New and Collected Poems (Hardcover)

1975-2015

By Jay Parini

Beacon Press, 9780807030134, 248pp.

Publication Date: March 29, 2016

List Price: 27.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A new book, the first in over a decade, from acclaimed poet Jay Parini

This volume revolves around his deep connection to nature and underlines his concerns about the impacts of pollution and climate change. In these beautiful, haunting poems, Parini writes about the landscapes of mining country, of the railroads of Pennsylvania, of farm country, of worlds lost and families dispersed. He explores faith and how it is tested. He limns the deepest crevices of the human heart and soul. He surprises and moves us.

In addition to a complete volume’s worth of new work, called West Mountain Epilogue, offering more than fifty poems never before published in any form, Parini has collected the very best work from his previous four volumes, the poems, as he tells us, “written in the past forty years that I wish to stand by.’

Lavishly and deservingly praised over the decades for his work as an essayist, critic, biographer, novelist, and, especially, poet, Parini shines as never before in this generous volume.


About the Author

Jay Parini is a poet, novelist, biographer, and critic. His five books of poetry include Anthracite Country and House of Days. He has written eight novels, including Benjamin’s Crossing, The Apprentice Lover, The Passages of H.M., and The Last Station—the last was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. Parini has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, and, most recently, Gore Vidal. His nonfiction works include Jesus: The Human Face of God, Why Poetry Matters, and Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America.


Praise For New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015

Praise for Jay Parini

“Jay Parini is one of those writers who can do anything.”
—Stacy Schiff, New York Times Book Review

“His poems are fully imagined and highly accomplished. He never fails to astonish with his grace and wisdom.”
—James Merrill

“Jay Parini brings to the current poetic scene a classical sense of order. His impeccable poems burn with the tension between clearheaded intelligence and basic empathy with the human condition.”
—Richard Eberhart

“This is keen-eyed, thoughtful, artful yet unaffected poetry. I am struck by the honesty of Jay Parini’s desires and ignorances—his forthright longing for transcendence, his forthright fear that it may not happen.”
—Richard Wilbur

“Jay Parini expresses the best in American poetry.”
—Anne Stevenson

“Warm, accepting, peacemaking poems, with sudden jumps of articulate delight in them...The [poems] abound in grace—grace of attitude, grace of language.”
—Alastair Reid

Praise for New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015

“[Parini] always leaves room for small delights or for glorious surprises.”
Christian Science Monitor

“Parini is truly a man of letters. He is a biographer of Gore Vidal, William Faulkner, and Robert Frost, among other writers; a poet; and a novelist whose subjects include Herman Melville in The Passages of H.M. (2010). For this collection, he explains, he selected ‘poems written in the past forty years that I wish to stand by,’ works from The Art of Subtraction (2005), House of Days (1998), Town Life (1988), and Anthracite Country (1982). But first readers will discover a set of new poems under the title ‘West Mountain Epilogue.’ In these supple, straight-ahead lyrics, Parini evokes a strong sense of place as he remembers the Pennsylvania of his youth and his ‘very poor’ grandmother who lived so richly on a ‘tiny farm’ in Pennsylvania with her chickens: ‘I used to watch her scattering the grain / like John D. Rockefeller scattered dimes.’ The title poem spotlights the grim truth about Scranton’s ‘soot-rain,’ ‘coal dust,’ ‘white plastic trash,’ and ‘redbrick buildings with their broken teeth,’ while Parini also celebrates ‘Lackawanna light.’ Parini describes snow softening harsh terrain, sleeping outdoors as a boy, innocence, and hope, and he writes ruefully about our present predicaments, in poems such as ‘Some Effects of Global Warming in Lackawanna County.’ He also prophesies: ‘The poetry of tomorrow will not be pretty.’ As for now, Parini offers graceful and wry spiritual reflections in a number of prayerful poems, including ‘Do Lord Remember’ and ‘Blessings.’”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist Online

“Admired master of many genres, including novels, biographies, and essays, it is in his poetry that I’ve always felt Jay Parini comes into his own, using his astonishing and wide-ranging talent to mine the deeper ground. In his poetry, we get the full strength of all we admire in this writer: the springs of his lyricism, his keen eye for detail, his absorbing and compassionate curiosity about people and places, an ability to listen and capture the tone of our times, and moral imagination and spiritual yearning that delivers us into a larger way of seeing and being. New and Collected Poems gathers together four decades of work: we follow him from his childhood in coal country to his full maturity in the Green Mountains, a journey that is a pilgrimage to the waters and watering place of his being, and ours. It’s the book I’ve always wanted from this author, the one I will read, reread, and give as a gift to others who care about literature that matters and will endure.”
—Julia Alvarez, author of novels, short stories, nonfiction, memoir, including In the Time of the Butterflies, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, and A Wedding In Haiti, as well as several books of poetry, most recently, The Woman I Kept to Myself