Anne Stevenson's Collected Poems: reviews & poem features
'The comprehensive and expertly curated new Collected Poems by the late Anne Stevenson is wonderful reading experience that shows the incredible range and quality of her life’s work as poet.’ – Will Mackie, New Writing North (New & recent poetry from the North)
Anne Stevenson (1933-2020) was a major American and British poet. Born in Cambridge of American parents, she grew up in the States but lived in Britain for most of her adult life. Rooted in close observation of the world and acute psychological insight, her poems continually question how we see and think about the world. They are incisive as well as entertaining, marrying critical rigour with personal feeling, and a sharp wit with an original brand of serious humour.
Her posthumously published Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, February 2023) is a remaking of Anne Stevenson’s earlier Poems 1955-2005 (Bloodaxe Books, 2005), expanded to include poems from her final three books, Stone Milk (2007), Astonishment (2012) and Completing the Circle (2020), drawing on sixteen collections which are presented in their original order of publication.
FEATURE REVIEW IN THE TLS
The Times Literary Supplement, Friday 29 September 2023
A feature review of the late Anne Stevenson’s posthumously-published Collected Poems ran in the TLS of 29 September.
‘her Collected Poems … speaks to pressing contemporary questions of female subjectivity, ageing, artistic production and relevance. Her poetry is guided by determination, care of craft, and a largely concealed emotional dynamism, which occasionally breaks through the calm surface of her verse, revealing a woman unable to settle or be satisfied.’ – Hannah Voss, The Times Literary Supplement
‘Out stealing moonlight: Anne Stevenson’s haunted, sensuous collected poems’. Available online in full by subscription via the TLS website here.
ONLINE POEM OF THE WEEK FEATURES
The Guardian, Poem of the Week, online Monday 24 April 2023
Carol Rumens discussed ‘In the Tunnel of Summers’ from the late Anne Stevenson’s Collected Poems in her online Poem of the Week column in The Guardian on 24 April 2023.
‘The timeless and the quotidian are plaited elegantly in these vivid lines... It’s a fine memorial to Stevenson (1933-2020), a poet whose intense, delighted response to the natural world continues to enrich our “travelling senses”.’ – Carol Rumens, Poem of the Week, The Guardian, on ‘In the Tunnel of Summers’ from Collected Poems
Read the full feature on The Guardian's website here.
The Yorkshire Times, Poem of the Week, online 9 April 2023
‘Anaesthesia’, the late Anne Stevenson’s ‘meticulously appointed, discursive sonnet for lives gone’ from her final collection Completing the Circle, was featured as Steve Whitaker’s Poem of the Week in the online regional newspaper The Yorkshire Times on 9 April. The poem was accompanied by Steve Whitaker’s thoughtful comments.
Read the feature in full on The Yorkshire Times' website here.
ONLINE REVIEW COVERAGE
READ (Research in English At Durham), online 23 March 2023
An in-depth review of the late Anne Stevenson’s Collected Poems has gone online on the Durham University READ blog. Anne Stevenson, ‘one of the major American and British poets of recent times’, lived for many years in Durham.
'There is an intense musicality that runs throughout her poetry, with tunes and rhythms emerging as you read. You can get lost in the experience as the poems are read aloud... In Stevenson’s poetry, observations became one with music, entering into a playfully evasive dance. Collected Poems is both a celebration of a life’s work and an entry point to new readers who want to experience a poet’s life through their poems.' - Rory Clarkson, READ (Research in English At Durham)
Read the full review on the READ blog here.
London Grip, online 14 February 2023
An excellent review of the late Anne Stevenson’s Collected Poems went online in London Grip on 14 February.
‘This volume serves both as an excellent introduction for those inexplicably not familiar with her poetry and a welcome compilation to dip in and return to for those who do know her work.’ – Emma Lee, London Grip
New Writing North, New and recent poetry from the north, online 10 March 2023
Reviews of the late Anne Stevenson’s Collected Poems and Peter Bennet’s retrospective Nayler & Folly Wood: New & Selected Poems went online on 10 March in New Writing North's new and recent poetry from the North feature. The books were launched together on 1 March 2023 at a special event at St Chad's College, Durham.
‘Bloodaxe published landmark editions by two remarkable northern poets in February. Nayler & Folly Wood by Peter Bennet includes work from different stages of the poet’s career, including his masterful Flambard collections, offering a wide-ranging selection of precise, mystical and often astonishing poems. The comprehensive and expertly curated new Collected Poems by the late Anne Stevenson is wonderful reading experience that shows the incredible range and quality of her life’s work as poet.’’ – Will Mackie, New Writing North (New & recent poetry from the North)
Read the full review via New Writing North's website here.
IN PRINT REVIEWS
Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Spring 2023
The late Anne Stevenson’s Collected Poems was well reviewed in brief in the PBS Spring Bulletin.
‘Across the collection, Stevenson’s poems appear as unforgettable vignettes that emphasise, in her words, “the craft, coherence and architecture” of her oeuvre. Poems like ‘The Women’ and ‘To My Daughter in a Red Coat’ are poignantly stratified explorations of the self in conversation with the natural world: a theme that is part of Stevenson’s enduring legacy and bears testament to the formal range of her writing. This is a key volume for anyone interested in modern British poetry.' - Shalini Sengupta, Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Spring 2023, on Collected Poems
In print only.
TRIBUTE EVENT IN DURHAM ON 1 MARCH 2023
Carrie Hitchcock reading three poems by her mother Anne Stevenson
Carrie Hitchcock reads 'To My Daughter in a Red Coat', 'At Thirteen' and 'Poem for a Daughter'. Recorded by Neil Astley at St Chad's College, Durham on 1st March 2023.
Anne Stevenson’s daughter Carrie Hitchcock reads two poems from Correspondences (1974)
Carrie Hitchcock reads 'From an Asylum: Kathy Chattle to her mother Ruth Arbeiter' and 'A daughter’s difficulties as a wife: Mrs Reuben Chandler to her mother in New Orleans', both of which are included in Collected Poems. Recorded by Neil Astley at St Chad's College, Durham on 1st March 2023.
[11 April 2023]