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Companion Spider

Essays

Clayton Eshleman

Companion Spider is the accumulated work of a poet and translator who goes more deeply into the art and its process and demands than anyone since Robert Duncan. Clayton Eshleman is one of our most admired and controversial poets, the translator of such great international poets as Cesar Vallejo, Aime Cesaire and Antonin Artaud, and founder and editor of two important literary magazines, Sulfur and Caterpillar. As such, Eshleman writes about the vocation of poet and of the poet as translator as no one else in America today; he believes adamantly that art must concern itself with vision, and that poets learn best by an apprenticeship that is a kind of immersion in the work of other poets.

Companion Spider opens with a unique eighty page essay called "Novices: A Study of Poetic Apprenticeship" addressed to the poet who is just starting out. Subsequent sections take up the art of translation, poets and their work, and literary magazine editing. The title is drawn from an extraordinary visionary experience which the author had, which becomes a potent metaphor for the creative process. Through the variety of poets and artists to whom he pays homage, Eshleman suggests a community which is not of a single place or time; rather, there is mutual recognition and responsiveness, so that the reader becomes aware of a range of artistic practices s/he might explore

Ebook Edition Note: The essay, "Gull Wall," has been redacted.

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The Complete Poetry of Aimé Césaire

Bilingual Edition

Aimé Césaire

The Complete Poetry of Aimé Césaire gathers all of Cesaire’s celebrated verse into one bilingual edition. The French portion is comprised of newly established first editions of Césaire’s poetic œuvre made available in French in 2014 under the title Poésie, Théâtre, Essais et Discours, edited by A. J. Arnold and an international team of specialists. To prepare the English translations, the translators started afresh from this French edition. Included here are translations of first editions of the poet’s early work, prior to political interventions in the texts after 1955, revealing a new understanding of Cesaire’s aesthetic and political trajectory. A truly comprehensive picture of Cesaire’s poetry and poetics is made possible thanks to a thorough set of notes covering variants, historical and cultural references, and recurring figures and structures, a scholarly introduction and a glossary. This book provides a new cornerstone for readers and scholars in 20th century poetry, African diasporic literature, and postcolonial studies.

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Connecticut in the American Civil War

Slavery, Sacrifice, and Survival

Matthew Warshauer

Connecticut in the American Civil War offers readers a remarkable window into the state’s involvement in a conflict that challenged and defined the unity of a nation. The arc of the war is traced through the many facets and stories of battlefield, home front, and factory. Matthew Warshauer masterfully reveals the varied attitudes toward slavery and race before, during, and after the war; Connecticut’s reaction to the firing on Fort Sumter; the dissent in the state over whether or not the sword and musket should be raised against the South; the raising of troops; the sacrifice of those who served on the front and at home; and the need for closure after the war. This book is a concise, amazing account of a complex and troubling war. No one interested in this period of American history can afford to miss reading this important contribution to our national and local stories.

The paperback edition includes a reading guide, which is also available at http://www.wesleyan.edu/wespress/e-books/materials/warshauer_reading_guide.pdf

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Connecticut Needlework

Women, Art, and Family, 1740–1840

Susan P. Schoelwer

Winner of the Connecticut Book Award (2011)
Winner of the Connecticut League of History Organizations Award of Merit (2012)

Connecticut women have long been noted for their creation of colorful and distinctive needlework, including samplers and family registers, bed rugs and memorial pictures, crewel-embroidered bed hangings and garments, silk-embroidered pictures of classical or religious scenes, quilted petticoats and bedcovers, and whitework dresses and linens. This volume offers the first regional study, encompassing the full range of needle arts produced prior to 1840. Seventy entries showcase more than one hundred fascinating examples—many never before published—from the Connecticut Historical Society’s extensive collection of this early American art form. Produced almost exclusively by women and girls, the needle arts provide an illuminating vantage point for exploring early American women’s history and education, including family-based traditions predating the establishment of formal academies after the American Revolution. Extensive genealogical research reveals unseen family connections linking various types of needlework, similar to the multi-generational male workshops documented for other artisan trades, such as woodworking or metalsmithing. Photographs of stitches, reverse sides, sketches, design sources, and related works enhance our understanding and appreciation of this fragile art form and the talented women who created it. An exhibition of needlework in this book will be held at the Connecticut Historical Society in late fall, 2010. Funding for this project has been provided by the Coby Foundation, Ltd., and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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The Connecticut Prison Association and the Search for Reformatory Justice

Gordon S. Bates

The Connecticut Prison Association and the Search for Reformatory Justice looks at the role the Connecticut Prison Association played in the formation of the state’s criminal justice system. Now organized under the name Community Partners in Action (CPA), the Connecticut Prison Association was formed to ameliorate the conditions of criminal defendants and people in prison, improve the discipline and administration of local jails and state prisons, and furnish assistance and encouragement to people returning to their communities after incarceration. The organization took a leading role in prison reform in the state and was instrumental in a number of criminal justice innovations. Gordon S. Bates, former Connecticut Prison Association volunteer and executive director (1980–1998), offers a detailed history of this and similar voluntary associations and their role in fostering a rehabilitative, rather than a retributive, approach to criminal justice. First convened in 1875 as the Friends of Partners of Prisoners Society, then evolving into the Connecticut Prison Association and CPA, the organization has consistently advocated for a humane, rehabilitative approach to prisoner treatment.

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Connecticut’s Fife and Drum Tradition

James Clark

The state of Connecticut boasts an extensive and active community of fife and drum groups. This musical tradition has its origins in the small military bands maintained by standing armies in Britain and Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries--the drum was especially important as it helped officers train soldiers how to march, and was also used to communicate with troops across battlefields. Today fifers and drummers gather at conventions called "musters," which may include a parade and concerts featuring the various participating corps. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest muster ever was held in Deep River, Connecticut, in 1976. Musician and historian James Clark is the first to detail the colorful history of this unique music. This engaging book leads the reader through the history of the individual instruments and tells the story of this classic folk tradition through anecdotes, biographies, photographs, and musical examples.

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A Connecticut Yankee in Lincoln’s Cabinet

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles Chronicles the Civil War

Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles, the Connecticut journalist-politician who served as Lincoln’s secretary of the navy, was not only an architect of Union victory but also a shrewd observer of people, issues, and events. Fortunately for posterity, he recorded many of his observations in his extensive diary. A Connecticut Yankee in Lincoln’s Cabinet brings together 250 of the most important and interesting excerpts from the diary, dealing with topics as varied as the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Marine Band’s concerts in Washington’s Lafayette Square, Lincoln’s sense of humor, rivalries among cabinet members, Welles’s often caustic opinions of prominent politicians and military leaders, demands for creation of a navy yard in his home state, the challenge of blockading 3,500 miles of Confederate coastline, the struggle against rebel commerce raiders, the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg, the Fort Pillow massacre of African American troops, and Lincoln’s assassination. Together, the excerpts provide a candid insider’s view of the Civil War as it unfolded, and an introduction provides the reader with context. Published by the Acorn Club.

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The Constructivist Moment

From Material Text to Cultural Poetics

Barrett Watten

Winner of the American Comparative Literature Association's Rene Wellek Prize (2004)

As one of the founding poets and editors of the Language School of poetry and one of its central theorists, Barrett Watten has consistently challenged the boundaries of literature and art. In The Constructivist Moment, he offers a series of theoretically informed and textually sensitive readings that advance a revisionist account of the avant-garde through the methodologies of cultural studies. His major topics include American modernist and postmodern poetics, Soviet constructivist and post-Soviet literature and art, Fordism and Detroit techno—each proposed as exemplary of the social construction of aesthetic and cultural forms. His book is a full-scale attempt to place the linguistic turn of critical theory and the self-reflexive foregrounding of language by the avant-garde since the Russian Formalists in relation to the cultural politics of postcolonial studies, feminism, and race theory. As such, it will provide a crucial revisionist perspective within modernist and avant-garde studies.

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Continued

Piotr Sommer

Continued is a selection of poems by Piotr Sommer, spanning his career to date. A kind of poetic utterance, these "talk poems" are devoid of any singsong quality yet faithfully preserve all the melodies and rhythms of colloquial speech. Events and objects of ordinary, everyday life are related and described by the speaker in a deliberately deadpan manner. Yet a closer look at the language he uses, with all its ironic inflections and subtle "intermeanings," reveals that the poem's "message" should be identified more with the way it is spoken than with what it says. The poems in this volume were translated into English with the help of other notable poets, writers, and translators, including John Ashbery, D.J. Enright, and Douglas Dunn.

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Country Music

Selected Early Poems

Charles Wright

Co-winner of the 1983 National Book Award for Poetry, Country Music is comprised of eighty-eight poems selected from Charles Wright’s first four books published between 1970 and 1977. From his first book, The Grave of the Right Hand, to the extraordinary China Trace, this selection of early works represents “Charles Wright’s grand passions: his desire to reclaim and redeem a personal past, to make a reckoning with his present, and to conjure the terms by which we might face the future,” writes David St. John in the forward. These poems, powerful and moving in their own right, lend richness and insight to Wright’s recently collected later works. “In Country Music we see the same explosive imagery, the same dismantled and concentric (or parallel) narratives, the same resolutely spiritual concerns that have become so familiar to us in Wright’s more recent poetry,” writes St. John.

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