Collected Stories of William Faulkner (Vintage, $595). Faulkner's genius reached its fully scope only on the broad canves afforded him by the novel, But many of the stories in this very uneven collection contain the essence of his outlook and style in a finely concentrated package.

Alligator, by Shelly Katz (Dell $1.95). Jaws goes to Florida.

Making Ends Meet, by Barbara Howard (Fawcett/Cret. $1.95). This first novels by the author of Laughing All the Way tells the by now familiar story of a Sourthern bello who becomes a celebrated Washington figure, friend and confidante and occasional bedmate of the powerful, and who reaches her 40th birthday wondering about the knows the milieu and the characters inside-out and she presents them in a bright, absorbing style.

Running Scared, by Gregory McDonald (Avon $1.50). An early novel, presumably revived because of the success of McDonald's two detective novels with the central character "Fletch," this is a curious, tightly plotted story about a college student who manages to avoid all emotional engagements until he runs into one that smashes his carefully designed life. Believable and readable despite the extremity and relative simplicity of characterization. NONFICTION

The Prose Poem: An International Anthology, edited and with an introduction by Michael Benedikt (Dell/Laurel, $2.50). The form is that of a mass-market paperback, humble and perhaps less durable than the avid collector might wish, but this is unmistakably a major collection and a significant addition to the worthwhile literature readily and inexpensively available in our language. The editor is himself one of our country's notable practitioners of the prose poem (the selections of his own work, rightly included, establish his credentials) and he has searched widely and with great care to present an inclusive sampling (more than 500 works by 70 authors) illusrtrating the history and the potentials of the prose poem in various cultures. This book is a happy hunting ground for the casual browser, a valuable resource for the serious student.

The American Past: A History of the United States from Concord to the Great Society, by Roger Butterfield (Fireside, $7.95). The text, a lightly informative survey of the surface of American history, is not likely to tell the serious student anything previously unknown, but this compendium has a special value because of the 1100 illustrations (including 20 pages of cartoons in color) which give a strong visual impression of our history as seen by those who lived it. (See illustration)

Two of the Missing, by Perry Deane Young (Avon, $1.95). Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, two news photographers who disappeared in Cambodia in 1970, are the subject of this memoir - not a biography but a reflection on the American experience in Southeast Asia. The book is intensely personal (as much about the author and his other colleagues as about the ostensible subjects) and quite loosely woven, but it captures the thoughts, feelings and experiences of those who were there with a fine precision.

Gentleman in a Dustcoat: A Biography of John Crowe Ransom, by Thomas Daniel Young (Louisiana State University, $8.95). If you compare the world as it is with the world as he wanted it, the life of John Crowe Ransom can hardly be considered a cosmic success; an agrarian conservation in a South that was rapidly becoming homogenized with than North, his career was little more than a brilliant holding action - except in his literary production. He was, if not one of the immortals, one of the most polished and influential poets of his time, a leader (with Tate and Warren) in the renaissance of Southern poetry, a founder of the New Criticism, a brilliant and provocative editor who made the Kenyon Review (which he founded) a literary journal of international importance. This first biography assembles data in great abundance and reasonable order; if it does not supply the final word on its subject, it does offer much of the crucial information on which (perhaps not in this century) that word must be based.