—Edgar Allan Poe
This month we celebrate the birthday of writer, playwright, poet, critic, and painter, D.H. Lawrence. While today, Lawrence is acknowledged as a brilliant observer of human sexuality and modernity, in his time he was censored, banned, persecuted and scorned for his art. Let's take a look at this amazing writer who unfortunately did not live to see the impact his work would make on literature:
Today we continue our Top Books by State series with a close look at some of the best books from Louisiana. Louisiana is an eclectic mix of small town, big city, and bayou, making it a popular destination for American and international tourists alike. Perhaps best known for its annual Mardi Gras festival, New Orleans is a vibrant mix of culture, reflected in its music, food, and people. Its Cajun and Creole cultures have their roots in French, African, and French Canadian cultures respectively and there is also an influence from Haitian immigration. Let's take a look at some of the best books to come from Louisiana:
As a poet and writer born in Illinois in 1878, it might seem obvious that a collection of Carl Sandburg’s works would pay homage in some fashion to the Midwest. Yet more than many authors coming out of the Midwest, Carl Sandburg’s works truly conjure images of rolling prairies and Midwestern cityscapes. Although Sandburg ended up spending the last part of his life in rural Western North Carolina, the subject matter of his poems, biographical writings, and other texts always hearken back to the middle part of the country. From visualizations of cornfields and cornhuskers to biographical writings about Abraham Lincoln, Sandburg’s work is firmly rooted in Illinois soil. And although he spent more than two decades at his Flat Rock, North Carolina home, his ashes ultimately were buried in Galesburg, Illinois in 1967. Given the deep connection between Sandburg’s work and the Midwest, we want to give you some tips and advice for building a “Midwest” collection featuring the books of Carl Sandburg.
It is a fact that this stalwart Christmas poem, now considered a tradition, was initially published as an Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas in New York's Troy Sentinel newspaper on December 23, 1823. It was published anonymously. The poem is credited with connecting St. Nicholas to Christmas and planted the seeds that led to our idea of Santa Claus. It also established most of the reindeer names.
Born in 1957 to President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy spent her childhood after her father’s assassination in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After graduating with her J.D., she worked as an attorney, politician, and advocate for educational reform. Under the Obama administration, Kennedy served as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017. Throughout her career, she has published books on politics, American history, constitutional law, and poetry. If you're interested in collecting poetry or collecting books associated with the Kennedy family, the following list is for you.
Percy Shelley is considered one of the greatest and most influential English poets. Like many authors, Shelley did not live to see his fame. During his life, he kept good company with other writers and poets, including his wife Mary Shelley née Godwin, author of Frankenstein, the Lord Byron, and John Keats. Due to the radical themes in his work, Shelley had difficulty finding a publisher, but he is now considered one of the paragons of English Romanticism.
Today we continue our Top Books by States series by talking a closer look at California. California is one of the most diverse states in the country, containing deserts, mountains, cities, beaches, and farmland all within its borders. It also serves as the heart of the American entertainment industry. California writers are just as diverse as their state. The books featured here are of a variety of genres, but what makes them some of the best and most representative of the state aren't just that their writers live in California, but that they all exemplify something of the beauty and spirit of the Golden State.
First published in 1855, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was a continuous labor. Whitman spent much of his professional career creating and changing his work, resulting in vastly altered editions being printed. Included in Leaves of Grass, “Song of Myself” is written in Whitman’s usual free verse and simple language, appealing to a vast audience. Like the work as a whole, “Song of Myself” underwent many revisions throughout the years before becoming the poem now considered one of the most influential pieces of American poetry.
Throughout his career as a writer, Walter de la Mare created many works for audiences of all ages, from poetry to prose to literary criticism to anthologies. He collaborated with other authors, including Rudyard Kipling to produce St. Andrews, Two Poems. Much of de la Mare’s work focused on themes of dreams, death, and emotion with an emphasis on creating a feeling of transcendent reality through a dreamlike tone, showing the importance de la Mare places on imagination.