News ~ September 2019

Welcome to new member Louise Economides, professor of English at the University of Montana. Louise is currently working on a book about the Anthropocene that will include reflections on Jeffers.

Congratulations to Peter Quigley for the publication of The Forbidden Subject: How Oppositional Aesthetics Banished Natural Beauty from the Arts (Winwick, UK: White Horse Press, 2019). Jeffers plays a major role in this wide-ranging study of contemporary issues.

Congratulations to Robert Zaller for the publication of The Atom To Be Split: New and Selected Essays on Robinson Jeffers (Carmel, CA: Tor House Press, 2019). The book was produced under the guiding hand of Norris Pope, emeritus director of Stanford University Press.

American composer Lori Laitman premiered her setting of Jeffers’ poem Hands at the Grant Park Musical Festival in Chicago. The work was performed by the Grant Park Chorus in July 2019.

Jessica Hunt (whose operatic Scenes from Thurso’s Landing was mentioned in this column last May) has been commissioned to compose a work for the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Yannick Néset-Séguin. Hunt’s piece will be performed in 2020 as part of a series of concerts dedicated to the symphonies of Beethoven, in honor of the 250th anniversary of his birth.

Allen Mears has decided it is time to part with many treasures in his extensive book collection. Bibliophiles seeking to add rare Jeffers items to their shelves should scan the inventory at Quill & Brush Books in Middletown, Maryland.

The annual Tor House Foundation fall festival will take place October 4–6. This year, the festival honors the 100th anniversary of the building of Tor House. RJA speakers include Gere diZerega, Tim Hunt, James Karman, Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts, Aaron Yoshinobu, and Robert Zaller. Buddhist scholar and environmental activist Joanna Macy will be a special guest. See the THF website.

Everyone in the Jeffers community owes a debt of gratitude to Gere diZerega and his assistant Emily Williams for their work on a detailed application recently submitted by the Tor House Foundation to the National Park Service. The application seeks National Historic Landmark status for Tor House and Hawk Tower. The application packet includes letters of support from local congressmen and from California Poet Laureate (emeritus) Dana Gioia.

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