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WALLACE STEVENS (1879-1955) was one of the great American poets of the 20th century. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. Stevens is a rare example of a poet whose main output came largely only as he approached forty years of age. Harold Bloom called him "the best and most representative American poet of our time."
By the early 1950s Stevens was regarded as one of America's greatest contemporary poets, an artist whose precise abstractions exerted substantial influence on other writers. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his COLLECTED POEMS (1954). Originally published to honor the poet's 75th birthday, the book was rushed into print for the occasion and contained scores of errors. In 2015 the "corrected edition", based on original editions and manuscripts, and edited by scholars John N. Serio and Christopher Beyers, was finally issued. Both volumes are essential collections for all readers of poetry and enduring monuments to his dazzling verbal brilliance. After Stevens' death, Samuel French Morse edited OPUS POSTHUMOUS (1957), including poems, plays, and prose omitted from the earlier collection.
As a philosopher of aesthetics, Stevens vigorously explored the notion of poetry as the supreme fusion of the creative imagination and objective reality. In THE NECESSARY ANGEL (1951), a collection of his prose works, he articulated his poetic notions without resorting to abstraction and obfuscation. The aim was to disclose "poetry itself, the naked poem, the imagination manifesting itself in its domination of words." The LETTERS (1966) are brilliant, subtle, and illuminating. His famous criterion for poetry -- "It should give pleasure" -- informed his epistolary aesthetic as well; these letters stimulate one's appetite for poetry as they valorize the imagination and the senses. They also offer fascinating glimpses of Stevens as family man, insurance executive, connoisseur, and friend.
The following books are in ePUB and/or PDF format as indicated:
* Collected Poems (Knopf, 1968 / Vintage, 1990) -- ePUB + PDF
* Collected Poems: The Corrected Edition (Vintage, 2015). Edited by John N. Serio and Chris Beyers. -- ePUB
* Emperor of Ice-Cream and Other Poems (Dover, 2005) -- ePUB
* Letters of Wallace Stevens (Knopf, 1966). Edited by Holly Stevens. -- PDF
* Necessary Angel, The: Essays on Reality and the Imagination (Knopf, 1951/2011) -- ePUB + PDF
* Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, Prose (Knopf, 1966). Edited by Samuel French Morse. -- PDF
* Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, Prose (Vintage, 1989). Revised, enlarged and corrected edition. Edited by Milton J. Bates. -- ePUB
* Palm at the End of the Mind, The (Vintage, 1990). Edited by Holly Stevens. -- ePUB
* Selected Poems (Knopf, 2011). Edited by John N. Serio. -- ePUB
* Wallace Stevens: A Celebration (Princeton, 1980). Edited by Frank Doggett and Robert Buttel. -- PDF
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