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11-12-2004

Clarkson Professor's Online Concordance To Poetry Of Wallace Stevens Is A Boon To Scholars, Teachers And Students

For the first time, a complete and accessible concordance to the poetry of major American poet Wallace Stevens is available online for use by literary scholars, teachers and students thanks to a project led by Clarkson University Professor of Humanities John Serio.

The concordance, which went online one month ago, is available through the Wallace Stevens Society Web site at wallacestevens.com. It is the only concordance available to Stevens’ poetry. The last one, published in 1963 by Thomas Walsh, has been out of print for nearly two decades.

A concordance is an alphabetical index of all the words in a text or corpus of texts, showing every contextual occurrence of a word, and is a major tool for literary studies.

“The Web-based publication provides a critical research tool for the work of Stevens, considered by many to be America’s most important poet,” said Serio, editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal, a distinguished scholarly journal published by the Wallace Stevens Society and housed at Clarkson.  “The cost-free and easily accessible format makes it available to scholars and readers of Stevens’ poetry throughout the world.”

And, according to Serio, by making the newly created concordance available online it has the added advantage that “users can do more selective searches, not only for specific words, but also for word frequency, case, and phrases.”

The concordance was a joint project by Serio, who prepared the text, and Greg Foster, a poet, writer, and independent scholar, who created the Web program. A gift from William T. Ford provided support.

Serio has been editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal for more than 20 years. In 1994, he published two books on Stevens, Wallace Stevens: An Annotated Bibliography (University of Pittsburgh Press) and Teaching Wallace Stevens: Practical Essays, with B.J. Leggett (University of Tennessee Press).

His latest work is a children’s book on Wallace Stevens published this fall as part of the Poetry for Young People series from Sterling Publishing Company. He is also a two-time Fulbright Grant recipient (1993 and 1998). Next spring he will participate in the University of Pittsburgh’s Semester At Sea program, a university on a ship that travels around the world.

Serio has been on the faculty of Clarkson since 1974. Prior to coming to Clarkson, he taught at Valparaiso University and the University of Notre Dame. He received his bachelor's degree from SUNY College at Buffalo, his master's degree from Northwestern University and his doctoral degree from Notre Dame.  

The Wallace Stevens Journal is published by the Wallace Stevens Society, whose editorial and administrative offices are located at Clarkson. Now in its 28th year, the journal publishes scholarly articles, poems, book reviews, news, and bibliographies related to the poetry and life of Wallace Stevens.
[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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