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Leslie Norris and Exile
Rocky Mountain Review
Vol. 62, No. 1 (Spring, 2008), pp. 45-48
Published by: Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20479489
Page Count: 4
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Less than two years after his death, the books of Welsh poet and resident of Utah, Leslie Norris, are close to going out of print. Norris' powerful and Romantic poetry and short stories do not deserve such a fate. Like Robert Frost, Norris found his poetic voice in exile. Norris left a successful teaching career in Britain in middle age to focus his life on being a poet. After a series of one-year appointments as writer in residence, his Brigham Young University job became permanent and allowed him to develop a voice that at once is full of the imagery of his Welsh past and of his adopted Mountain West home. This essay argues that exile and the sense of exile are quintessential American traits, and thus that Norris had unwittingly become a distinctly American poet. His work resonates with the nature writing coming out of the West in the late 20th century. Norris is one of the finest voices in Welsh and American literature and should not be consigned to literary oblivion.
Rocky Mountain Review © 2008 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association