For the first time, Maryrose Carroll has compiled an English/Spanish book of love poems written by her and her husband, Paul Carroll. Paul was a historic champion of freedom of the press, winning a court trial against the U.S. Postal Service for censorship of his magazine “Big Table” in 1960 which contained writing by Allen Ginsberg and W. S. Burroughs. He also won the Chicago Poet’s Award and started The Chicago Poetry Center.
These poems are declarations by these writers of their love for each other. As Paul says, in “Valentine — Enamorada:” “You are where I belong.”
Maryrose ends “Port Royal — Puerto Real” with, “You and I waltz in space.” Since Paul died in 1996, this poem provides a foretelling of her death, and imagery of the couple’s reunion in a realm beyond our earth.
Maryrose has previously published under Paul’s publishing name, “Big Table,” the award winning “Beats Me: Love, Poetry, Censorship from Chicago to Appalachia,” and “Tales from Beaver Dams.” Her previous poems were published by Finishing Line Press in “Conversations with a Dead Lover.”
A well-known poet, Paul Carroll was also known for his involvement with the Chicago Review and Big Table. He founded the short-lived, but highly influential, journal “Big Table.”
Carroll authored several books including The Satirical Letters of St. Jerome (1958), Odes (1968), The Poem in Its Skin (1968), The Luke Poems (1971), The Earthquake on Ada Street (1979), New and Selected Poems (1979), The Garden of Earthly Delights (1986), Poems and Psalms (1990), Chicago Tales (1991) and The Beaver Dam Road Poems (1994). He edited The Edward Dahlberg Reader (1967) and The Young American Poets (1968). From 1966-1971, he served as editor of the Big Table Series of Younger Poets for Follett Publishing Company.
Beside being a writer and professor, Carroll was also a pioneer in bringing poetry to the larger Chicago community. In 1968, he organized poetry readings at the Museum of Contemporary Art, mostly to promote the publications of Big Table Books. Readings began in 1969 with Phil O’Hara, brother of the poet Frank O’Hara, and a division of Follett Publishing Company. Eventually, these events developed into The Poetry Center in Chicago, which held its first official event, “Poets Look at Paintings,” in 1974. Carroll served as president for the first year. He also hosted the WFMT radio show “The Name and Nature of Poetry” from 1974-1982.
Carroll received the Chicago Poets Award in 1985 from Chicago’s Office of Fine Arts, which subsequently published “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” He received awards for his poems from the Illinois Arts Council in 1976 and 1981 and received artists grants from the Illinois Arts Council in 1983 and 1984. There is also a Paul Carroll Memorial Endowment for the Program for Writers through the alumni office at the University of Illinois Chicago.
“Love Poems — Poemas de Amor” is available at the newly reopened Todd General Store.