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The fourth John N. Serio Award for the Best Article Published in The Wallace Stevens Journal was awarded to Glen MacLeod for his contribution entitled “Stevens and the Cast Tradition” (Spring 2014). The award was judged by a committee of three: two members of the Editorial Board (Milton J. Bates and Angus Cleghorn) and one external scholar (Rachel Malkin). It was officially presented at the 2016 MLA Convention in Austin, Texas. Please join us in congratulating the author.
In early 2016, the website of the Wallace Stevens Society (wallacestevens.com) underwent a major overhaul. Retaining the indispensable tool of the Concordance and the basic information previously included (such as announcements and calls for papers), the website has substantially expanded its offerings. It now includes a complete archive of articles from the first twenty-five years of The Wallace Stevens Journal, besides a wide range of links to Stevens-related materials online: from sound recordings of the poet to a video documentary on his work and various video lectures, artworks, and translations. We would like to thank Jessie Bennett for successfully realizing this attractive redesign. We also welcome our new Digital Communications Manager, Florian Gargaillo, who has already noted the popularity of the new website: by June 2016, the number of individual visitors had risen dramatically to more than 3,700 a month. Visitors are kindly invited to post feedback and their own information about upcoming Stevens-related events in the Guestbook.
The 2015 Wallace Stevens Award of the Academy of American Poets, a $100,000 lifetime achievement award “for outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry,” went to Joy Harjo. [End Page 250]
On the occasion of his sixtieth birthday recital, on March 1, 2015, the composer Robert Carl performed his own composition “Thirteen: Bagatelles for Piano (after Wallace Stevens)” at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. A recording is available on YouTube.
On February 20, 2016, the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra (HICO) presented a celebration of local poets in a concert entitled “Voices of Connecticut Poets: Wallace Stevens and Elizabeth Hamilton.” The program, which was performed at the Mark Twain House & Museum, included Thomas Albert’s “Thirteen Ways,” another composition inspired by Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” The orchestra was joined by the mezzo-soprano Charity Clark.
“Sunday Morning,” a forty-minute musical composition for soprano and small ensemble by the composer David Hertzberg, premiered in Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on March 16, 2016. It was sung by Sarah Shafer and performed by members of the New York City Opera Orchestra conducted by Gil Rose. In The New York Times of March 18, Zachary Woolfe reported that the composition was “by far the highlight” of the evening. He called the music “unusual” for a young composer in being so “unshowy, with flickers of color evident only on close inspection.” The musical setting, as Woolfe describes it, “begins with sunrise ethereality . . . and remains raptly restrained even as it condenses and blooms. The music is gently perfumed and unhurried. . . . The vocal lines are lyrical and mostly moderate: as clean, clear and calm as the voice of the soprano Sarah Shafer, a well-chosen soloist.”
Playwrights Local, a production center for playwrights in the greater Cleveland, Ohio, area, announces a new production for May/June 2017 entitled Things as They Are. This is billed as a play-with-music written by the playwright David Todd with a musical score composed and performed by Ben Chasny. The production, which is to be directed by Anjanette Hall, promises a collage of scenes, poems, stage movement, and original compositions that together offer a meditation on the life and work of Stevens. [End Page 251] The purpose is to look past stock images of the unapproachable insurance executive to reveal what the playwright describes as “a man of great insight, contradictions, whimsy, and desire.” Suggestions for additional funding are kindly invited by the organizers.
A brisk market for Stevens books and manuscripts has featured a number of fine offerings over the past twelve months. In September 2015, Triolet Books in San Luis Obispo listed two small publications: “An Ordinary...