April Twilights (1903)


April Twilights (1903)


Willa Cather
Edited with an introduction by Bernice Slote
New introduction by Robert Thacker

150 pages
2 photographs, 1 illustration, 1 appendix


November 2019


$16.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

November 2019


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Before Willa Cather turned primarily to the fiction that made her reputation, she produced striking poems that were collected 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 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.”

This printing includes a new introduction by Robert Thacker that provides new insights into Cather and her poetry.


Author Bio

Willa Cather (1873–1947) was born in Virginia, moved with her family to Nebraska in 1883, and eventually settled in Red Cloud. After graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1895, Cather returned to Red Cloud briefly before moving east to work on Home Monthly and eventually McClure’s. Her first published books were the poetry collection April Twilights and the short story collection The Troll Garden. In 1923 Cather received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel One of Ours

Bernice Slote (1913–83), a distinguished Cather scholar, was a professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Her publications include April Twilights (1903) (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 University of Nebraska Press.

Robert Thacker is Charles A. Dana Professor of Canadian Studies and English Emeritus at St. Lawrence University. He is the author of several books, including The Great Prairie Fact and Literary Imagination, and has coedited three volumes of Cather Studies. He is the historical editor of Poems in the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition.


“[In these poems] Cather’s . . . tone is elegiac or rueful, but her emotions are real. Her own life goes on; as poet she looks forward toward all the books she will write on her own perilous voyage, but gazing as she was from the nineteenth century into the twentieth, Cather stood at the Modernist crux. She knew poetry and valued it, but she also knew that her books were to take the form of fiction written in a striking, allusive, and poetic prose.”—from Robert Thacker’s introduction

"Professor Slote's introduction, which considers events leading to the poems, critically analyzes them and then brilliantly relates them to Willa Cather's fictional themes and techniques."—Books Abroad

Table of Contents

Introduction by Robert Thacker
Preface to the Revised Edition
Willa Cather and Her First Book
"Grandmither, Think Not I Forget"
In Rose Time
Mills of Montmartre
Arcadian Winter
The Hawthorne Tree
Sleep, Minstrel, Sleep
Fides, Spes
The Tavern
In Media Vita
Provençal Legend
Winter at Delphi
On Cydnus
The Namesake
Lament for Marsyas
White Birch in Wyoming
I Sought the Wood in Winter
Evening Song
The Encore
London Roses
The Night Express
Prairie Dawn
Thine Advocate
Poppies on Ludlow Castle
Thou Art the Pearl
From the Valley
I Have No House for Love to Shelter Him
The Poor Minstrel
Notes of the Poems of April Twilights
Appendix: Other Versus

Also of Interest