Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens, 1879–1955, American poet, b. Reading, Pa., educated at Harvard and New York Law School. After 1916 he was associated with the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, and from 1934 until his death he served as its vice president. A master of exquisite verse, Stevens was specifically concerned with creating some shape of order in the "slovenly wilderness" of chaos. These ideas are expressed in his earliest volume, Harmonium (1923), to which belongs the best known of his poems, "Sunday Morning." His ideas are developed in the subsequent volumes Ideas of Order (1936); The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937); Parts of the World (1942); Transport to Summer (1947), which includes the long poem "Notes toward a Supreme Fiction," in which Stevens elaborates on the poet's role in creating the fictions necessary to transform and harmonize the world; The Auroras of Autumn (1950); The Necessary Angel, essays (1951); Collected Poems (1954; Pulitzer Prize); and Opus Posthumous (1957).

See his Collected Poetry and Prose (1997), ed. by F. Kermode and J. Richardson; letters, ed. by H. Stevens (1966); biographies by H. Stevens (1977) and J. Richardson (2 vol., 1986–88); studies by H. Vendler (1969) and H. Bloom (1980).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Wallace Stevens: Selected full-text books and articles

A Reader's Guide to Wallace Stevens
Eleanor Cook.
Princeton University Press, 2007
Great American Writers: Twentieth Century
R. Baird Shuman.
Marshall Cavendish, vol.11, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Wallace Stevens" begins on p. 1467
The Auroras of Autumn
Wallace Stevens.
Alfred A. Knopf, 1950
Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things
James Longenbach.
Oxford University Press, 1991
Wallace Stevens and Poetic Theory: Conceiving the Supreme Fiction
B. J. Leggett.
University of North Carolina Press, 1987
The Comic Spirit of Wallace Stevens
Daniel Fuchs.
Duke University Press, 1963
Wallace Stevens: Images and Judgments
John J. Enck.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1964
Things Merely Are: Philosophy in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens
Simon Critchley.
Routledge, 2005
Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing
Bart Eeckhout.
University of Missouri Press, 2002
The Metamorphic Tradition in Modern Poetry: Essays on the Work of Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, T. S. Eliot, Hart Crane, Randall Jarrell, and William Butler Yeats
M. Bernetta Quinn.
Rutgers University Press, 1955
Angels of Reality: Emersonian Unfoldings in Wright, Stevens, and Ives
David Michael Hertz.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1993
Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production
Douglas Mao.
Princeton University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Wallace Stevens"
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