Cover image for Beside the shadblow tree : a memoir of James Laughlin
Beside the shadblow tree : a memoir of James Laughlin
Carruth, Hayden, 1921-2008.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
151 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3523.A8245 Z63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Intimate portrait of 20th century's most influential publisher, as only a great poet can see him.

Author Notes

Poet and critic Hayden Carruth was born in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1921. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1943 and a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1948. His first poetry collection, The Crow and the Heart, was published in 1959. He wrote about 30 books of poetry throughout his lifetime that addressed a wide range of subjects including madness, loneliness, death, and fragility of the natural world. Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey won the National Book Award for poetry in 1996. He also wrote a novel entitled Appendix A. He was the poetry editor of Harper's from 1977 to 1983 and the advisory editor for The Hudson Review from 1971 until his death on September 29, 2008 at the age of 87.

(Bowker Author Biography) Monumental book and winner of National Book Critics Circle Award.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

James Laughlin (1914^-97) was an essential figure in twentieth-century literature, not because he was a major writer, though he was a very fine poet, but because New Directions books, which introduced several generations to the best in modern world literature, were "published for" him. That phrase was indicative of Laughlin, his friend, Carruth, imparts, for it skirted publicly acknowledging that he was New Directions' very active publisher-editor. Laughlin was extremely self-effacing, unwilling to show emotion or to endure gratitude. Yet he loved many women besides his three wives, and he was extraordinarily generous, not just with money. Near the end of this careful, thoroughly engaging memoir, as biographical of its author as of its subject, Carruth states his realization that Laughlin had supported him unobtrusively through the most difficult period of Carruth's life and long after. Perhaps Carruth would never have achieved what he did--and he is a major poet--without Laughlin, and the same could be said of several other writers. An essential, beautiful, and moving document. --Ray Olson