American Spring Song: The Selected Poems of Sherwood Anderson

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Kent State University Press, 2007 - Poetry - 105 pages
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Famous for his modernist fiction, Ohio native Sherwood Anderson has long been recognized almost exclusively as a prose writer despite his prolific published output of poetry between 1915 and 1939. In American Spring Song, editor Stuart Downs reintroduces readers to a body of work rarely seen and never before studied. With an experimental sensibility, Anderson's poetry ranges from Whitmanesque to imagist to objectivist to surrealist, making its perspectives on the human spirit and consciousness, class, and gender especially interesting and relevant to contemporary readers. Downs's comprehensive and contextual introduction reflects on Sherwood Anderson as a major American literary figure as well as on his deep commitment to his poetry. In his presentation and selection of poems, Downs illuminates a connection between Anderson's poetry and its historical, cultural, personal, and literary influences. American Spring Song underscores Anderson's place in American literature--prose and poetry. This important collection will be welcomed by modernist scholars, Anderson specialists, and poets alike.

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About the author (2007)

Sherwood Anderson was born on September 13, 1876, in Camden, Ohio, and grew up in nearby Clyde. In 1898 he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Spanish-American War. In 1900 he enrolled in the Wittenberg Academy. The following year he moved to Chicago where he began a successful business career in advertising. Despite his business success, in 1912 Anderson walked away to pursue writing full time. His first novel was Windy McPherson's Son, published in 1916, and his second was Marching Men, published in 1917. The phenomenally successful Winesburg, Ohio, a collection of short stories about fictionalized characters in a small midwestern town, followed in 1919. Anderson wrote novels including The Triumph of the Egg, Poor White, Many Marriages, and Dark Laughter, but it was his short stories that made him famous. Through his short stories he revolutionized short fiction and altered the direction of the modern short story. He is credited with influencing such writers as William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Anderson died in March, 1941, of peritonitis suffered during a trip to South America. The epitaph he wrote for himself proclaims, "Life, not death, is the great adventure.

Stuart Downs holds an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College and is employed as director of the Sawhill Gallery at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. His poems have been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Syllogism, Fourteen Hills: The San Francisco State University Review, 26: A Journal of Poetry and Poetics, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Phoebe: The George Mason University Review.

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