News from Jeffers Country
Welcome new members BEN BOYCHUK (Running Springs, CA), BRUCE GRANT (Scottsdale, AZ), JESSICA HUNT (Baltimore, MD), FRANK TAKACS (Carmel, CA), ARLEEN TARANTINO (Carmel, CA), and ALICE YAMANISHI (Monterey, CA).
An important new book project is currently underway—The Point Alma Venus Manuscripts: Preliminary Versions of “The Women at Point Sur,” edited by Tim Hunt and Rob Kafka. Stanford University Press has a projected publication date of June 2021. In addition to transcriptions of four substantial fragments that predate The Women at Point Sur, the volume will contain an introduction, chronology, and critical afterword—all of which will shed new light on Jeffers’ maturation as a poet at a key moment in his career.
Congratulations to Geneva Gano, former president of RJA, who has just published The Little Art Colony and US Modernism: Carmel, Provincetown, Taos (Edinburgh University Press, 2020). The book is described by the publisher as “the first to historicise and theorise the significance of the early twentieth-century little art colony as a uniquely modern social formation within a global network of modernist activity and production. Alongside a historical overview of the emergence of three critical sites of modernist activity—the little art colonies of Carmel, Provincetown and Taos—the book offers new critical readings of major authors associated with those places: Robinson Jeffers, Eugene O’Neill and D. H. Lawrence.” Click here to see the full publisher’s flyer, which includes a discount code for those interested in purchasing the book (or asking their library to do so).
Geneva also has an essay scheduled for publication in the autumn issue of ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment): “The Poetry of Ecological Witness: Robinson Jeffers and Camille T. Dungy.” Check ISLE’s website for an electronic version.
Michael Broomfield has added an important addendum to His Place for Story: Robinson Jeffers: A Descriptive Bibliography. On the Oak Knoll website, click “Author’s Addendum (PDF)” just below the description of the book and order number: oakknoll.com/pages/books/119716/michael-broomfield/his-place-for-story-robinson-jeffers-a-descriptive-bibliography.
The 2020 Robinson Jeffers Prize for Poetry, sponsored by the Tor House Foundation, was won by Jerl Surratt of Hudson, New York, for his poem “Twilight Time.” Judge Marie Howe also awarded Honorable Mentions to Joanne M. Clarkson, Lesléa Newman, Ellen Romano, and Jess Skyleson. The winning poems can be found at torhouse.org/prize.
Jeffers, H. D., and Eugene O’Neill are included in a discussion of Aeschylean drama in modern literature in an essay titled “Reception Theory, New Humanism, and T. S. Eliot” by Matthew Hiscock, published in Classical Receptions Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, July 2020, pp. 323–39: doi.org/10.1093/crj/clz033.
California’s Wild Coast, an updated edition of California’s Wild Edge (2015), a book of “poetry, prints, and history” by woodcut artist Tom Killion with poet Gary Snyder, has just been published by Heyday Books in Berkeley.
The September issue of Harper’s magazine contains a major article by University of Kentucky professor Erik Reece titled “Bright Power, Dark Peace: Robinson Jeffers and the Hope of Human Extinction.” The article can be accessed here:
The San Francisco Chronicle published a feature article on Jeffers by California journalist Scott Anderson in its Sunday, September 13, edition. The article is available on the Chronicle website: datebook.sfchronicle.com/books/tech-trends-and-a-captivating-destination-help-california-rediscover-its-greatest-nature-writer.
Because of the pandemic quarantine that was imposed in March, the Philadelphia Orchestra canceled the concert that was to include the premiere of Jessica Hunt’s Climb. A new concert, which puts Jessica in company with Mozart and Brahms (instead of Beethoven) is now scheduled for October 15: philorch.org/performances/our-season/events-and-tickets/fall-2020-season/axmozart-piano-concerto-no-14. When not teaching as a professor at the Peabody Institute, Jessica serves as RJA’s social media coordinator.
“A Big Sur Sojourn: Scouting the Rugged Sea-Meets-Landscape that Fired the Imagination of So Many Writers,” a story by Elliott Almond with photographs by Karl Mondon, was published in the Bay Area Mercury News, May 17, 2020: pressreader.com/usa/the-mercury-news/20200517/284288187216697.
A previously unrecorded review of Be Angry at the Sun surfaced recently. Written by A. M. Klein in 1942 and originally published in the Canadian Jewish Chronicle, the review is titled “Robinson Jeffers—Proto-Fascist?” Acknowledging Jeffers’ genius as a poet, Klein nevertheless wonders why he wrote about Hitler the way he did in “The Bowl of Blood” and other poems. The review is included in Klein’s Literary Essays and Reviews, edited by Usher Caplan and M. W. Steinberg (University of Toronto, 1987). It can also be found in the journal itself, available at Google News. See page 4 of the February 6, 1942 issue: news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2Q0AJrNhS-QC.