Anne Porter Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Anne Porter is known primarily as a poet.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

An Altogether Different Language was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1994. As a young woman, Anne Porter won a prize from Poetry magazine for the best new poem from the western half of the United States. Commonweal has honored her as the best poet of the year several times. Her verse is frequently included in anthologies such as American Poetry: The Twentieth Century (2000) and The Oxford Book of American Poetry (2006). She also starred in Rudy Burckhardt’s film A Day in the Life of a Cleaning Woman (1953), archived at the San Francisco Cinémathèque and analyzed by David Kunitz in the New Criterion (May, 2000). Twelve times since 1999, Garrison Keillor has chosen Porter as the featured poet on The Writer’s Almanac, his National Public Radio program. The Academy of American Poets selected her “Winter Twilight” as the text on its 2008 season’s greetings card.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Duncan, Erika. “A Universal Thanksgiving for a Poet, Eighty-two.” Review of An Altogether Different Language. The New York Times Book Review, October 23, 1994, pp. 1, 25. Examines the work of Porter, who began writing at an advanced age.

Hosmer, Robert. “’A Radiance Fills Them.’” Review of Living Things. America Magazine 194, no. 18 (May 22, 2006). Notes the religious quality of many of the poems in the revised work by Porter.

Lenhart, Gary. Review of An Altogether Different Language. Poetry Project 155 (December/January, 1995): 24-25. Examines and critiques Porter’s collection, noting the religious themes and advanced age of the poet.

Nelson, Maggie. Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007. Although this work does not directly address Porter’s work, it describes her husband and other women involved with the New York School.

Porter, Fairfield. Material Witness: The Selected Letters of Fairfield Porter. Edited by Ted Leigh. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005. Includes seventeen letters from Fairfield to Anne between 1931 and 1942.

Statman, Mark. “Beauty, Urgency, Surprise: Teaching Poems by Anne Porter, Lorine Niedecker, and Elizabeth Bishop.” In The Teachers and Writers Guide to Classical American Literature, edited by Gary Lenhart and Christopher Edgar. New York: Teachers and Writers Collaborative, 2001. A teacher describes using Porter’s poems, including “In Childhood,” in the classroom. Provides some critical analysis and insight into the poetry.