• Viking Press publishes José García Villa’s first book, Have Come, Am Here. The first volume of Filipino poetry published in the United States, it introduces a new method of rhyming, “reversed consonance.”
• Wagon and Star, Los Angeles, publishes Chorus for America: Six Philippine Poets, edited by Carlos Bulosan. The poets are: José García Villa, R. Zulueta Da Costa, R.T. Feria, C.B. Rigor, Cecilio Baroga, and Carlos Bulosan.
• Kenneth Patchen collaborates with composer John Cage on the radio play, The City Wears a Slouch Hat.
• William Everson is ordered into alternative service and reports to Camp Angel in Waldport, Oregon, where conscientious objectors work for the Forest Service. There he participates in The Untide, an alternative newspaper to the camp’s The Tide.
• Jane Grabhorn publishes Janet Lewis’s novel, The Wife of Martin Guerre in a hand-printed limited edition from Colt Press. Grabhorn will soon become the first major American woman fine-press printer.
• Henry Miller moves to Southern California and exhibits his paintings. In 1943 he moves to Big Sur.
• J.V. Cunningham’s first book, The Helmsman, is
published by Colt Press. Bound in florid paper wrappers, the brightly colored volume elicits this epigram from the poet:
This garish and red cover made me start.
I who amused myself with quietness
Am here discovered. In this flowery dress
I read the wild wallpaper of my heart.
• Colt Press publishes The Last Man, Weldon Kees’s first book of poems. The volume is part of the Colt Press poetry booklet series, which includes work by J.V. Cunningham (see above) and Edmund Wilson.
• The Giant Weapon by Yvor Winters is published by New Directions in their “Poets of the Year” project.
• New Directions publishes Guy Wernham’s translation of Les Chants de Maldoror.
• Ann Stanford publishes In Narrow Bound, her first book, with Alan Swallow. Born in 1916 in La Habra, California, Stanford completed her undergraduate work at Stanford University in 1938. She made her literary debut in Yvor Winters’ Twelve Poets of the Pacific (New Directions, 1937). Other poets included in that volume are Janet Lewis, Winters, Don Stanford, Howard Baker, J. V. Cunningham, Clayton Stafford, Richard Finnegan, James Atkisson, Henry Ramsey, Achilles Holt and Barbara Gibbs. After receiving her Ph.D. in English and American literature from UCLA in 1962, Stanford began to teach at California State University, Northridge, where she remained until 1987, the year of her death.
California Poetry from the Gold Rush to the Present, edited by Dana Gioia, Chryss Yost and Jack Hicks (Heyday Books, 2004), describes Ann Stanford as “poet, librettist, translator, literary critic, and editor” and quotes her remarks about place: “It is important to know where a poet lives, for the region, the culture surrounds the poetry, gives it a context from which the imagination can move”: “Compared to [Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet] for the directness, restraint, and clarity of her verse, Stanford wrote poems that cover a variety of topics but always display a formality and quiet intensity…Maxine Scates noted that a central theme of Stanford’s is ‘the vulnerability of the home space, the imminent presence of the intruder on the horizon threatening the inviolability of what we hold most dear’…Of California [Stanford] said, ‘It is easy to imagine the myths and tales of the Mediterranean region recreated [here], for the climate, the kinds of plants, the total landscape are much the same.’” This is her “Double Mirror”:
As this child rests upon my arm
So you encircled me from harm,
And you in turn were held by her
And she by her own comforter.
Enclosed, the double mirror runs
Backward and forward, fire to sun.
And as I watch you die, I hear
A child’s farewell in my last ear.
Other books by Ann Stanford include The White Bird (Alan Swallow, 1949); Magellan: A Poem to Be Read by Several Voices (The Talisman Press, San Jose, CA, 1958); In Mediterranean Air (Viking Penguin, 1977); The Countess of Forli: A Poem for Voices (Orirana Press, Canoga Park, CA, 1985); The Bhagavad Gita: A New Verse Translation (Herder and Herder, 1970); and, as editor, The Women Poets in English: An Anthology (McGraw-Hill, 1972) and Critical Essays on Anne Bradstreet (co-edited with Pattie Cowell, G.K. Hall, 1983). Holding Our Own: The Selected Poetry of Ann Stanford, edited by Maxine Skates and David Trinidad, will be published posthumously by Copper Canyon in 2001.
• Janet Lewis publishes Against a Darkening Sky with Doubleday, Doran & Co.
• Poetry by native San Franciscan Philip Lamantia (born 1927) is published in View, edited by Charles Henri Ford and Parker Tyler. It is said that, seeing these poems, André Breton hails Lamantia as “a voice that rises once in a hundred years.” Lamantia is fifteen years old and has embarked on what he will call his “three-year adventure [1943-1946] in ‘pure psychic automatism’ productive in the exaltation of the poetic marvelous, delirious eroticism and the reign of unfettered imagination written towards total human emancipation at the heart of surrealism.”