RJA member John Cusatis’s article “The Curious Desire of Knowing: Robinson Jeffers and the Poetry of Science,” was published this summer as part of the two volume anthology Restoring the Mystery of the Rainbow: Literature’s Refraction of Science (Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi Press, 2011). The article, which draws its title from Jeffers’s poem “De Rerum Virtute,” examines the role science played in increasing Jeffers’s reverence for the natural world. The essay was originally presented as a paper at the RJA Conference in Carmel in 2004.
Cusatis also recently edited a reference book titled Postwar Literature, 1945-1970 (New York: Facts on File, 2010), which includes an essay titled “Modern Primitive Poets” by University of South Carolina professor Keen Butterworth. The essay treats Jeffers alongside other “modern primitives”: James Dickey, Theodore Roethke, Robert Penn Warren, and William Carlos Williams. In the volume’s introduction, Cusatis frequently references the vigilant nature of Jeffers’ poetry, particularly the poem “Carmel Point,” which captures Jeffers’s disgust with the increasing encroachment of postwar suburban development. Library Journal named the book a 2011 “Best Reference Source.”