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© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Wallace Stevens: Selected full-text books and articles

A Reader's Guide to Wallace Stevens By Eleanor Cook Princeton University Press, 2007
Great American Writers: Twentieth Century By R. Baird Shuman Marshall Cavendish, vol.11, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Wallace Stevens" begins on p. 1467
The Auroras of Autumn By Wallace Stevens Alfred A. Knopf, 1950
Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things By James Longenbach Oxford University Press, 1991
Wallace Stevens and Poetic Theory: Conceiving the Supreme Fiction By B. J. Leggett University of North Carolina Press, 1987
The Comic Spirit of Wallace Stevens By Daniel Fuchs Duke University Press, 1963
Wallace Stevens: Images and Judgments By John J. Enck Southern Illinois University Press, 1964
Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing By Bart Eeckhout University of Missouri Press, 2002
Angels of Reality: Emersonian Unfoldings in Wright, Stevens, and Ives By David Michael Hertz Southern Illinois University Press, 1993
Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production By Douglas Mao Princeton University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Wallace Stevens"
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