Helen Vendler in the NYT calls the Selected Poems the volume of Stevens we have long needed”:
In 1954, Stevens allowed Alfred Knopf to bring out his “Collected Poems” in celebration of his 75th birthday. Less than a year later, Stevens died, and although a few late poems appeared posthumously, it was by the “Collected Poems” that we knew him. The Library of America, in 1997, gave us all of his poetry and some of his prose, but we have long needed, and now possess, through the unerring taste of John N. Serio — editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal and “The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens” — a genuine “Selected Poems.” What has been omitted? The juvenilia, the unpublished poems of unhappy love, the less interesting verbal experiments and a few of the more difficult lyrics that might turn away beginners. Serio, with distinct courage, has chosen to include most of Stevens’s major sequences, declaring, by this act, that Stevens would not be Stevens without them.