Rosanna Warren's first collection of poetry, Each Leaf Shines Separate, announced the emergence of a fresh voice in contemporary American poetry and earned praise from John Hollander, Richard Eberhart, and Mark Strand. Now, in her second book, Rosanna Warren has fulfilled her promise. In Stained Glass she continues to examine, as John Hollander said of her first book, "the relation of art to nature, exploring the ultimate naturalness of the world of picture, and reading tenderly and shrewdly the forms of fable in which reality presents itself to the passionate gaze." Yet in this volume the poems are more personal and intimate--they possess an emotional depth that extends the earlier work. Stained Glass is a book of mourning. It begins with an echo of Milton's Lycidas and concludes with an evocation of Iliad XXIV; in its course it touches on many scenes of loss, personal and impersonal. In the voice of an Eskimo mother, in a Parisian market scene, in brilliant translations of poems by Max Jacob and Pierre Reverdy, to the more intimate elegies, the human drama unfolds within the larger rhythms of the natural landscape. In poems that are classical and eloquent, ranging from sonnets and rhymed quatrains to highly flexible free verse, Warren vividly probes the savagery of aging, the corruption of the human body and human estrangement from the divine, evoking as well scenes of simple tenderness and beauty. This year's recipient of an Ingram Merrill grant and the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets that honors a poet of exceptional merit under the age of forty, Rosanna Warren is clearly one of the most gifted poets of her generation.
Rosanna Warren is the author of six poetry collections and a volume of critical essays. She has won the Lamont Poetry Prize and has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors. She teaches at the University of Chicago and lives in Chicago.