Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Never hesitant about admitting his literary indebtedness to Robinson Jeffers, since it was the poetry of Jeffers that seized him as a youth and helped him realize his own vocation as a poet, William Everson wrote numerous introductions to reprinted editions of Jeffers’s work, as well as a critical study, Robinson Jeffers: Fragments of an Older Fury (1968). Like his older mentor, Everson was intensely interested in the West as landscape and California as region, and he explored both of these concerns, as subject matter and sources for art, in Archetype West: The Pacific Coast as a Literary Region (1976). The importance of regional identity, as well as what he perceived to be the artist’s responsibility in portraying as honestly as possible the disparity between the inner (human) and the outer (natural) landscapes, was the central focus of many of Everson’s essays and lectures, many of which are contained in Earth Poetry: Selected Essays and Interviews of William Everson, 1950-1977 (1980) and Birth of a Poet (1982).