Lost Works By Robert Frost To Be Published In Meridian, U.Va. Literary
4, 1999 -- It's been some time since one could pick
up a magazine and read a poem by Robert Frost. That will change
this month when Meridian, the semi-annual literary journal affiliated
with the University of Virginia's MFA program in Creative Writing,
publishes two uncollected Frost works as the spring installment
of its Lost Classics Series.
crawling on your belly through a tunnel deep in the Egyptian desert,
only to stumble into a burial chamber stacked high with a Pharaoh's
final treasures," says Rita Dove, U.Va. English professor, former
U.S. Poet Laureate and Meridian contributing editor. "That's how
exciting the discovery of two new Frost poems is to the literary
reality these pieces by one of America's greatest poets could not
have been found in a more mundane way. Meridian editor Ted Genoways,
a second-year MFA student at U.Va., uncovered them in the University
of Virginia library. "We routinely go through Special Collections
looking for unusual pieces, but I never expected anything of this
caliber from the Frost collection," he said.
first piece, "The Lure of the West," is an early, uncollected poem
only previously available in a letter published in a memoir in 1963.
The second piece, "The Road that Lost its Reason," is an uncompleted
poem that has never been published before, and it is this item that
has generated considerable advance interest.
U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky says, "It is thrilling to discover
these tantalizing if fragmentary additions to the canon of a great
American poet. 'The Road that Lost its Reason' is a significant
treasure, a half-finished canvas from the master's hand."
manuscripts are handwritten and are catalogued for scholars in the
University's renowned Clifton Waller Barrett rare American literature
collection. "The Road that Lost its Reason" is heavily lined out
and rewritten and unfortunately is missing a chunk of the third
stanza due to a tear. Genoways said he believes Frost himself may
have torn out the stanza.
of the West" is handwritten but clearly recopied, because it is
flawless. Both are undated, but "Lure" is thought to be from about
1912 and "The Road" from around 1923.
Genoways launched Meridian in March 1998, he envisioned the Lost
Classics Series as a forum for bringing unpublished or out-of-print
works by literary giants into the limelight. Earlier issues have
included the correspondence of Jack London, and four short stories
by and a lost interview with Zora Neale Hurston. The Fall 1999 issue
is scheduled to feature a handful of unseen song lyrics by Woody
Lost Classic Series establishes the magazine's uniqueness among
literary journals of its caliber," says Gregory Orr, U.Va. English
professor and poetry consultant to the Virginia Quarterly Review.
"Best of the new, treasures of old -- it lends the pages a depth
beyond their years."
only its first year, work from Meridian has been reprinted in Harper's
and will appear in Best American Poetry 1999. Contributors have
included Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wright, Rita Dove, Charles
Simic, and Yusef Komunyakaa, plus such esteemed authors as Russell
Banks, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Russo, John Casey, and Alberto
is published each March and October and distributed nationwide.
The Spring 1999 issue, with the Frost poems, will be published and
available in bookstores by the end of March and will feature work
by Richard Bausch, Ann Beattie, Heather McHugh, Reynolds Price,
Charles Simic, Charles Wright and a slate of emerging women writers.
further information contact Meridian at the Dept. of English, University
of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.
Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856.