SSU English professor and poet Gillian Conoley has been included in W.W. Norton's Postmodern American Poetry Anthology (2nd edition) that also includes the works of renowned poets Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Amira Baraka, Charles Olson, and Barbara Guest.
"I'm very honored to be included in the anthology." Conoley said. "It was a lovely surprise."
Three of her poems were chosen: "Native," "This Land Is My Land," and "[My name is the girl with one glass eye said bitterly]".
Edited by Paul Hoover, poet and professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, the anthology features 114 poets, 557 poems, and 15 poetics essays, and includes important recent movements such as Newlipo, conceptual poetry, and Flarf.
This is the second time Conoley's work has been featured in a Norton anthology. The first was in Norton's American Hybrid, published in 2009. She is the author of eight collections of poetry, including The Plot Genie, Profane Halo, Lovers in the Used World, and Tall Stranger, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her new collection, Peace, is forthcoming in 2014 with Omnidawn, and her translations of Henri Michaux will appear with City Lights the same year.
The American Book Review comments on Conoley's earlier poetry:
"Even above the powerfully inventive language and clear, compressed style is a poetic vision that seems utterly transforming. These are poems born of Flannery O'Conner's short stories with their oddball grace, their undeniable redemption. Combined with Gillian Conoley's dark humor are an eye for detail and a sensibility that are mysteriously compelling."
"Even above the powerfully inventive language and clear, compressed style is a poetic vision that seems utterly transforming. These are poems born of Flannery O'Conner's short stories with their oddball grace, their undeniable redemption. Combined with Gillian Conoley's dark humor are an eye for detail and a sensibility that are mysteriously compelling." - American Book Review
Publishers Weekly described her later work, which signaled a turn from narrative and move toward abstraction and fragment in Profane Halo as "Exuberant and challenging, the quick cuts and vibrant, freestanding images in Conoley's fifth volume let her see America from many sides and in all sorts of scales, from the ground level of coastal suburbs to the grand cycles of political history.
'Dear Sunset that was sun of now/ Near Greatness, dear tongue my Queen dear rock solid,' the title poem asks, 'how could we know that we are forerunners?' There follows a series of verbally brilliant, sometimes strikingly fragmentary poems, some perhaps inspired by photographs."
Conoley became a professor at SSU in 1994, and in 1996 she took over the Small Press Editing program, which publishes two nationally regarded literary magazines: Volt, which was named one of the 50 top literary magazines in the country last year, and Zaum, the student literary magazine that has garnered awards from Associated Writing Programs for both editorial vision and graphic design.
Conoley is also Director of Writers at Sonoma, a literary reading series that brings nationally and internationally known writers to the SSU campus and the larger community.
Her work has received many prizes, including the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Fund for Poetry Award.
For more information on the anthology, visit