SHENANDOAH: An Anthology by James--Ed. Boatwright

SHENANDOAH: An Anthology

Email this review


Shenandoah has been published now for 35 years, based at Washington and Lee University in Virginia--and a good gray quarterly it is: basically out of the New Criticism school and especially noteworthy for its glossy mandarin poetry of wit. Editor Boatwright, for this celebratory anthology, has culled names straight from the reference books--Auden, Berryman, Cummings, Faulkner (a brief, interesting note on Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea), Ford, Lowell, Moore, O'Connor, Pound, Stevens, Welty, Williams--and younger others likely to join them. There's not much fiction included, but what there is, by lesser-knowns, provides a welcome expressionistic edge: strong work by Michael Brondoli, Jean Ross, and Diane Vreuls. Essays are largely in the manner of tributes to other writers: Welty, Peter Taylor; but Kenneth Burke's ""King Lear: Its Form and Psychosis"" is Burke at his best. But it's the poetry, formalist and strenuous, that makes the clearest mark here: fine poems by A.R. Ammons, George Bradley, Donald Davie, Irving Feldman, Richard Howard (the magazine's poetry editor for the last many years), James Merrill, Josephine Miles, Howard Nemerov, May Swenson, and Charles Wright. Genteel, well-burnished excellence, long maintained.

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 1985
Publisher: Pushcart