Body My House: May Swenson's Work and Life

Body My House: May Swenson's Work and Life

Body My House: May Swenson's Work and Life

Body My House: May Swenson's Work and Life

Excerpt

The life, work, and literary reputation of poet May Swenson (19131989) are firmly grounded in Utah’s cultural and actual soil. A deep connection exists between Swenson and the town of Logan, Utah, where she was born and reared—a connection that is apparent from her earliest poems, published in high school and university periodicals, to her more mature writing, to her request to be buried on the campus of her alma mater, Utah State University. Although Swenson spent the majority of her adult life away from her native state, she frequently returned to it for literary inspiration, whether writing about her beloved parents, the plant and animal life she observed in the area, or her deeply felt emotions. Her boundless imagination ironically led her both to Utah and away from it, as she sought a creative terrain where she might “become naked in poetry, / [and] force the truth / through a poem” (Nature 12). It is only fitting that the first collection of critical essays on Swenson and her literary universe should have its inception at her university and its press.

This collection stems from a desire to instigate a deliberate academic conversation about a poet who produced eleven books of poetry and received almost every major poetry award in the United States. Much of that initial conversation took place at a three-day symposium held at Utah State in June 2004. The May Swenson Symposium was unique in that it not only brought together scholars and poets from around the world but also included contributions from members of Swenson’s family and representatives from publishing and archives. It also connected graduate and undergraduate students who were new to Swenson’s poetry and interested community members who simply wanted to know more about a writer often spoken of as a “poet’s poet.”

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.