Perennial Earth: Poetry by Wallace Stevens and Paintings by Alexis Serio
Authors: Wallace Stevens and Alexis Serio, ed. John N. Serio
32 poems ~ 34 ~ paintings ~ 84 pages
Price: $56.95 (hardbound); $19.95 (softbound). Please add $4 US shipping.
Publisher: New Perennials Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-7354136-2-4
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The book pairs over thirty of Wallace Stevens’s poems with an equal number of Alexis Serio’s landscape paintings. Both poet and painter use the beauty of planet earth as a setting for profound human reflection and feeling. “The aim of these visual-verbal juxtapositions,” writes Glen MacLeod in his introduction, “is to enhance the reader's appreciation of these two artists who, though working in different mediums, both base their art on the inexhaustible correspondences between the outer world of nature and the inner world of human experience.” New Perennials Publishing offers books in free downloadable format but allows authors to print books at their own cost. This coffee table book is better appreciated in print.


“Wallace Stevens and Alexis Serio celebrate, in their art, the physical world. But their poems and paintings are also ‘so many sensuous worlds,’ replete with ‘the metaphysical changes’ that transform ordinary life into something extraordinary. We can only be grateful.”
–Glen MacLeod, author of Wallace Stevens and Modern Art (Yale UP, 1993)

“The book is a feast for the eyes and the mind.”
–Suzanne Pundt, coauthor of “Nonspecific Factors of Immunity,” Immunological Obstetrics (Norton, 1992)

“The combination of Alexis Serio’s remarkable paintings with well-known poems by Wallace Stevens creates a joyful dance celebrating the ever changing planet of which we are a part.”
–Jacqueline Vaught Brogan, author of Part of the Climate: American Cubist Poetry (U of Calf. P, 1991)


Wallace Stevens (1879–1955) has emerged as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. His lyrical and often philosophical poems give voice to our vast and often inarticulate inner lives. By profession, Stevens was a lawyer. He joined the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company in 1916, specializing in surety bonds, and became a vice president in 1934. He never retired, but his foremost love was always poetry. An acute observer of nature, he was an ardent walker and would often compose poems while strolling through Elizabeth Park in Hartford or on his daily two-mile walk to and from the office. He would even jot down lines during dictating a legal document. In his later years, he garnered numerous awards, including the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his Collected Poems (1954).


Alexis Serio is an accomplished painter with an extensive exhibition record that includes shows at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Japan, the Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University, and the Wichita Falls Museum of Art in Texas. Her work has appeared alongside artists such as Andy Warhol and Richard Diebenkorn in a show at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts. She was an artist-in-residence at the Gullkistan International Residency for Creative People in Iceland and a finalist for the prestigious Hunting Art Prize. Numerous galleries across the country have featured her paintings, and many of her works are in public and private collections. Serio’s abstract paintings are responses to the transience of light, especially as seen most dramatically in landscapes at sunrise and sunset, in moving water, and in the light cast over grand vistas. Her fluid imagery functions metaphorically to express concepts and feelings about perception, time, memory, love, longing, and spirituality—in other words, what it means to be human. Serio is Professor of Art at the University of Texas at Tyler and serves as Art Editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal. She received her B.F.A. in painting from Syracuse University and her M.F.A. in painting from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the Charles Addams Memorial Prize. She is currently represented by the Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont.


John N. Serio, former Editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal, has edited a number of books on Wallace Stevens, including Teaching Wallace Stevens: Practical Essays; The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens; Wallace Stevens: Selected Poems; and The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens: Corrected Edition. He has won several awards for his scholarly work, established an online concordance to Stevens’s poetry at, held Fulbright Fellowships in Greece and Belgium, and taught five times for Semester at Sea. He is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Clarkson University.


                     Sweet Yonder, by Alexis Serio

The Woman in Sunshine
by Wallace Stevens

It is only that this warmth and movement are like
The warmth and movement of a woman.

It is not that there is any image in the air
Nor the beginning nor end of a form:

It is empty. But a woman in threadless gold
Burns us with brushings of her dress

And a dissociated abundance of being,
More definite for what she is–

Because she is disembodied,
Bearing the odors of the summer fields,

Confessing the taciturn and yet indifferent,
Invisibly clear, the only love.


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