We extend a warm welcome to new members of RJA: CORAL AMENDE, Incline Village, Nevada; BROOKS COLBURN, Westport, Connecticut; ED CROCKER, Norman, Oklahoma; JERRY FOWLER, Chico, California; GARIN HAY, Davis, California; KATIE PETERSON, Berkeley, California; ALBERT STRICKLAND, Capitola, California; and JULIET SPOHN TWOMEY, Carmel, California.
Congratulations to DEBORAH FLEMING, professor, poet, Jeffers scholar, and author of Towers of Myth & Stone: Yeats’s Influence on Robinson Jeffers (University of South Carolina Press, 2015), who recently won a major literary award. Her new book, Resurrection of the Wild: Meditations on Ohio’s Natural Landscape (Kent State University Press, 2019), won the 2020 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Previous winners include Ursula K. Le Guin, Ian Buruma, and Robert Hass, so Deborah is in excellent company. The judges had this to say: “Fleming’s Ohio is a template for [the] planet, and her essays explore the zoology, botany, and anthropology of her home ground with astonishing specificity and Thoreauvian passion. Hummingbirds peck on her window if she is late serving up the nectar. The depredations of fracking and strip mining are described like the torture of [a] body. We meet the Amish in all their admirable, clannish, and cagey variations. The seasons come alive and then slumber. In places, this is an elegy: ‘The earth has made us what we are, sustains us, and will take us back again when we have seen our share of passing seasons.’ Elsewhere, it is joyful and hopeful: ‘We need only look around to see that nature is trying to show us the gate that will lead us back inside.’ Fleming’s work holds a key to that gate.” For more information see: https://pen.org/pen-diamonstein-spielvogel-award-for-the-art-of-the-essay/.
A book by and about Buddhist scholar and environmental activist JOANNA MACY, who spoke eloquently about Jeffers’ influence on her life and work at the Tor House Foundation Fall Festival in October 2019, has just been published. A description of the book, titled A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Time (Shambhala, 2020), is available here: https://www.shambhala.com/a-wild-love-for-the-world.html. Joanna is also featured in a series of articles titled “Joanna Macy and the Great Turning” in the May 2020 issue of Lion’s Roar. The issue includes an interview with editor Melvin McLeod: https://www.lionsroar.com/joanna-macy-on-the-great-awakening-the-planet-needs/.
Jeffers is referenced in an article by ROBERT ZALLER, “‘What’s Living but Courage?’: The Poetry of R. S. Thomas,” published in the Spring 2020 issue of Boulevard.
An article by DANA GIOIA, Poet Laureate Emeritus of California and former director of the National Endowment for the Arts, was published in the Winter 2020 issue of Fine Books & Collections. Titled “In Love with Language,” the illustrated article contains Gioia’s thoughts on “reading, writing, and collecting California authors”—including Jeffers.
ROB KAFKA was awarded the Lawrence Clark Powell Award for Distinguished Achievement at RJA’s February 2020 conference in Carmel—in recognition of his lifetime of service and accomplishment as a Jeffers scholar, editor of Jeffers Studies, and officer of RJA. Rob’s latest project, Visits to the British Isles, a transcription of the Jeffers family travel diaries from 1929, 1937, 1948, and 1956, is currently in the hands of Norris Pope, who is preparing the manuscript for publication by Tor House Press.
During the business meeting at the February conference, a new RJA Mission Statement was approved: “The Robinson Jeffers Association encourages and supports scholarly and critical work focused on or related to Robinson Jeffers, seeks to enhance awareness of and appreciation for Jeffers’ contributions to American and world literature across academic disciplines and for the general public, and sponsors programming and publications that advance these goals.”
“Vulture” by Robinson Jeffers is included in American Birds: A Literary Companion, edited by Andrew Rubenfeld and Terry Tempest Williams (Library of America, 2020).
Jeffers’ adaptation of Medea was performed in May 2019 by the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Directed by Peter J. Kuo, the innovative production was set in 1930s New Orleans. See: http://blog.act-sf.org/2019/04/nobody-puts-medea-or-dashwood-sisters.html and http://blog.act-sf.org/2018/12/act-welcomes-associate-conservatory.html.
Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology by David B. Williams, originally published in 2009, was reissued by the University of Washington Press in 2019. The book contains a new preface and features a chapter on Jeffers titled “Poetry in Stone—Carmel Granite.”
“Jeffers’ Axe: The Instability of Nonviolence,” an essay by Brian Glaser, was published in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, Volume 24, Issue 1 (March 2019), pp. 1–14.
Jeffers is among the many “Voices in Time” cited in Lapham’s Quarterly: Climate, Volume XII, Number 4 (Fall 2019).
A chapter titled “Without Meeting Each Other: Czech Mediators of Willa Cather and Robinson Jeffers” by Marcel Arbeit is included in Transatlantic Intellectual Networks, 1914–1964, edited by Hans Bak and Céline Mansanti (Cambridge Scholars, 2019)