Cover image for Discovery and reminiscence : essays on the poetry of Mona Van Duyn
Discovery and reminiscence : essays on the poetry of Mona Van Duyn
Burns, Michael, 1953-
Publication Information:
Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
ix, 158 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3543.A563 Z62 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



To help broaden and uniquely inform our understanding of Van Duyn's work, editor Michael Burns has gathered ten essays, a poem, a succinct biographical sketch, and Van Duyn's own laureate address to the Library of Congress.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Although Van Duyn (Pulitzer Prize poet and US Poet Laureate, 1991-92) enjoys a position in the highest ranks of contemporary US poets, many are unaware of her work. These tributes and appreciative essays aim to broaden her readership and define the nature of her achievement; Burns includes not a negative or critical word. The first three pieces are by Pulitzer winners: Maxine Kumin, Carolyn Kizer, and Richard Howard. Biographical notes by Beth Snow follow, then full-length essays by Stephen Yenser, Rachel Hadas, Sidney Burris, Ann Townsend, Michael Bugeja, Jane Hoogestraat, Wyatt Prunty, and Emily Grosholz. But the book's real treasure is Van Duyn's essay "Matters of Poetry," an edited version of her Poet Laureate address. She discusses the complex issue of the US poetry explosion, she analyzes the paradox of a vast audience for readings coinciding with the diminishing number of readers, and she attacks the "illusion of ease" in writing poetry. She observes that "expression of the self in amateur poetry is an attempt to validate the self and its perceptions, its inmost feelings and thoughts," raising the implied question, Does this make it art? Not burdened by "the self," Van Duyn's own work is rich with the special truth of poetry. A book for researchers and professionals; its value for undergraduates is to lead them to the poet's work. B. Wallenstein CUNY City College