ABOUT THIS BOOK
“ We wait for baseball all winter long,” Bill Littlefield wrote in Boston Magazine a decade ago, “ or rather, we remember it and anticipate it at the same time. We re-create what we have known and we imagine what we are going to do next. Maybe that’ s what poets do, too.”
Poetry and baseball are occasions for well-put passion and expressive pondering, and just as passionate attention transforms the prose of everyday life into poetry, it also transforms this game we write about, play, or watch. Editors Brooke Horvath and Tim Wiles unite their own passion for baseball and poetry in this collection, Line Drives: 100 Contemporary Baseball Poems, providing a forum for ninety-two poets. Line after line, like baseball itself game after game and season after season, these poems manage to make the old and the familiar new and surprising.
The poems in these pages invite interrogation, and the reader— like the true baseball fan— must be willing to play the game, for these poems are fun, fresh, angry, nostalgic, meditative, and meant to be read aloud. They are keen on taking us deeply into baseball as sport and intent on offering countless metaphors for exploring history, religion, love, family, and self-identity. Each poem delivers images of pure beauty as the poets speak of murder and ghost runners and old ball gloves, of baseball as a tie that binds families— and indeed the nation— together, of the game as a stage upon which no-nonsense grit and skill are routinely displayed, and of the delight experienced in being one amid a mindlessly happy crowd. This book is true to the game’ s long season and to the lives of those the game engages.