hard to find and remain unknown to most of their potential audience. For that audience, its as if the books were never published.

Again this year I tried to be thorough. 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 posts and comments about poetry here on A Motley Vision. Of course, it is possible, if not likely, that I have missed something. Please let me know.

Poetry in Print:


Out of Print:

I did not find any of last years books that went out of print this year.

5 thoughts on “Poetry in Print — April 2010”

  1. You might consider adding the hymnal to the list. (No, not my “Hymnal,” the LDS Hymmal. 🙂 )

  2. Thanks, Kent.

    BTW, I should have something on The Nephiad soon — I’ve been distracted by other things, but Michael sent me a review copy (which I have read) and he and I will hopefully will discuss it soon.

  3. .

    Maybe it would be helpful, given things are more likely to remain in print these days, to set apart new volumes — perhaps by putting them in color or somesuch?

    But, as always, thank you.

  4. Thanks for that, Tyler. I’ll add it to the list.

    One of the things I should do to make sure this includes everyone is to review all the authors of poetry in LDS-oriented anthologies and periodicals, and check to see if those authors have books published. I my not pick up many, but there are probably a few that will be added.

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