Contemporary Mormon Poems
Eugene England and Dennis Clark, editors
Paperback / 328 pages / 0-941214-80-X / $14.95
Generously sampling the best Mormon poetry of the twentieth century, Harvest can be considered a definitive anthology. The younger poets in this collection, observes Dennis Clark, are moving in “new directions,” writing verse that “takes as its medium not text but the sounds of language.” They attempt—and succeed—in sharing with readers “some of the beauty and joy language first gave them, some of the playfulness, some of the fun, some of the truth.”
The senior poets, explains Eugene England, favor traditional verse reflecting deep concern about “ideas and values, even some extremely specific ones they claim to know through inspiration.” Generally more concerned about structure than innovation, these poets nonetheless exhibit pleasure in experimentation and irony, and their verse is reminiscent of that of John Keats—or T. S. Elliott—powerful, beautiful, and surprisingly profound.
Among Harvest‘s more than sixty contributors are Elouise Bell, Mary Blanchard, Mary Lythgoe Bradford, R. A. Christmas, Colin B. Douglas, Eugene England, Kathy Evans, Steven William Graves, Laura Hamblin, Lewis Horne, Susan Howe, Donnell Hunter, Bruce W. Jorgensen, Karl Keller, Lance Larsen, Clinton F. Larson, Timothy Liu, Karen Marguerite Moloney, Margaret Rampton Munk, Dixie Lee Partridge, Carol Lynn Pearson, Robert A. Rees, Karl C. Sandberg, Loretta Randall Sharp, Linda Sillitoe, May Swenson, Emma Lou Thayne, Philip White, Ronald Wilcox, and David L. Wright.
Eugene England is a professor of English literature and former associate director of the Honors Program at Brigham Young University, as well as past president of the Association for Mormon Letters. He is the author of Beyond Romanticism: Tuckerman’s Life and Poetry; The Best of Lowell L. Bennion: Selected Writings, 1928-88; Brother Brigham; Dialogues with Myself: Personal Essays on Mormon Experience; Making Peace: Personal Essays; The Quality of Mercy: Personal Essays on Mormon Experience; and Why the Church is as True as the Gospel. He is the editor of Bright Angels and Familiars: Contemporary Mormon Stories and Converted to Christ through the Book of Mormon; co-editor of An Open World: Essays on Leslie Norris, and Tending the Garden: Essays on Mormon Literature. He is a contributor to Book of Mormon Authorship, Multiply and Replenish: Mormon Essays on Sex and Family, Peculiar People: Mormons and Same-Sex Orientation, Personal Voices: A Celebration of Dialogue, and The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith.
Dennis Clark, M.A., creative writing, University of Washington, is an Orem city librarian. He is the author of Tinder: Dry Poems and a contributor to Greening Wheat: Fifteen Mormon Short Stories. He is a past poetry editor for Sunstone magazine and has had his own poems published in A Believing People: Literature of the Latter-day Saints, the Ensign, Exponent II, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. He sponsored publication of now-nationally-acclaimed poet Timothy Liu’s first anthology, A Zipper of Haze, under the imprint United Order Books.