Happy ‘pub’ days: Bate, Diaz, Looser, Matsuda

By Kristen LaRue-Sandler — September 26, 2022

Cover images of books by Sir Jonathan Bate, Natalie Diaz, Devoney Looser and Paul Kei Matsuda


Four faculty members in the Department of English announce highly anticipated new books recently published or imminently forthcoming. Works include a French translation of American poetry, an edition of canonical English verse, a biography of Regency era novelists, and a Chinese edition on second language writing.

'English Romantic Poets' (Knopf Doubleday, 2022)

Jonathan Bate’s edited collection is part of the Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series and will be released in October. From the publisher:

  • "A greatest-hits selection from some of the most popular poets in the English language, in a gorgeously-jacketed small hardcover.

    William Wordsworth defined good poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” and no generation of poets has felt more powerfully than the Romantics of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In this indispensable volume, Sir Jonathan Bate—prizewinning biographer of Wordsworth, Keats and John Clare—brings together the most loved poems of the age, together with many forgotten gems. Alongside classics such as Coleridge’s 'Kubla Khan' and 'Frost at Midnight,' the immortal odes of Keats, and generous selections from Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads and The Prelude, the reader will rediscover the wit of Byron, the wildness of Blake, the passion of Shelley, a wealth of nature poems by Clare, and the distinctive voices of women Romantics such as Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, Felicia Hemans, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Letitia Elizabeth Landon."

Bate is Foundation Professor of Environmental Humanities at ASU, where he holds a joint appointment in the Department of English and the Global Futures Laboratory.

'Poème D’amour Postcolonial' (Globe Editions, 2022)

This French edition of Natalie Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection "Postcolonial Love Poem" (Graywolf Press, 2020), was translated by Marguerite Capelle. From an earlier English version of the publisher’s description:

  • "'Postcolonial Love Poem' is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages―bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers―be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: 'Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. / Let me call it, a garden.' In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality.

    Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves: 'I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. // I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.' 'Postcolonial Love Poem' unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope―in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love."

Diaz is an associate professor of English in creative writing at ASU, where she also holds the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry and directs the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands.

'Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës' (Bloomsbury, 2022)

Devoney Looser’s engaging study of Jane and Anna Maria Porter is set to launch in late October. From the publisher:

  • For readers of 'Prairie Fires' and 'The Peabody Sisters,' a fascinating, insightful biography of the most famous sister novelists before the Brontës.

    Before the Brontë sisters picked up their pens, or Jane Austen's heroines Elizabeth and Jane Bennet became household names, the literary world was celebrating a different pair of sisters: Jane and Anna Maria Porter. The Porters-exact contemporaries of Jane Austen-were brilliant, attractive, self-made single women of polite reputation who between them published 26 books and achieved global fame. They socialized among the rich and famous, tried to hide their family's considerable debt, and fell dramatically in and out of love. Their moving letters to each other confess every detail. Because the celebrity sisters expected their renown to live on, they preserved their papers, and the secrets they contained, for any biographers to come.

    But history hasn't been kind to the Porters. Credit for their literary invention was given to their childhood friend, Sir Walter Scott, who never publicly acknowledged the sisters' works as his inspiration. With Scott's more prolific publication and even greater fame, the Porter sisters gradually fell from the pinnacle of celebrity to eventual obscurity. Now, Professor Devoney Looser, a Guggenheim fellow in English Literature, sets out to re-introduce the world to the authors who cleared the way for Austen, Mary Shelley, and the Brontë sisters. Capturing the Porter sisters' incredible rise, from when Anna Maria published her first book at age 14 in 1793, through to Jane's fall from the pinnacle of fame in the Victorian era, and then to the auctioning off for a pittance of the family's massive archive, 'Sister Novelists' is a groundbreaking and enthralling biography of two pioneering geniuses in historical fiction."

Looser is a Regents Professor of English at ASU.

'Second Language Writing: History, Identity, Pedagogy and Professional Development' (Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2022)

Paul Kei Matsuda’s newest book is part of a series featuring world-renowned TESOL experts. From a rough English translation of the publisher’s description:

  • The author of this book, Paul Kei Matsuda, was a former president of the American Society of Applied Linguistics, and is now an English professor at Arizona State University, a second language writing tutor, and the founder of the second language writing seminar. He is Editor of the Second Language Writing Series at Parlor Press and has published research on language, identity, writing and teaching. This book includes 18 papers published by the author in foreign professional journals, discusses the history, identity, pedagogy and professional development of second language writing, presents an overview of second language writing research, and helps readers understand how to use the characteristics of the text. In addition to researching the concept of 'voice' in writing, and providing guidance for teachers who want to improve their own writing skills.

Matsuda is a professor in the Department of English at ASU, where he is director of second language writing.