Common Wealth Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania

ISBN-10: 0271027215

ISBN-13: 9780271027210

Edition: 2005

Authors: Marjorie Maddox, Jerry Wemple

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Over the years, Pennsylvania has been graced with an abundance of writers whose work draws imaginatively on the state's history and culture. Common Wealth sings the essence of Pennsylvania through contemporary poetry. Whether Pennsylvania is their point of origin or their destination, the featured poets ultimately find what matters: heritage, pride, work, inventiveness, struggle, faith, beauty, hope. Keystone poets Marjorie Maddox and Jerry Wemple celebrate Pennsylvania with this wide range of new and veteran poets, including former state poet Samuel Hazo, National Book Award winner Gerald Stern, Pulitzer Prize winners Maxine Kumin, W.S. Merwin, and W.D. Snodgrass, and Reading-born master John Updike. The book's 103 poets also include such noted authors as Diane Ackerman, Maggie Anderson, Jan, Beatty, Robin Becker, Jim Daniels, Toi Derricotte, Gary Fincke, Harry Humes, Julia Kasdorf, Ed Ochester, Jay Parini, Len Roberts, Sonia Sanchez, Betsy Sholl, and Judith Vollmer. In these pages, poems sketch the landscapes and cultural terrain of the state, delving into the history, traditions, and people of Philadelphia, "Dutch" country, the coal-mining region, the Poconos, and the Lehigh Valley; the Three Rivers region; the Laurel Highlands; and Erie and the Allegheny National Forest. Theirs is a complex narrative cultivated for centuries in coal mines, kitchens, elevated trains, and hometowns, a tale that illuminates the sanctity of the commonplace--the daily chores of a Mennonite housewife, a polka dance in Coaldale, the late shift at a steel factory, the macadam of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. With its panoramic vision of Pennsylvania, its culture, and its thriving literary heritage, CommonWealth is a collection of remembrance for a state that continues to inspire countless contributions to American literature.
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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Publication date: 9/22/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Jerry Wemple is Associate Professor of English at Bloomsburg University. He is the author of You Can See It from Here (2000), which won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, and The Civil War in Baltimore (2005). He grew up in the Susquehanna Valley.

Greetings from the Commonwealth!
"The Map"
"Coming East from Cleveland to Philadelphia at Harvest"
"Route 81"
"Me'n Bruce Springsteen Take My Baby Off to College"
Beginnings: Philadelphia, "Dutch" Country, and Their Environs
"Philly Things"
"Rowers on the Schuylkill"
"Listening for Bridge Builders"
"Crazy Mary Rides the El"
"Spiritual Exercise, Kensington, Philadelphia"
"If You Are Reading This"
"Preliminary Sketches: Philadelphia"
"Our Lady of the Cabbages"
"10 PM at a Philadelphia Recreation Center"
"The Star Show"
"A Poem for a Black Boy"
"Chester County Winter Day"
"Spiritual Morning"
"A Hill in Pennsylvania"
"In the Small World"
"Mennonite Farm Wife"
"Female Ancestor"
"Buggy Ride at Sixteen"
"Papaya: Lancaster County"
"Back with the Quakers"
"Before the Silver Chord Is Loosed"
"In Carpenter's Woods"
"Potter's Field, Germantown"
"Wallace Stevens House Prayer"
"Route 222: Reading to Kutztown"
"The Idea of the Ordinary"
Circling East: Mines, Mountains, and Mills
"Ode to Coal"
"Coal Crackers"
"Burning Mountain"
"Christ Comes to Centralia"
"Centralia (October 31, 1986)"
"This Is Not My Cousin"
"What They Wanted Us to Bring Back"
"Family Portrait, 1933"
"Working the Face"
"Coal Train"
"The Miner's Wife Leaves Home"
"So the Coal Was Gone"
"Showing a Friend My Town"
"March 10, 1951"
"Bones & Ashes"
"The Strippings"
"Cousin, Will You Take My Hand?"
"Susquehanna: The Projects"
"The Field (an Excerpt)"
"The Jeweler"
"Real Faux Pearls"
"Polka Dancing to Eddie Blazonczyk and His Versatones in Coaldale, Pennsylvania"
"A Different House"
"In Cursive"
"Spring Peepers, April, Wassergass"
"Easter Sunday, Seisholtzville"
"We Never Leave"
"Hawk Falls"
"Climbing the Three Hills in Search of the Best Christmas Tree"
"The Quarry"
"J.B. Phones Me at the End of Summer, Asking Where I Find Silence in the Lehigh Valley"
"The Poconos"
Hills and Ridges: The Susquehanna Valley and Central Pennsylvania
"Naming Heraclitus"
"November Textures"
"The Agnes Mark"
"The Little League World Series: First Play"
"Going Back"
"Nocturne: Roller Mills Flea Market"
"Clearfield County Fair"
"The Bloomsburg Fair"
"Racetrack Downriver"
""Fishing the Little J. Beneath the Methodist Church"
"The Company We Keep"
"Worlds End"
"Winter Walks, Perry County"
"It Isn't Raining"
"Pleasure Gap"
"Aunt Lena Committed to Bellefonte State Hospital"
"Running through Danville State Hospital"
"Laid Off in July"
"Awl Street"
"Harrisburg Echoes (Excerpts)"
"Nights Like This"
"Three Mile Island Siren"
"Dream City"
"Twelve Facts about the Immigrants: A Prose Poem"
"Acoustic Shadows"
"The Battlefield Museum Guide Speaks"
Southwestern Pennsylvania: The Three Rivers Region and the Laurel Highlands
"Lines Written in a Pittsburgh Skyscraper"
"Listening to Jimmy Garrison (Pittsburgh, Pa.)"
"The Dancing"
"Integration (Kennywood Park, June 1963)"
"My Father Likes Pittsburgh"
"Pittsburgh Poem"
"My Grandfather's Cronies"
"Steelers! Steelers! Steelers!"
"Class A, Salem, the Rookie League"
"Closed Mill"
"One of Many Bars in Ford City, Pennsylvania"
"Listening to Birds after a Mild Winter"
"Audubon's Nature Preserve, Fox Chapel"
"Panther Hollow Bridge, Pittsburgh"
"Mysteries of Pittsburgh"
"In Her Mind, She's Already Quit"
"Miracle Mile"
"Buddy Picture"
"Leaving Pittsburgh"
"Imagining the Johnstown Flood"
"Flash Flood"
"Memorial Day, Elderton, Pennsylvania"
"Home Town"
"Apollo Is a Pink Town"
"Pennsylvania September: The Witnesses"
"Spring: Fayette County, PA"
"This Hill Will Get You There"
"Turning into a Pond"
North by Northwest: The Alleghenies and Erie
"Second Coming in Northern Pennsylvania"
"When I Looked Next"
"After Tithonus and Aurora, Thoughts on a Life of Work"
"Bullet Shell Heart"
"White Tent in the Alleghenies"
"Mountain Night"
"Swimming in Lake Erie: Intermediate Beginners"
"The Resurrection of Lake Erie"
"Confession Off the Lake"
"Bus Stop at West 12th Street"
"In the Old Neighborhood It Begins in the Urgency of Whoever Is Nameless It Pulls the Night Hard in the Hands"
"Driving in Someone Else's Light"
"In a Diner in Franklin, Pennsylvania"
"Meditation in Oil City, PA"
"The Auctioneer"
"Tractor Pull"
"If We Were as Brilliant as Groundhogs"
"On Gobbler's Knob"
"The History of Summer"
The Poets
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