Before she wrote her prose masterpieces, Willa Cather produced striking poems, which were collected in 1903 in April Twilights. It was her literary debut, preceding the publication of O Pioneers! by nine years. In her introduction, distinguished Cather scholar Bernice Slote notes that this early edition of April Twilights restores what had been "an almost lost, certainly blurred, portion of the creative life of a great novelist." Among the thirty-seven selections are the much-anthologized "Grandmither, Think Not I Forget," and the highly evocative "Prairie Dawn."
Bernice Slote, a distinguished Cather scholar, was a professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her publications included editions of April Twilights (1903); Poems of Willa Cather (1962, 1968); The Kingdom of Art: Willa Cather's First Principles and Critical Statements, 1893-1896 (1967); and Uncle Valentine and Other Stories: Willa Cather's Uncollected Short Fiction (1973, 1986), all published by the UNP.
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