Parisi, Joseph 1944-
PARISI, Joseph 1944-
PERSONAL: Born November 18, 1944, in Duluth, MN; son of Joseph C. and Phyllis (a musician; maiden name, Quaranta) Parisi. Education: Attended Duns Scotus College, 1962-64; College of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), B.A. (with honors), 1966; University of Chicago, M.A., 1967, Ph.D. (with honors), 1973. Hobbies and other interests: Music, photography.
ADDRESSES: Home—3440 North Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60657. Office—Poetry, 601 South Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60680.
CAREER: Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, assistant professor of English, 1969-78; Poetry, Chicago, associate editor, 1976-83, editor, 1983-2003; Modern Poetry Association, executive director, 1995-2003; Poetry Foundation, executive director of publications and programs, 2003—. Visiting professor at University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, 1978-79. Guest speaker at numerous universities and conferences, including King's College, Cambridge, Indiana University, Sewanee Writers' Conference, University of Virginia, University of Florida, and University of Michigan
MEMBER: Delta Epsilon Sigma, Cliff Dwellers.
AWARDS, HONORS: Alvin Bentley Award, Duns Scotus College, 1963; fellow, University of Chicago, 1966-69; Guggenheim fellowship, 2000.
(Editor) The Poetry Anthology, 1912-1977: Sixty-five Years of America's Most Distinguished Verse Magazine, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1978, revised with Stephen Young as The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002: Ninety Years of America's Most Distinguished Verse Magazine, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2002.
Poetry: An American Institution, Modern Poetry Association (Chicago, IL), 1980.
Poets in Person: A Listener's Guide, Poetry Press (Chicago, IL), 1997.
(Editor, with Stephen Young) Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters: The First Fifty Years, 1912-1962, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor of articles, photographs, and reviews to magazines, including TriQuarterly, New Leader, Sewanee Review, and Shenandoah, and to newspapers. Produced fourteen-part audio series in conjunction with his Poets in Person, for National Public Radio.
SIDELIGHTS: Long-time editor of Poetry magazine and executive director of that magazine's parent organization, the Poetry Foundation, Joseph Parisi has also written widely on poetry and poets. Collaborating with fellow editor Stephen Young, Parisi produced the 2002 commemorative volume, Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters: The First Fifty Years, 1912-1962. The book is a historical glance at Poetry magazine under its founding editor, Harriet Monroe. Under Monroe's leadership, the magazine was tremendously influential and powerful, helping make the careers of poets such as Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Carl Sandburg, and Marianne Moore, among a host of other twentieth-century greats. "This big volume centers around the epistolary negotiations Monroe conducted during her years at the journal," explained a contributor for Publishers Weekly. Included are letters to and from Monroe, including those of William Carlos Williams, Amy Lowell, Sara Teasdale, and Wallace Stevens. The same reviewer felt that the editors "entertainingly flesh out the magazine's history." Here can be read artistic and monetary complaints, humorous asides, advice to young writers, apologies and gossip from both editor and poets. According to Library Journal's Scott Hightower, the "remarkable group of letters" compiled by Parisi and Young are "smart, valuable, and engaging." Writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer Online, David Yezzi found the collection "excellent and often uproarious." Booklist's Donna Seaman had particular praise for Parisi's "expert and marvelously opinionated commentary," and further found the assortment of letters both "intense and humorous." Similarly, David Kirby, writing in the New York Times Book Review, commended Parisi's "generous introduction to each grouping of correspondence."
Again working with Young, Parisi also published in 2002 The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002: Ninety Years of American's Most Distinguished Verse Magazine, in celebration of that journal's ninetieth anniversary of publication. In this update of a 1978 work edited by Parisi, the coeditors include works from the brightest names in twentieth-century poetry, such as Eliot, Sandburg, Pound, Williams, Moore, Stevens, H. D., W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, James Merrill, and others. In all, the editors gather six thousand "sterling poems," according to Booklist's Seaman, out of the twenty-nine thousand published in the nine decades of the journal's publishing history. These verse contributions "cover a grand spectrum of emotions, outlooks, and literary creativity," Seaman further noted. Yezzi, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer Online, praised Parisi's "splendid and thorough introduction." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly observed that almost forty percent of the collected poems "come from Parisi's watch" as editor at Poetry. However, this same contributor felt that these poems "fail to represent the explosive range and variety of poetry in English from the last quarter century." For Diane Scharper, though, reviewing this "landmark collection" in Library Journal, the poems read like a "Who's Who of American verse."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 15, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters: The First Fifty Years, 1912-1962, p. 378; October 15, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002: Ninety Years of American's Most Distinguished Verse Magazine, p. 381.
Chicago, March, 1979.
Library Journal, December, 2002, Scott Hightower, review of Dear Editor, p. 126; January, 2003, Diane Scharper, review of The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002, p. 115.
New York Times, September 4, 2003, p. B11.
New York Times Book Review, December 1, 2002, David Kirby, review of Dear Editor, p. 17.
Publishers Weekly, September 23, 2002, review of Dear Editor, and The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002, p. 68.
Norton Poets Online,http://www.wwnorton.com/ (March 18, 2003).
Philadelphia Inquirer Online,http://www.philly.com/ (February 9, 2003), David Yezzi, review of The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002.
Poetry Online,http://www.poetrymagazine.org/ (May, 2003).
Sydney Morning Herald Online,http://www.smh.com.au/ (January 4, 2003), John Kinsella, review of Dear Editor.*