A central figure in twentieth-century American literature, Robert Penn Warren was appointed by the Library of Congress as the first Poet Laureate of the United States in 1985. Warren wrote enduring fiction as well as influential works of literary criticism and theory. Yet, as this variorum edition of his published poems suggests, it is his poetry - spanning sixty years, sixteen volumes of verse, and a wide range of styles - that places Warren among America's foremost men of letters. In this volume, John Burt, Warren's literary executor, has gathered together every poem Warren ever published (with the exception of Brother to Dragons), including the many poems he published in The Fugitive and other magazines, as well as those that appeared in his small press works and broadsides. Burt has also exhaustively collated all of the published versions of Warren's poems - in some cases, a poem appeared as many as six different times with substantive revisions in every line - as well as the author's typescripts and proofs. And since Warren never seemed to reread any of his books without a pencil in hand, Burt has referred to Warren's personal library copies. A record of Burt's comprehensive analysis is found in this edition's textual tes, list of emendations, and explanatory tes.
John Burt, professor of English at Brandeis University, is the author of Robert Penn Warren and American Idealism and the poetry collections The Way Down and Work Without Hope.