Apr 13

Next to Last Words Showcases the Late Work of One of America’s Foremost Men of Letters

Next to Last Words shows Daniel Hoffman to be at the height of his long and distinguished career. He makes us see the world in a new way, compelling for his visual accuracy and consummate technique. . . .”—Grace Schulman

“‘Oh but I was a songster in the days before the flood!’ croaks Daniel Hoffman’s raven, a doughty survivor. Stubborn joy and pulsing, minute attention movingly suffuse these late poems; we can be grateful that Hoffman’s world ‘is filled with importunate distractions.’”—Rachel Hadas

For sixty years Daniel Hoffman (1923-2013) drew on a lifetime of experiences to engage readers with his powerful imagination. The poems in Next to Last Words—illuminated by the poet’s unique vision and leavened by touches of humor—continue this tradition. Equally skilled in formal and free verse, Hoffman explores our place in the cosmos, our kinship with nature, the violent world in which we must live, and the intense love and grief common to everyone’s life.

Former poet laureate, Daniel Hoffman published fourteen books of poetry, including The Whole Nine Yards, Beyond Silence, and Brotherly Love, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His honors include the Arthur Anse prize for “a distinctive poet” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and, from the Sewanee Review, the Aiken-Taylor Award for Contemporary American Poetry. He is the author of many critical studies, including Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, also a National Book Award finalist. He taught at Swarthmore College and at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Felix Schelling Professor of English Emeritus.

April 8, 2013
96 pages, 6 x 9
Paper $16.95

Apr 13

Daniel Hoffman (1923-2013)


With deep sadness, we must report the passing of Daniel Hoffman, an LSU Press author who was also one of America’s foremost men of letters.

Primarily a poet, Dan published fourteen books of poetry, six of them with LSU Press, including Next to Last Words, which has just appeared this spring. His early book-length poem Brotherly Love became a finalist for the National Book Award, and in 1973-74 he served as Consultant in Poetry of the Library of Congress, the appointment now called Poet Laureate of the United States.

Dan also wrote other kinds of books. In 1989 we published his critical work Faulkner’s Country Matters: Folklore and Fable in Yoknapatawpha. An earlier book of criticism was Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, also a finalist for the National Book Award, reprinted by LSU Press in 1998. We are also proud to have published his unusual and elegant World War II memoir, Zone of the Interior.

From the time of his first LSU Press book in 1988, Hang-Gliding from Helicon: New and Selected Poems, Dan served as a prolific author and valued advisor to us. We are very proud of and grateful for our friendship with him, and we will certainly miss him.

Well, Wendell looks at the form.
He reads it real close, and then
he tells Jeanette to never mind,
let’s take us one last drive before we turn it in.

That night I never seen them coming round this curve,
I heard the orange rocketship blast off
already past me half a mile down the road
doing 90!

From “Shocks”
In The Whole Nine Yards: Longer Poems (2009)

Per Conta recently published a Festschrift for Daniel G. Hoffman in Celebration of His 90th Birthday

Mar 13

Kelly Cherry Examines the Domain of Language in The Life and Death of Poetry

“Unpretentious and stimulating, Kelly Cherry’s The Life and Death of Poetry, in exemplary fashion, extends the tradition of the Ars Poetica for the twenty-first-century reader: these poems instruct and delight as they do, yet not didactically so. There is music as you go. How can one not invite such poems into one’s life that honor language, love, other poems and poets, the natural world, and the spirit of living with so much force of wit, imagistic precision, and bighearted intelligence? Kelly Cherry makes dedicated listeners of us all.”—Major Jackson

Clear and accessible, the poems in Kelly Cherry’s The Life and Death of Poetry examine the intricacies and limitations of communication and its ability to help us transcend our world and lives.

The poet begins with silence and animal sound before taking on literature, public discourse, and the particular art of poetry. The sequence “Welsh Table Talk” considers the unsaid, or unsayable, as a man, his daughter, and his daughter’s friend sojourn on Bardsey Island in Wales with the father’s female companion. The innocence and playful chatter of the children throw into sharp relief a desolate landscape and failed communication between the adults.

In the book’s final section, Cherry considers translation, great art’s grand sublimity, and the relation of poetry—the divine tongue—to the everyday world. Witty, poignant, wise, and joyous, The Life and Death of Poetry offers a masterful new collection from an accomplished poet.

Kelly Cherry has previously published twenty books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, nine chapbooks, and translations of two classical plays. She is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She and her husband live in Virginia.

March 2013
80 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $19.95
LSU Press Paperback Original

Feb 13

Its Ghostly Workshop Searches for Truth across Time and Place

“Intellectual travelogue merges with literary tour in these intricate creations and re-creations.”—Betty Adcock, author of Intervale: New and Selected Poems 

“A compelling convergence of the near and the far, Its Ghostly Workshop offers a version of the particular that yields a haunting enormity, and a glimpse of coherence amid our machinations and lush debris.”—Scott Cairns, author of Compass of Affection: Poems New and Selected

From the Mediterranean to the American West, the poems in Ron Smith’s new collection move across time and place to seek reliable truths through personal observation. Beyond his own experiences Smith draws from the lives of notable and diverse figures—Edward Teller, Edgar Allan Poe, Mickey Mantle, Ezra Pound, Robert Penn Warren, Jesse Owens, Leni Riefenstahl, and many others.

Its Ghostly Workshop probes the fallibility of philosophy while strengthening the quest for certainty. Wondering and weighing, these are poems capable of conviction as well as doubt. Like the city of Rome, the subject at the book’s center, Its Ghostly Workshop aims to rewire us, to “virus” us, to “rush” us “with visionary blazes, cascades / of memory, incandescent logic.”

Ron Smith, author of the poetry collections Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery and Moon Road, is the poetry editor for Aethlon: The Journal of Sports Literature. Winner of the Carole Weinstein Prize and other poetry awards, he holds the George Squires Chair of Distinguished Teaching and serves as Writer-in-Residence at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Richmond.

March 11, 2013
88 pages, 6 x 9
Paper $16.95
LSU Press Paperback Original

Feb 11

Watch Ava Haymon read What the Witch Wanted

Jun 10

Breach poet Cooley on “The Sound of Books”

9780807135846 Hear LSU Press poet Nicole Cooley read from and discuss her new collection, Breach, in this excellent interview on "The Sound of Books" (WWNO).

Nicole Cooley's New Volume of Katrina-Inspired Poems, "Breach" (WWNO)

Nov 09

Betty Adcock reviewed and interviewed

9780807133095Betty Adcock's most recent collection of poetry, Slantwise, was recently reviewed by the online journal Cerise Press.  Ms. Adcock also gave a wonderful interview in which she discusses her craft.  You may read both by following the links below.

Wandering in Earth: Slantwise by Betty Adcock (Cerise Press)

Poetry is a Way of Seeing: A Conversation with Betty Adcock (Cerise Press)

Feb 09

The New York Times Reviews Time and the Tilting Earth

Veteran poet Miller Williams's latest collection, Time and the Tilting Earth, is  reviewed in the February 22 issue of The New York Times Book Review.

"In poem after poem, he mingles the low and the high in both form and
content, bringing a sense of cleareyed practicality to life’s big
questions and a keenly honed poetic technique to the cadences of
Arkansas porch talk."

Dec 08

LSU Press Remembers Pinkie Gordon Lane

Dr. Pinkie Gordon Lane, LSU Press author and former Louisiana Poet Laureate, died on December 3rd at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center after a short illness.  She is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including Elegy
for Etheridge: Poems
and Girl
at the Window: Poems
.  Dr. Lane had a distinguished career as an educator, as well.  She was the first African-American to recieve a doctorate from LSU (1967) and taught English at Southern University for 27 years, serving 12 years as the department chair.

Our thoughts are with her family.  Read the obituary in The Advocate.

Sep 08

Galvin interviewed in latest issue of “Shenandoah”

LSU Press poet Brenden Galvin was recently interviewed by Thomas Reiter for Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review. You may read this fascinating interview by visiting the Poetry Daily website or by visiting the Shenandoah site and downloading the PDF.  Mr. Galvin’s latest collection, Whirl Is King: Poems from a Life List, was published by LSU Press this month.