Tributes to Elaine Glover
Elaine Shaver came to Leeds University in September 1965. She soon presented poems to the campus poetry magazine Poetry and Audience and the editorial committee published them with the note ‘A new contributor from the University. More than that we don’t know.’ We soon did know this quiet but determined American who was on a Junior Year Abroad programme from Elmira College in upstate New York. She was a devoted enthusiast for literature, a sharp reader and critic, a very interesting undergraduate poet and someone whose interest did not evaporate when collating and stapling needed to be done. This recognition and commitment to the nuts and bolts of editing, notably in her work editing Stand, was something she maintained to the very end of her life in September 2019.
When I first met Elaine it was her ‘American-ness’ that captivated me. At that time I was absorbed by American poetry. Donald Hall’s anthology Contemporary American Poetry (1962) had its second reprint in 1965 and I lived with it. The Americans’ colloquial informality appealed to me, and the sense of location in so many of those poems often signalled in titles like James Wright’s ‘Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota’ and ‘Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio’. There is more than a touch of this in the poem of Elaine’s that I best like from this period, ‘West to East Clinton Street Elmira, New York Summer 1966’. It is a poem first published in a magazine she edited in Elmira called Sibyl and ...
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