At the heart of poetic tradition is a figure of abandonment, a woman forsaken and out of control. She appears in writings ancient and modern, in the East and the West, in high art and popular culture produced by women and by men. What accounts for her perennial fascination? What is her function—in poems and for writers? Lawrence Lipking suggests many possibilities. In this figure he finds a partial record of women's experience, an instrument for the expression of religious love and yearning, a voice for psychological fears, and, finally, a model for the poet. Abandoned women inspire new ways of reading poems and poetic tradition.
Medievalists have long been interested in the "abandoned woman," a figure historically used to examine the value of traditional male heroism. Moving beyond previous studies which have focused primarily on Virgil's Dido, Suzanne Hagedorn focuses on the vernacular works of Dante, Bocaccio, and Chaucer, arguing that revisiting the classical tradition of the abandoned woman enables one to reconsider ancient epics and myths from a female perspective and question assumptions about gender roles in medieval literature.
Jake Adam York Southern Illinois University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3625.O747A6 2014 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Winner, 2015 Colorado Book Award
Finalist, 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award
In the years leading up to his recent passing, Alabama poet Jake Adam York set out on a journey to elegize the 126 martyrs of the civil rights movement, murdered in the years between 1954 and 1968. Abide is the stunning follow-up to York’s earlier volumes, a memorial in verse for those fallen. From Birmingham to Okemah, Memphis to Houston, York’s poems both mourn and inspire in their quest for justice, ownership, and understanding.
Within are anthems to John Earl Reese, a sixteen-year-old shot by Klansmen through the window of a café in Mayflower, Texas, where he was dancing in 1955; to victims lynched on the Oklahoma prairies; to the four children who perished in the Birmingham church bombing of 1963; and to families who saw the white hoods of the Klan illuminated by burning crosses. Juxtaposed with these horrors are more loving images of the South: the aroma of greens simmering on the stove, “tornado-strong” houses built by loved ones long gone, and the power of rivers “dark as roux.”
Throughout these lush narratives, York resurrects the ghosts of Orpheus, Sun Ra, Howlin’ Wolf, Thelonious Monk, Woody Guthrie, and more, summoning blues, jazz, hip-hop, and folk musicians for performances of their “liberation music” that give special meaning to the tales of the dead.
In the same moment that Abide memorializes the fallen, it also raises the ethical questions faced by York during this, his life’s work: What does it mean to elegize? What does it mean to elegize martyrs? What does it mean to disturb the symmetries of the South’s racial politics or its racial poetics?
A bittersweet elegy for the poet himself, Abide is as subtle and inviting as the whisper of a record sleeve, the gasp of the record needle, beckoning us to heed our history.
Craig Blais University of Wisconsin Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3602.L337A64 2013 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
An unsentimental and at times disquieting first collection, the poems of About Crows excavate self, family, race, location, sex, art, and religion to uncover the artifacts of a succession of traumas that the speaker does not always experience firsthand but carries with him to refashion into some new importance. This is a book of half-states, broken affiliations, and dislocation.
The speaker leads the reader through the fragments of a flooded town that grows increasingly elusive the more one looks for it; through a succession of Seoul "love motels" that further displace the outsider to unclaimed margins transformed into sites of creative invention; through "galleries" of artwork, where movement, color, and image are renewed through ekphrasis; and through the world of the metatextual long poem "The Cult Poem," where good and bad moral binaries tangle into a rat's nest of our best and worst spiritual ambitions.
The poems and sequences of About Crows are marked by their artistic balance of the sublime and the profane, of polyphony, syntactical complexity, clashing images, cagey humor, and unsettling sincerity, all trying desperately to connect.
About the Dead
Travis Mossotti Utah State University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3613.O788A64 2011 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Travis Mossotti writes with humor, gravity, and humility about subjects grounded in a world of grit, where the quiet mortality of working folk is weighed. To Mossotti, the love of a bricklayer for his wife is as complex and simple as life itself: “ask him to put into words what that sinking is, / that shudder in his chest, as he notices / the wrinkles gathering at the corners of her mouth.” But not a whiff of sentiment enters these poems, for Mossotti has little patience for ideas of the noble or for sympathetic portraits of hard-used saints. His vision is clear, as clear as the memory of how scarecrows in the rearview, “each of them, stuffed / into a body they didn’t choose, resembled / your own plight.” His poetry embraces unsanctimonious life with all its wonder, its levity, and clumsiness. About the Dead is an accomplished collection by a writer in control of a wide range of experience, and it speaks to the heart of any reader willing to catch his “drift, and ride it like the billowed / end of some cockamamie parachute all the way / back to the soft, dysfunctional, waiting earth.”
Absentee Indians and Other Poems evokes personal yet universal experiences of the places that Native Americans call home, their family and national histories, and the emotional forces that help forge Native American identities. These are poems of exile, loss, and the celebration of that which remains. Anchored in the physical landscape, Blaeser’s poetry finds the sacred in those ordinary actions that bind a community together. As Blaeser turns to the mysterious passage from sleeping to wakefulness, or from nature to spirit, she reveals not merely the movement from one age or place to another, but the movement from experience to vision.
Absinthe 24 pushes and prods Hellenism beyond its geographic and cultural comfort zones, and sets it tumbling off beyond both internal and external borders of its nation-state, in a wide-ranging but always site-specific and localized itinerary. At each stop along the way, this Greekness finds its plurals—hence the “Hellenisms” of the title. While they present no unified topography, tongue or even topic, these Hellenisms map out the contours of a shared conversation. Today’s Hellenism isn’t limited to Hellas, nor to the Hellenic language. The selected texts in this volume explore Greece from the perspective of visitors, displaced persons, and marginalized people looking in, or, conversely, from the perspective of locals striving to break out.
Absinthe: A Journal of World Literature in Translation publishes foreign literature in English translation, with a particular focus on previously untranslated contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction by living authors. The magazine has its home in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan and is edited by graduate students in the Department, as well as by occasional guest editors.
Throughout his award-winning career, Bruce Weigl has proven himself to be a poet of extraordinary emotional acuity and consummate craftsmanship. In The Abundance of Nothing, these qualities are on full display, animating and informing poems that combine rich, metaphoric imagery with direct, powerful language. Deftly weaving history and everyday experience, Weigl transports readers from the front lines of the Vietnam War and all the tangled cultural and emotional scenes of that time to the slow winds of the American Midwest that softly ease the voice of the veteran returning home. Though the poems struggle with themes of mortality and illness, violence and forgiveness, the poet’s voice never wavers in its meditative calm, poise, and compassion. Elegiac yet agile, ethereal yet embodied, The Abundance of Nothing is a work of searching openness, generous insight, and remarkable grace.
The Accidental: Poems
Gina Franco University of Arkansas Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3606.R375A6 2019 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Cascading through each of the poems in Gina Franco’s The Accidental is a question: What does it mean to be human in a world where the soul is exalted but the body brutalized? Franco explores the terrain of the borderlands—not just the physical space of the American southwest, but the spaces where lines are drawn between body and soul, God and self, violence and ecstasy. Unfolding along these borders in a torrent of deep contemplation, Franco’s poems bring the reader to the line between accident and choice, delving into the role each plays in creating the lives we are born into and in determining how those lives end. A body caught in a tree after a flood—an accident—calls to mind deliberate violences: crucifixion and lynching.
Guided, even so, by a stark hopefulness, The Accidental makes a character of the soul and traces its pilgrimage from suffering toward transcendence. “The soul saw,” Franco writes, “that it saw through the wound.” This book tenders a creation myth steeped in existential philosophy and shimmering with the vernacular of the ecstatic.
Katie Peterson University of Chicago Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3616.E8429A63 2013 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
The death of a mother alters forever a family’s story of itself. Indeed, it taxes the ability of a family to tell that story at all. The Accounts narrates the struggle to speak with any clear understanding in the wake of that loss. The title poem attempts three explanations of the departure of a life from the earth—a physical account, a psychological account, and a spiritual account. It is embedded in a long narrative sequence that tries to state plainly the facts of the last days of the mother’s life, in a room that formerly housed a television, next to a California backyard. The visual focus of that sequence, a robin’s nest, poised above the family home, sings in a kind of lament, giving its own version of ways we can see the transformation of the dying into the dead. In other poems, called “Arguments,” two voices exchange uncertain truths about subjects as high as heaven and as low as crime. Grief is a problem that cannot be solved by thinking, but that doesn’t stop the mind, which relentlessly carries on, trying in vain to settle its accounts. The death of a well-loved person creates a debt that can never be repaid. It reminds the living of our own psychological debts to each other, and to the dead. In this sense, the death of this particular mother and the transformation of this particular family are evocative of a greater struggle against any changing reality, and the loss of all beautiful and passing forms of order.
The only collection of Yves Bonnefoy's criticism in English, this volume offers a coherent statement of poetic philosophy and intent—a clear expression of the values and convictions of the French poet whom many critics regard as the most important and influential of our time. The Introduction touches on many of the essays' concerns, including Bonnefoy's recourse to moral and religious categories, his particular use of Saussure's distinction between langue and parole, his early fascination with Surrealism, and his view of translation as "a metaphysical and moral experiment." The essays, published over a nearly thirty-year span, respond to one another, the more recent pieces taking up for renewed consideration ideas developed in earlier meditations, thereby providing the volume with integrity and completeness. Among the subjects addressed in these essays are the French poetic tradition, the art of translation, and the works of Shakespeare, of which Bonnefoy is the preeminent French translator.
A collection of essays highlighting the pervasive, yet often unacknowledged, role of Romantic poetry and poetics on modern and contemporary innovative poetry
Literary history generally locates the primary movement toward poetic innovation in twentieth-century modernism, an impulse carried out against a supposedly enervated “late-Romantic” poetry of the nineteenth century. The original essays in Active Romanticism challenge this interpretation by tracing the fundamental continuities between Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental movements in poetry from the late nineteenth century to the present day.
According to editors July Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson, “active romanticism” is a poetic response, direct or indirect, to pressing social issues and an attempt to redress forms of ideological repression; at its core, “active romanticism” champions democratic pluralism and confronts ideologies that suppress the evidence of pluralism. “Poetry fetter’d, fetters the human race,” declared poet William Blake at the beginning of the nineteenth century. No other statement from the era of the French Revolution marks with such terseness the challenge for poetry to participate in the liberation of human society from forms of inequality and invisibility. No other statement insists so vividly that a poetic event pushing for social progress demands the unfettering of traditional, customary poetic form and language.
Bringing together work by well-known writers and critics, ranging from scholarly studies to poets’ testimonials, Active Romanticism shows Romantic poetry not to be the sclerotic corpse against which the avant-garde reacted but rather the wellspring from which it flowed.
Offering a fundamental rethinking of the history of modern poetry, Carr and Robinson have grouped together in this collection a variety of essays that confirm the existence of Romanticism as an ongoing mode of poetic production that is innovative and dynamic, a continuation of the nineteenth-century Romantic tradition, and a form that reacts and renews itself at any given moment of perceived social crisis.
Dan Beachy-Quick / Julie Carr / Jacques Darras / Rachel Blau DuPlessis / Judith Goldman / Simon Jarvis / Andrew Joron / Nigel Leask / Jennifer Moxley / Bob Perelman / Jeffrey C. Robinson / Jerome Rothenberg / Elizabeth Willis / and Heriberto Yépez
In the Preface to this second edition of her first book, Sandra M. Gilbert addresses the inevitable question: "How can you be a feminist and a Lawrentian?" The answer is intellectually satisfying and historically revealing as she traces an array of early twentieth-century women of letters, some of them proto-feminists, who revered Lawrence despite his countless statements that would today be condemned as "sexist."
H.D. regarded him as one of her "initiators" whose words "flamed alive, blue serpents on the page." Anais Nin insisted that he "had a complete realization of the feelings of women."
By focusing on Lawrence’s own definition of a poem as an "act of attention," Gilbert demonstrates how he developed the mature style of Birds, Beasts and Flowers, his finest collection of poetry. She discusses this volume at length, examines many of his later poems in detail, including the hymns from The Plumed Serpent, Pansies, Nettles, and More Pansies, and ends with a close look at Last Poems. Her detailed examination provides a clearer image of Lawrence as an artist—an artist whose poetry complements his novels and whose fiction enriches but does not outshine his poetry.
American poets’ theater emerged in the postwar period alongside the rich, performance-oriented poetry and theater scenes that proliferated on the makeshift stages of urban coffee houses, shared apartments, and underground theaters, yet its significance has been largely overlooked by critics. Acts of Poetry shines a spotlight on poets’ theater’s key groups, practitioners, influencers, and inheritors, such as the Poets’ Theatre, the Living Theatre, Gertrude Stein, Bunny Lang, Frank O’Hara, Amiri Baraka, Carla Harryman, and Suzan-Lori Parks. Heidi R. Bean demonstrates the importance of poets’ theater in the development of twentieth-century theater and performance poetry, and especially evolving notions of the audience’s role in performance, and in narratives of the relationship between performance and everyday life. Drawing on an extensive archive of scripts, production materials, personal correspondence, theater records, interviews, manifestoes, editorials, and reviews, the book captures critical assessments and behind-the-scenes discussions that enrich our understanding of the intertwined histories of American theater and American poetry in the twentieth century.
Praise for Martha Collins:
“A dazzling poet whose poetry is poised at the juncture between the lyric and ethics, Martha Collins has addressed some of the most traumatic social issues of the twentieth century . . . in supple and complex poems. . . .[N]o subject is off limits for her piercing intellect.”
—Cynthia Hogue, AWP Chronicle
Pat Mora University of Arizona Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3563.O73A66 2006 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Wine-sipping syllables, a communion of bones, impetuous pinches of chile, and parrot-sassy guacamole. With a mélange of aromas and tastes, colors and sounds, award-winning poet Pat Mora invites readers into her home in this new collection of forty-nine odes. Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Odas Elemantales and reinvented with a Latina identity, Mora celebrates the ordinary in lyrics that are anything but. Her poetry is the poetry of space—house patterns and adobe constructions—and the human rhythms that happen inside. It is also the poetry of what she loves—chocolate, books, dandelions, church bells, hope, courage, and even rain. Thick with the microcultures of foodstuffs, family, places, regions, deities, spirits, and literary figures, Mora’s adobe universe is luscious and tactile, elemental and dynamic.
From family gossip and beauty secrets, to women darning hand-me-downs, to reluctant hands carrying bodies across borders, Mora traverses the tangled threads of culture, community, family, gender, and injustice. Her vivid observations together with her deft handling of symmetry and meter make her poetry uniquely insightful, subtle, and elegant. Sprinkled with Spanish and plenty of spice, each ode is a sensory flurry of mind and body. Together they make a cauldron of flavorful, simmering language. They are meant to be savored as they slowly stir the soul.
Virgil University of Chicago Press, 2017 Library of Congress PA6807.A5F47 2017 | Dewey Decimal 873.01
“I sing of arms and the man . . . ”
So begins the Aeneid, greatest of Western epic poems. Virgil’s story of the journey of Aeneas has been a part of our cultural heritage for so many centuries that it’s all too easy to lose sight of the poem itself—of its brilliantly cinematic depiction of the sack of Troy; the monstrous hunger of the harpies; the intensity of Dido’s love for the hero, and the blackness of her despair; and the violence that Aeneas and his men must endure before they can settle in Italy and build the civilization whose roots we still claim as our own.
This new translation brings Virgil’s masterpiece newly to life for English-language readers. It’s the first in centuries crafted by a translator who is first and foremost a poet, and it is a glorious thing. David Ferry has long been known as perhaps our greatest contemporary translator of Latin poetry, his translations of Virgil’s Eclogues and Georgics having established themselves as much-admired standards. He brings to the Aeneid the same genius, rendering Virgil’s formal metrical lines into an English that is familiar and alive. Yet in doing so, he surrenders none of the feel of the ancient world that resonates throughout the poem, and gives it the power that has drawn readers to it for centuries. In Ferry’s hands, the Aeneid becomes once more a lively, dramatic poem of daring and adventure, of love and loss, of devotion and death. Never before have Virgil’s twin gifts of poetic language and urgent, compelling storytelling been presented so powerfully for English-language readers. Ferry’s Aeneid will be a landmark, a gift to longtime lovers of Virgil, and the perfect entry point for new readers.
“Aurora rose, spreading her pitying light,
And with it bringing back to sight the labors
Of sad mortality, what men have done,
And what has been done to them; and what they must do
The ships are ready to sail. The journey, from the fall of Troy to the birth of Rome, is about to begin. Join us.
The Aeneid of Virgil
Virgil University of Michigan Press, 1995 Library of Congress PA6807.A5M38 1995 | Dewey Decimal 873.01
Called "the best poem by the best poet," Virgil's Aeneid is perhaps the most famous work in Latin literature. It tells the story of Rome's founding by the Trojan prince Aeneas after many years of travel, and it contains many of the most famous stories about the Trojan War. It also reveals much of what the Romans felt and believed about themselves- the sensitive reader will see that these same values and issues often trouble us today.
In this new translation Edward McCrorie has performed the difficult task of rendering Virgil's compact, dense Latin into fine, readable, modern English verse. The sometimes complex text is made clear and comprehensible even for first-time readers, and a glossary of names helps identify characters and place-names in the poem. The translation is well suited for students at all levels, and readers already familiar with Virgil will find many fresh images and ideas.
"A brilliant effort."--Robert Bly
"I admire the ambition of the project, and the generosity of many of the lines."--Robert Fagles
Edward McCrorie is Professor of English, Providence College. His poetry and translations of Latin verse have been widely published.
Most of us grew up with Aesop's Fables—tales of talking animals, with morals attached. In fact, the familiar versions of the stories attributed to this enigmatic and astute storyteller are based on adaptations of Aesop by the liberated Roman slave Phaedrus. In turn, Phaedrus's renderings have been rewritten so extensively over the centuries that they do not do justice to the originals. In Aesop's Human Zoo, legendary Cambridge classicist John Henderson puts together a surprising set of up-front translations—fifty sharp, raw, and sometimes bawdy, fables by Phaedrus into the tersest colloquial English verse.
Providing unusual insights into the heart of Roman culture, these clever poems open up odd avenues of ancient lore and life as they explore social types and physical aspects of the body, regularly mocking the limitations of human nature and offering vulgar or promiscuous interpretations of the stuff of social life.
Featuring folksy proverbs and satirical anecdotes, filled with saucy naughtiness and awful puns, Aesop's Human Zoo will amuse you with its eccentricities and hit home with its shrewdly candid and red raw messages. The entertainment offered in this volume of impeccably accurate translations is truly a novelty—a good-hearted and knowing laugh courtesy of classical poetry. Beginning to advanced classicists and Latin scholars will appreciate the original Latin text provided in this bilingual edition. The splash of classic Thomas Bewick wood engravings to accompany the fables renders the collection complete.
One hundred twenty-two sonnets that touch on contemporary American popular culture, social trends, and personalities. Poet Roger Armbrust is described by some as a mystic, by others as a spiritualist, and by yet others as a guy who toys with really big thoughts, making them objects both of serious study and of humor. His sonnets will push you to laughter and meditation: a satisfying literary ride.
In The Aesthetic Astronaut, Roger Armbrust escorts readers on an insightful journey throughout Earth and beyond. We experience the loneliness and instpiration of "the Aesthetic Astronaut"; cold-blooded calculations of "The Armchair Assassin"; passion and sense of the romantic lover; reflective memories of a gentle heart growing older; ironic vision of an observer to history, and subtle--and sometimes not so subtle--humor of a fellow human involved in our day-to-day challenge of living a worthwhile life. The poet's imagery and attitude. . . may fascinate, thrill, sadden, anger, or push you to laughter or meditation. But you'll find the trip a fascinating literary ride.
In this, the only full-length study of the visual poetry of the early twentieth century, Willard Bohn expertly illuminates the works of Apollinaire, Josep-Maria Junow, Guillermo de Torre, and others. His fascinating aesthetic insights bring to life this elusive and often misunderstood genre.
"An important contribution. Highly sophisticated, the study tends to raise its reader's impression of visual poetry in the twentieth century from trivial pastime to serious preoccupation."—Eric Sellin, Journal of Modern Literature
"With his definitive analyses full of quotable observations and sharp critical insights, Bohn has provided a model, pioneering study, one from which current and future studies of visual poetry will most certainly benefit."—Gerald J. Janacek, Romance Quarterly
"Bohn substantiates his thesis with thoughtful and often ingenious explications of texts both well known and hard to find. . . . Aesthetics of Visual Poetry is a thoroughly researched, beautifully written and fascinating introduction to an infinitely intriguing genre."—Mechthild Cranston, French Review
In this bestselling companion to her pioneering study, Invisible Poets, Joan Sherman continues to make new generations aware of the "invisible" legacy of nineteenth-century black American poetry. The 171 poems here, by thirty-five men and women, have been transcribed
from first editions and are annotated in detail.
Highway 18 between Mission and Okreek, South Dakota, is a stretch of no more than eighteen miles, but late at night or in a blizzard it seems endless. "It feels like being somewhere between South Dakota and 'there,'" says Simon Ortiz, "perhaps at the farthest reaches of the galaxy."
Acoma Pueblo poet Ortiz spent a winter in South Dakota, teaching at Sinte Gleska College on the Rosebud Lakota Sioux Reservation. The bitter cold and driving snow of a prairie winter were a reality commanding his attention through its absolute challenge to survival and the meaning of survival.
Ortiz's way of dealing with the hard elements of winter was to write After and Before the Lightning, prose and verse poems that were his response to that long season between the thunderstorms of autumn and spring. "I needed a map of where I was and what I was doing in the cosmos," he writes. In these poems, which he regards as a book-length poetic work, he charts the vast spaces of prairie and time that often seem indistinguishable. As he faces the reality of winter on the South Dakota reservation, he also confronts the harsh political reality for its Native community and culture and for Indian people everywhere.
"Writing this poetry reconnected me to the wonder and awe of life," Ortiz states emphatically. Readers will feel the reality of that wonder and awe—and the cold of that South Dakota winter—through the gentle ferocity of his words.
AFTER HOUSES is an extended meditation on homelessness. In unflinching, raw poetry, poet Claire Millikin explores states of homelessness, and a longing for, even a devotion to, houses—houses as spaces where one could be safe and at ease. The poems move through an American landscape, between the South and the North, between childhood and adulthood, reaching toward a home that's never reached, but always at one's fingertips. Throughout this collection, Millikin draws from personal and family history, from classical mythology and architectural theory, to shape a poetry of empathy, in which some of the places where people get lost in America are faced and given place. AFTER HOUSES echo the voices of girls who have not quite survived, but who persist, intact in the way that Rimbaud insists on intactness, in words.
The politics and music of the sixties and early seventies have been the subject of scholarship for many years, but it is only very recently that attention has turned to the cultural production of African American poets.
In "After Mecca," Cheryl Clarke explores the relationship between the Black Arts Movement and black women writers of the period. Poems by Gwendolyn Brooks, Ntozake Shange, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Jayne Cortez, Alice Walker, and others chart the emergence of a new and distinct black poetry and its relationship to the black community's struggle for rights and liberation. Clarke also traces the contributions of these poets to the development of feminism and lesbian-feminism, and the legacy they left for others to build on.
She argues that whether black women poets of the time were writing from within the movement or writing against it, virtually all were responding to it. Using the trope of "Mecca," she explores the ways in which these writers were turning away from white, western society to create a new literacy of blackness.
Provocatively written, this book is an important contribution to the fields of African American literary studies and feminist theory.
After the Afterlife explores the zone between language and spirit. It is a book of inner and outer boundaries: of blockades, of tunnels, of wormholes. Where does our consciousness come from, and where is it going, if anywhere? With a nimble blend of wit, whimsy, and erudition, Hummer’s poems assay the border that the shaman is forced to cross to wrestle with the gods, which is the same border the mystic yearns to broach, and the ordinary human stumbles over while doing laundry or making lunch—where questions of identity melt in the white heat of Being:
which is like trying to teach
The cat to waltz, so much awkwardness, so many tender
advances, and I’m shocked when it actually learns,
When it minces toward me in a tiny cocktail gown, offering a martini,
asking for this dance, insisting on hearing me refuse
To reply, debating all along, in the chorus of its interior mewing, who
are you really, peculiar animal, who taught you to call you you.
In this deft analysis, Vernon Shetley shows how writers and readers of poetry, operating under very different conventions and expectations, have drifted apart, stranding the once-vital poetic enterprise on the distant margins of contemporary culture. Along with a clear understanding of where American poetry stands and how it got there, After the Death of Poetry offers a compelling set of prescriptions for its future, prescriptions that might enable the art to regain its lost stature in our intellectual life. In exemplary case studies, Shetley identifies the very different ways in which three postwar poets—Elizabeth Bishop, James Merrill, and John Ashbery—try to restore some of the challenge and risk that characterized modernist poetry's relation to its first readers. Sure to be controversial, this cogent analysis offers poets and readers a clear sense of direction and purpose, and so, the hope of reaching each other again.
After the Digging
Alan Shapiro University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3569.H338A69 1998 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
After the Digging provides an exceptional look at the early work of acclaimed poet Alan Shapiro. His first collection of poems allows readers to realize his strong sense of historical narrative and gives them reference on how to read his later poems. Inspired by his time at Stanford in the late seventies, the book is divided into two parts: the first is a sequence on the Irish Famine in the mid-nineteenth century; the second, a series on demonic possession in late seventeenth-century New England. These poems give voice to the pain and delusion of those from other periods and inevitably recall the many evils of our own century.
"Powerful. . . . That a young poet can handle this subject so well in a first book is . . . a pleasure in itself."—Robert von Hallberg, Contemporary Literature, 1981
After the Fall refers to the twin towers, and is Field’s ode to the events that transpired thereafter--the war in Iraq andthe attack on civil rights in America--as well as his own personal struggles over the indignities of aging.
After the Others: Poems
Bruce Weigl Northwestern University Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3573.E3835A69 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Winner of the 2006 Lannan Foundation Award for Poetry
In his twelfth volume of poetry, Bruce Weigl continues his quest for emotional and spiritual enlightenment. Quiet and moving, these poems combine an intimate voice with a searingly direct look at suffering and senseless violence, at human desire and love, and at man's relationship with nature.
After the Reunion: Poems
David Baker University of Arkansas Press, 1994 Library of Congress PS3552.A4116A69 1994 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
After the Reunion is an intensely lyrical collection of love poems and elegies from “the most expansive and moving poet to come out of the American Midwest since James Wright,” as Marilyn Hacker has described him. In these quiet, powerful, and eloquent poems, David Baker explores the kinship of love to loss, discovering that each is an inevitable component of the other. The final movement of the book is a unification of these two modes and becomes a celebration of continuities, kinships, and renewals.
Hasan Sijzi, also known as Amir Hasan Sijzi Dehlavi, is considered the originator of the Indo-Persian ghazal, a poetic form that endures to this day—from the legacy of Hasan’s poetic descendent, Hafez, to contemporary Anglophone poets such as John Hollander, Maxine Kumin, Agha Shahid Ali, and W. S. Merwin.
As with other Persian poets, Hasan worked within a highly regulated set of poetic conventions that brought into relief the interpenetration of apparent opposites—metaphysical and material, mysterious and quotidian, death and desire, sacred and profane, fleeting time and eternity. Within these strictures, he crafted a poetics that blended Sufi Islam with non-Muslim Indic traditions. Of the Persian poets practiced the ghazal, Hafez and Rumi are best known to Western readers, but their verse represents only a small fraction of a rich tradition. This collection reveals the geographical range of the literature while introducing an Indian voice that will find a place on reader’s bookshelves alongside better known Iranian names.
The Afterlife of Objects
Dan Chiasson University of Chicago Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS3603.H54A68 2002 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Both intensely personal and deeply rooted in recognizable events of personal, familial, or national significance, The Afterlife of Objects is a kind of dreamed autobiography. With poise and skill, Dan Chiasson divulges the enigmas of the mind of not just one individual but of an entire social world through a beautifully constructed poetic voice that issues from a kind of mythic childhood of our collective, tortured humanity. This sophisticated debut collection offers deceptively simple poems that evoke highly complex states of mind with a voice that has long been listening to the discordant music of contemporary life.
Christine Garren University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress PS3557.A7177A69 1993 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Lyrical and highly charged, these poems examine the strengths and frailties of the human psyche as it functions under the stress of loss, disappointment and mortality. As the poet struggles with reality's continuing failure to satisfy basic human needs, she develops a deepened reliance on the imagination as a source of restorative powers.
"I like Christine Garren's poetry for its fervor and idiosyncrasy. It lives in the common places of daily life but opens into mysterious invisible orders. Afterworld is a strange and compelling book by a gifted visionary artist."—W. S. Di Piero
"In Afterworld, Christine Garren calls up again and again how it feels to be touched by some relatively familiar thing that happens. A cluster of balloons rises from a birthday party, night falls, and it is left for her to sing about the separate moments with remarkable and unforced grace. Her poems confirm that there's as much at stake in evanescences as we've always suspected but not found ways to say."—James McMichael
"The language seems but a shade, a muted rendering of Garren's images, so concrete and ethereal, knowing and innocent. If this reviewer is being abstract it's because these poems do that to you—they create an arrangement of words, so that, for a while, I believed there was none other."—Harvard Review
In much the same way that photography forced painting to move in new directions, the advent of the World Wide Web, with its proliferation of easily transferable and manipulated text, forces us to think about writing, creativity, and the materiality of language in new ways. In Against Expression, editors Craig Dworkin and Kenneth Goldsmith present the most innovative works responding to the challenges posed by these developments.
Charles Bernstein has described conceptual poetry as "poetry pregnant with thought." Against Expression, the premier anthology of conceptual writing, presents work that is by turns thoughtful, funny, provocative, and disturbing. Dworkin and Goldsmith, two of the leading spokespersons and practitioners of conceptual writing, chart the trajectory of the conceptual aesthetic from early precursors including Samuel Beckett and Marcel Duchamp to the most prominent of today’s writers. Nearly all of the major avant-garde groups of the past century are represented here, including Dada, OuLiPo, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, and Flarf to name just a few, but all the writers are united in their imaginative appropriation of found and generated texts and their exploration of nonexpressive language. Against Expression is a timely collection and an invaluable resource for readers and writers alike.
LM Rivera Omnidawn, 2019 Library of Congress PS3618.I847A73 2020 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Attachments to proper names, traditions, and entrenched thought formations are a perennial problem and, as LM Rivera shows, an addiction. Against Heidegger is a collection of poetic meditations on that pervasive, and possibly eternal, compulsion. Rivera builds his idiosyncratically lyric argumentation against simplistic, naive, sentimental, and played-out narratives, opting instead for improvised, collaged, bursting-at-the-seams, experimental formations through which he thinks a concept through to its (im)possible end. On this philosophical-poetic journey, Rivera positions the grand figure of Martin Heidegger as a whipping boy who receives the punishment for the sins of blind tradition. Through this collection, Rivera attempts to sever many troubling yet lasting customs—be they overt, hidden, canonical, esoteric, forbidden, or blatantly authoritarian.
Alan Shapiro University of Chicago Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3569.H338A73 2019 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
We often ask ourselves what gets lost in translation—not just between languages, but in the everyday trade-offs between what we experience and what we are able to say about it. But the visionary poems of this collection invite us to consider: what is loss, in translation? Writing at the limits of language—where “the signs loosen, fray, and drift”—Alan Shapiro probes the startling complexity of how we confront absence and the ephemeral, the heartbreak of what once wasn’t yet and now is no longer, of what (like racial prejudice and historical atrocity) is omnipresent and elusive. Through poems that are fine-grained and often quiet, Shapiro tells of subtle bereavements: a young boy is shamed for the first time for looking “girly”; an ailing old man struggles to visit his wife in a nursing home; or a woman dying of cancer watches her friends enjoy themselves in her absence. Throughout, this collection traverses rather than condemns the imperfect language of loss—moving against the current in the direction of the utterly ineffable.
Aggregate of Disturbances
Michele Glazer University of Iowa Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3557.L388A74 2004 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In Aggregate of Disturbances, Michele Glazer confronts the slipperiness of language and perception as she probes natural processes—the lives of insects, the uncertainty of love, and the deaths of human beings. Nature’s beauty interests Glazer less than the fact that it is chaotic, amoral, redundant, charming, and indifferent to human concern—qualities that are, in these poems, turned into another kind of beauty. “The stalk was knocked flat &the allium’s great lavender sphere / kissed the dirt &in the aftermath the pendulous blossomed / tip bobbed like a wand madly attempting to enchant-enchant-enchant. / / I wanted to believe that it happened to amuse me.”
These taut lyrical poems negotiate between desire for something irrefutable and an uneasy bedrock of paradox. In the interstices, Aggregate of Disturbances breaks open language and experience to offer a glimpse of “the eye on the other side.”
Agua Santa / Holy Water
Pat Mora University of Arizona Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3563.O73A72 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Drawing on oral and lyrical traditions, this book honors the grace and spirit of mothers, daughters, lovers, and goddesses. From a tribute to Frida Kahlo to advice from an Aztec goddess, the poems explore the intimate and sacred spaces of borderlands through many voices: a revolutionary, a domestic worker, a widow.
Airs, Waters, Places
Bin Ramke University of Iowa Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3568.A446A68 2001 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Like the ancient medical text by Hippocrates that gives this book its title, Airs, Waters, Places looks with intensity and purpose at the elemental world to understand the possibility of an expanded notion of health in an often disconnected and disconnecting social order. In the poet's words, “To call language a nervous system might be useful: if each sentient being is analogous to cells within the organism, language is analogous to the nerves as well as the messages sent along those nerves. There is, there, if not eternity, at least delusion.” This is a book of various appetites in constant motion.
Dore Kiesselbach University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3611.I4488A6 2017 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Dore Kiesselbach’s second collection Albatross views the events of September 11th as a physicist might examine high-energy particles in a supercollider. In the book’s central section, Kiesselbach, who worked three blocks from the World Trade Center and was an eyewitness, deconstructs the cultural hyperbole of that extraordinary day in a series of intimate portraits that dovetail elsewhere with a wider examination of violence in the everyday lives of individuals, families, and nations. While neither blaming victims, nor succumbing to despair, the book urges reflection on the roles we each play in our own harm. Like its namesake, the human-powered aircraft flown across the English Channel in 1979, Albatross invites readers to push forward into headwinds—public and private—and make for the far shore.
Don Bogen University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3552.O4337A79 2009 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
in dry air,
each pluck a dot,
strokes marked on silence
reaching into the dark.
Beauty is strict,
an echo, a wedge
of harmony, sudden,
broken—Who goes there?
An Algebra is an interwoven collection of eight sequences and sixteen individual poems, where images and phrases recur in new contexts, connecting and suspending thoughts, emotions and insights. By turns, the poems leap from the public realm of urban decay and outsourcing to the intimacies of family life, from a street mime to a haunting dream, from elegy to lyric evocation. Wholeness and brokenness intertwine in the book; glimpsed patterns and startling disjunctions drive its explorations.
An Algebra is a work of changing equivalents, a search for balance in a world of transformation and loss. It is a brilliantly constructed, moving book by a poet who has achieved a new level of imaginative expression and skill.
Praise for After the Splendid Display
“In his best work . . . conscience and craft fuse seamlessly, and the result is original and arresting."—The Nation
All American Girl
Robin Becker University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3552.E257A45 1996 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Winner of the 1996 Lambda Book Award for Lesbian Poetry.
“With poignancy, honesty, and grace, Becker contends with the messy implications of her lesbian sexuality, Jewish identity, and sister's suicide. . . . Becker is acutely aware of, and devastated by, her many losses, but emerges defiant and admirably without regret or shame.”
All Blue So Late: Poems
Laura Swearingen-Steadwell Northwestern University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3619.W436A78 2018 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
All Blue So Late presents the panorama of a young woman’s life as she struggles to come to terms with her place in the world. These poems look to race, gender, and American identity, plumbing the individual’s attendant grief, rage, and discomfort with these constructs.
The skeleton of this fine collection is a series of direct addresses to the author’s fourteen-year-old self, caught at the moment between girlhood and womanhood, when her perspective on everything suddenly changes. Swearingen-Steadwell’s poetic adventures through worlds within and without reveal the restlessness of the seeker. They offer unabashed tenderness to anyone who reckons with solitude, and chases joy.
All That Divides Us: Poems
Elinor Benedict foreword by Maxine Kumin Utah State University Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3552.E53956A79 2000 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Although the poems in this collection are not narrative, they do present a narrative, gradually unspooling the tale of the poet's rebel aunt, who left the family "to marry a Chinaman" in the 1930s. It's an old story, full of poignancy, mystery, family pride, and doubt. When the aunt returns to die, the poet, now grown, discovers in herself the need to reclaim the connections that her family had severed. She travels to China several times—to learn. Gradually, through wide-eyed insightful poems, we see the poet rebuild with her Chinese cousins a sense of generation, family, and humanity—bridging over all that divides us. Elinor Benedict has also received the Mademoiselle Fiction Prize, a Michigan Council for the Arts Award, and an Editor's Grant from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CLMP). She earned an M.F.A. in writing from Vermont College and her work has also appeared in various literary journals and in five chapbooks.
All the Great Territories
Matthew Wimberley Southern Illinois University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PS3623.I5875 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
In 2012 Matthew Wimberley took a two-month journey, traveling and living out of his car, during which time he had planned to spread his father’s ashes. By trip’s end, the ashes remained, but Wimberley had begun a conversation with his deceased father that is continued here in his debut collection.
All the Great Territories is a book of elegies for a father as well as a confrontation with the hostile, yet beautiful landscape of southern Appalachia. In the wake of an estranged father’s death, the speaker confronts that loss while celebrating the geography of childhood and the connections formed between the living and the dead. The narrative poems in this collection tell one story through many: a once failed relationship, the conversations we have with those we love after they are gone. In an attempt to make sense of the father-son relationship, Wimberley embraces and explores the pain of personal loss and the beauty of the natural world.
Stitching together sundered realms—from Idaho to the Blue Ridge Mountains and from the ghost of memory to the iron present of self—Wimberley produces a map for reckoning with grief and the world’s darker forces. At once a labor of love and a searing indictment of those who sensationalize and dehumanize the people and geography of Appalachia, All the Great Territories sparks the reader forward, creating a homeland all its own. “Because it’s my memory I can give it to you,” Wimberley’s speaker declares, and it’s a promise well kept in this tender and remarkable debut.
All the Rage
William Logan University of Michigan Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS323.5.L64 1998 | Dewey Decimal 811.509
William Logan has been called the most dangerous poetry critic since Randall Jarrell. All the Rage collects his early critical works, including reviews and verse chronicles, a long essay on Auden's imagery, an unpublished essay on "The Prejudice of Aesthetics," as well as a recent interview. A critic of uncompromising passions, his readings of modern poetry are irritating, intimate, severe, and luminous. Banned by some publications, his criticism has violently opposed the etiquette of praise that has silenced strong opinion among poetry circles.
Logan was among the first critics to review a generation of poets now in creative maturity, and his comments on the early works of Jorie Graham, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, and the late Amy Clampitt show the enthusiasm of fresh discovery. But he is no respecter of old reputation, as his reviews of John Ashbery and Robert Penn Warren demonstrate. In total, his criticism considers virtues with their defects and always speaks its author's mind. Some contemporary poetry has had few better friends, and some few greater enemies, than William Logan.
William Logan is the author of Sad-Faced Men, Difficulty, Sullen Weedy Lakes, and Vain Empires. He is Alumni/ae Professor of English, University of Florida.
Allen Ginsberg’s Buddhist Poetics revives questions of poetics, religious authenticity, and political efficacy in Ginsberg's prophetic poetry. Author Tony Trigilio examines Ginsberg's Buddhism as an imperfect but deepening influence on the major poems of his career.
The first sustained scholarly effort to test Ginsberg’s work as Buddhist poetry, this volume goes beyond biography to contemporary critical theory and textual and historical analysis to show how Ginsberg’s Buddhist religious practices inform his poetry. Trigilio takes us through the poet’s first autodidactic struggles with Buddhism to his later involvement with highly trained teachers, as he follows the development of Ginsberg’s Buddhist poetics.
The book also considers the place of Ginsberg’s poetry in the cultural and aesthetic contexts of his career, covering the rise of an “American Buddhism”; the antiwar, drug decriminalization, and gay civil rights movements; and the shift from modern to postmodern strategies in contemporary U.S. poetry.
Allen Ginsberg’s Buddhist Poetics examines some of the most significant work produced by the poet after he had become a cultural icon and marks a new direction in the study of Ginsberg’s work. Of interest to scholars of Buddhism, American poetry, cultural studies, and Beat studies, this groundbreaking volume fills significant gaps in the scholarly criticism of Ginsberg’s spiritual poetics.
John V. Glass III Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3539.A74Z655 2016 | Dewey Decimal 818.5209
This study reconsiders and reassesses the work of Allen Tate as a poet whose themes and expression place him among the most studied and canonical Modernists of the last century. Allen Tate (1899-1979), a former Poet Laureate of the US, although generally regarded during his lifetime as one of the twentieth century's preeminent literary critics and men of letters, has been largely overlooked by critics in the years since his death. John V. Glass III rectifies this by tracing the development of Tate's thought and verse from his early years as a student at Vanderbilt in the 1920s through his final terza-rima sequence completed in the 1950s. Tate's poetry in the intervening years charts the course of an American modernist who brings to bear on the problems of his age the unique perspective of a southerner, one who refuses either to accept sentimentality or to repudiate the past in his search for a solution to the dissociation of sensibility.
Allen Tate and His Work was first published in 1972. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The thirty-five essays and memoirs about Allen Tate which are collected in this volume along with the introduction by Radcliffe Squires provide a perceptive, many-windowed view of Tate's work and his life. Poet, critic, novelist -- Tate is all of these, and the selections, reflecting these various aspects of his career, are arranged in sections entitled "The Man," "The Essayist," "The Novelist," and "The Poet." As Professor Squires points out, the last three divisions take cognizance of the astounding diversity of Tate's achievement. "But in a last analysis," he continues, "the divisions are an Aristotelian nicety, an arbitrary convenience. His work is really all of a piece. It has all derived from the same energy, the same insights. It has all had a single aim."
What is that aim? Squires compares it to a simple physics experiment in which students are taught the principles of pressure, and he goes on to explain: "The synergy of Allen Tate's poetry, fiction, and essays has had the aim of applying pressure—think of the embossed, bitterly stressed lines, his textured metaphors—until it brings up before our eyes a blanched parody of the human figure, which is our evil, the world's evil, so that we begin to long for God. That has seemed to him a worthwhile task to perform for modern man threatened by such fatal narcissism, such autotelic pride that he is in danger of disappearing into a glassy fantasy of his own concoction. We shall need his help for a long time to come."
The selections were first published in a variety of periodicals and books over the years. The volume includes a substantial bibliography.
A splash of sea foam. A sly sparrow. A man dodging the rain. From such mundane, unexpected moments, Spanish poet Claudio Rodríguez crafted his 1965 Alliance and Condemnation, a collection of poems that temper the joy of existence—the “bounty that turns my flawed breath into prayer”—with a questioning of empirical reality. In these pages are poems of love and hate, contrition and forgiveness, and the joys of sorrow and existence. Many of the poems are essentially parables that seem to address the immediacy of the world yet point beyond it toward philosophical and eternal values. The result is a conjoining of the real and the ideal, a frequent theme in Spanish literature. Many of these poems bridge the distance between the Spanish mystics, among them Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa, and the nature poetry of romanticism.
Of all his creations, the radiant poems in Alliance and Condemnation offer the best imaginable introduction to his extraordinary life and work.
Dave Etter Northwestern University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3555.T68A8 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In the tradition of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, and Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, each of the 222 poems in this collection is narrated by a different resident of the fictional small town of Alliance, Illinois. Their voices, individual and yet familiar, describe the ordered simplicity of life in the American small town during the second half of the twentieth century. Dave Etter's themes and images come from the very lifeblood of prairie Illinois-rivers, trees, cornfields, wildlife, county fairs, railroads and, always, the people and the ever-changing seasons. Deceptively, invitingly simple on their surface, Etter's poems reveal upon careful examination a remarkable psychological insight and a careful craftsmanship. Alliance, Illinois is truly one of the great monuments of rural American literature.
A delightful collection of short poems for children written by a loving grandfather, an ardent voyager, from every port his yacht Tzu Hang put into in the course of his voyages. Fanciful, and sometimes eccentric, thee poems will delight young and old alike.
Adults and nature lovers, in particular, will also enjoy the amazing Introduction written by Clio Smeeton, Miles Smeeton's daughter who has a passion for the reintroduction of the swift fox.
Poets of every age deal with roughly the same human emotions, and for the experienced reader poetry is interesting or not depending upon the moment-by-moment intensity of its appeal. This skillful rendering by John Gardner of seven Middle English poems into sparklingly modern verse translation—most of them for the first time—represents a selection of poems that, generally, have real artistic value but are so difficult to read in the original that they are not as well known as they deserve to be. The seven poems are: The Alliterative Morte Arthure, Winner and Waster, The Parliament of the Three Ages, Summer Sunday, The Debate of Body and Soul, The Thrush and the Nightingale, and The Owl and the Nightingale.
The first four poems represent high points in the alliterative renaissance of the fourteenth century. Morte Arthure, here translated for the first time in its entirety into modern verse, is the only heroic romance in Middle English—a work roughly in the same genre as the French Song of Roland. The other three poems have been included in the anthology as further poetic examples.
With his employment of extensive comments and notes on the poems, Gardner provides a wealth of aids to appreciation and understanding of his outstanding translations. The anthology will be of interest to general readers as well as to students.
All-Night Lingo Tango
Barbara Hamby University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3558.A4216A77 2009 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
This collection is a love letter to language with poems that are drunk and filled with references to the hyperkinetic world of the twenty-first century. Yet Zeus and Hera tangle with Leda on the interstate; Ava Gardner becomes a Hindu princess; and Shiva, the Destroyer, reigns over all. English is the primary god here, with its huge vocabulary and omnivorous gluttony for new words, yet the mystery of the alphabet is behind everything, a funky puppet masterwho can make a new world out of nothing.
Of Angie Estes, the poet and critic Stephanie Burt has written that she “has created some of the most beautiful verbal objects in the world.” In The Allure of Grammar, Doug Rutledge gathers insightful responses to the full range of Estes’s work—from a review of her first chapbook to a reading of a poem appearing in her 2018 book, Parole—that approach these beautiful verbal objects with both intellectual rigor and genuine awe.
In addition to presenting an overview of critical reactions to Estes’s oeuvre, reviews by Langdon Hammer, Julianne Buchsbaum, and Christopher Spaide also provide a helpful context for approaching a poet who claims to distrust narrative. Original essays consider the craft of Estes’s poetry and offer literary analysis. Ahren Warner uses line breaks to explore a postmodern analysis of Estes’s work. Mark Irwin looks at her poetic structure. Lee Upton employs a feminist perspective to explore Estes’s use of italics, and B. K. Fischer looks at the way she uses dance as a poetic image. Doug Rutledge considers her relationship to Dante and to the literary tradition through her use of ekphrasis. An interview with Estes herself, in which she speaks of a poem as an “arranged place . . . where experience happens,” adds her perspective to the mix, at turns resonating with and challenging her critics.
The Allure of Grammar will be useful for teachers and students of creative writing interested in the craft of non-narrative poetry. Readers of contemporary poetry who already admire Estes will find this collection insightful, while those not yet familiar with her work will come away from these essays eager to seek out her books.
The Almanac: Poems
Steve Straight Northwestern University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3619.T73A78 2012 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
While the poems in Steve Straight’'s new collection lead the reader "into the dark forest of memory / or onto the carnival ride of hypothesis, / or even right off the cliff of surprise," they maintain a sure course through the din and distraction of modern life. Bits of news from the natural sciences, chance encounters, and even convicted felon and crafting queen Martha Stewart all fall under Straight’s observant eye. The result is a collection of conversational poems that lend a sense of wonder to the commonplace.
Rafael Campo Duke University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3553.A4883A48 2013 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In his sixth collection of poetry, the celebrated poet-physician Rafael Campo examines the primal relationship between language, empathy, and healing. As masterfully crafted as they are viscerally powerful, these poems propose voice itself as a kind of therapeutic medium. For all that most ails us, Alternative Medicine offers the balm of song and the salve of the imagination: from the wounds of our stubborn differences of identity, to the pain of alienation in a world of unfeeling technologies, to the shame of the persistent injustices in our society, Campo's poetry displays a deep understanding of hurt as the possibility for healing. Demonstrating an abiding faith in our survival, this stunning, heartfelt book ultimately embraces the great diversity of our ways of knowing and dreaming, of needing and loving, and of living and dying.
David Hernandez Southern Illinois University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3608.E766A49 2006 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Always Danger offers a lyrical and highly imaginative exploration into the hazards that surround people’s lives—whether it’s violence, war, mental illness, car accidents, or the fury of Mother Nature. In his second collection of poems, David Hernandez embraces the element of surprise: a soldier takes refuge inside a hollowed-out horse, a man bullies a mountain, and a giant pink donut sponsors age-old questions about beliefs. Hernandez typically eschews the politics that often surround the inner circle of contemporary literature, but in this volume he quietly sings a few bars with a political tone: one poem shadows the conflict in Iraq, another reflects our own nation’s economic and cultural divide. Always Danger parallels Hernandez’s joy of writing: unmapped, spontaneous, and imbued with nuanced revelation.
Between the political revolutions of 1789 and 1848 no other subject so directly challenged the notion of "good taste" in literature as food. To be "in good taste," a work of the high style excluded references to literal taste; culinary allusions in tragedy and lyric poetry therefore represented an ironic attack on literary decorum and a liberation from the constraints of figurative taste.
In The Ambiguity of Taste, Jocelyne Kolb attempts to define changes in genre and metaphorical usage by undertaking close readings of six authors. She looks first at Molière and Fielding, whose culinary allusions herald poetic revolution but whose works do not themselves escape the limits of a neoclassical aesthetic. Byron and Heine, known as renegades, are treated in separate chapters and in the greatest detail. The penultimate chapter joins Goethe and Hugo as champions of poetic freedom, and in the final chapter Kolb briefly considers Thomas Mann and Proust, whose works display the gains of poetic revolution.
This book will be savored by students of comparative literature and European Romanticism. Its accessible style will tempt nonspecialists and food enthusiasts as well.
Jocelyne Kolb is Professor of German Studies, Smith College. This book was the winner of the 1995 American Conference on Romanticism Book Prize.
Diaspora constitutes a powerful descriptor for the modern condition of the contemporary poet, the spokesperson for the psyche of America. The poems in American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement focus on the struggles and pleasures of creating a home-physical and mental-out of displacement, exile, migration, and alienation.
To fully explore the concept of diaspora, the editors have broadened the scope of their definition to include not only the physical act of moving and immigration but also the spiritual and emotional dislocations that can occur-as for Emily Dickinson and other poets-even in a life spent entirely in one location.
The most widely practiced and read form of verse in America, “elegies are poems about being left behind,” writes Max Cavitch. American Elegy is the history of a diverse people’s poetic experience of mourning and of mortality’s profound challenge to creative living. By telling this history in political, psychological, and aesthetic terms, American Elegy powerfully reconnects the study of early American poetry to the broadest currents of literary and cultural criticism.Cavitch begins by considering eighteenth-century elegists such as Franklin, Bradstreet, Mather, Wheatley, Freneau, and Annis Stockton, highlighting their defiance of boundaries—between public and private, male and female, rational and sentimental—and demonstrating how closely intertwined the work of mourning and the work of nationalism were in the revolutionary era. He then turns to elegy’s adaptations during the market-driven Jacksonian age, including more obliquely elegiac poems like those of William Cullen Bryant and the popular child elegies of Emerson, Lydia Sigourney, and others. Devoting unprecedented attention to the early African-American elegy, Cavitch discusses poems written by free blacks and slaves, as well as white abolitionists, seeing in them the development of an African-American genealogical imagination. In addition to a major new reading of Whitman’s great elegy for Lincoln, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” Cavitch takes up less familiar passages from Whitman as well as Melville’s and Lazarus’s poems following Lincoln’s death. American Elegy offers critical and often poignant insights into the place of mourning in American culture. Cavitch examines literary responses to historical events—such as the American Revolution, Native American removal, African-American slavery, and the Civil War—and illuminates the states of loss, hope, desire, and love in American studies today.Max Cavitch is assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dorothy Barresi University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3552.A7326A79 2010 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
A book of contemporary poetry exploring the fine, shifting line between faith—secular and spiritual faith—and fanaticism in an insecure age, American Fanatics is a lyrical, pop-culture inflected meditation on democracy, morality, beauty, commerce, and the cost of falling dreams.
Greg Pape Southern Illinois University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3566.A614A83 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Taking its title from an Audubon painting, American Flamingo shares with the artist an exquisite attention to detail and the suggestion of a larger sense of time and place through depictions of the intimate interactions between creatures and their habitats. In his fifth collection of poetry, Greg Pape melds memorable images from the natural world with the drama of ordinary experience to capture small transformations of human character in American settings from Arizona’s Sonora Desert to the icy streets of Washington, D.C. Through elegies, character sketches, and lyric and narrative evocations of family and place, Pape offers lucid and startling poems that bridge the spaces between the past and the present, men and women, and urban and rural landscapes.
American Ghost Roses
Kevin Stein University of Illinois Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3569.T3714A83 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In his first book as the poet laureate of Illinois, Kevin Stein shoulders an array of poetic forms, blending pathos, humor, and social commentary. These poems--ranging from meditative narratives to improvisational lyrics--explore art's capacity to embody as well as express contemporary culture. Stein embraces subjects as various as his father's death, magazine sex surveys, Kandinsky's theory of art, the dangling modifier, Jimi Hendrix's flaming guitar, racial bigotry, and a teacher's comments on a botched poem. Presiding over this miscellany are ghosts of a peculiarly American garden of dreamers and beloved misfits, those redeemed and those left fingering the locked gate.
The American Poet at the Movies: A Critical History presents a series of case studies that shows how poets perceived the new technology of cinema as a rival threatening to their prestige, but also as a sister art deserving of encouragement. Each chapter places a key poem at the center and takes up the issues arising from the engagement of these two art forms, such as the poets' mixed feelings about living in a national culture dominated by visual media. Whether it is Hart Crane writing on Chaplin, Delmore Schwartz on Marilyn Monroe, Frank O'Hara on James Dean, or Louise Erdrich on John Wayne, poets have made sense of their own time by reference to film icons and values shared by all Americans thanks to the dream factory, Hollywood.
As an increasingly popular genre of modern poetry, and one that permits a unique view of this century's dominant art form, the movie poem has needed an explanatory book like this one. As cinema and television continue to wield extraordinary influence over the lives of all Americans, the efforts of poets to understand the visual culture will come to be appreciated as central to the task of modern and postmodern literature. This critical history is an important and timely contribution to the study of American literature and American institutions.
"One of the impressive things about the book is that while pursuing the seemingly narrow category of poems-about-movies, Goldstein is able to raise and illuminate virtually all the key issues surrounding the poetry of the period." - Roger Gilbert, Cornell University
". . . a discerning book, combining criticism and social history. It satisfies scholarly standards while appealing to general readers." - Philip French, coeditor of the Faber Book of Movie Verse
"In this work, [Goldstein] provides a new way of looking at American poets, both familiar and neglected. The approach is chronological and thematic, and films are seen from black, gay, Jewish, and feminist as well as middle-class white perspectives." Library Journal
Laurence Goldstein is editor of the Michigan Quarterly Review and Professor of English, University of Michigan.
This issue offers a wide-ranging survey of poetic practice in the United States since the mid-1970s. Comprising scholarship, essays, and poems, “American Poetry after 1975” brings together notable senior critics such as Al Filreis, Marjorie Perloff, and Herman Rapaport, as well as younger critics who are redefining the field. The issue looks at new directions in American poetry as well as contemporary trends such as conceptual poetry; multilingual poetry; ecopoetics, in which writing reaches environmental concerns; and Flarf, subversive poetry that uses search-engine results, grammatical inaccuracies, and intentionally bad taste.
Writing from the forefront of American poetry criticism, contributors to this special issue address topics such as the poetics of disability and the work of clairvoyant poet Hannah Weiner, ambience and the work of Tan Lin, the continuing influence of Wallace Stevens, and the use of found text in Susan Howe’s “The Midnight.” Two younger critics address their generation’s poetics, one by considering the social relevance of the lyric and the other by examining resistance to innovative poetry practice. The intersection of poetry and technology is explored in articles about digital spaces and radical poetry’s relationship with the digital archive. One contributor applies the work of philosopher J. L. Austin to the language of hip-hop and the work of rapper Rakim. Also included are four short poems, a panegyric for the poetics of sophism in critical discourse, and essays that address the aesthetics of sentimental poetry and the poetics of place.
Explores the ways American poetry engages with visual art, music, fiction, spirituality, and performance art
Many people think of poetry as a hermetic art, as though poets wrote only about themselves or as if the subject of poetry were finally only poetry—its forms and traditions. Indeed much of what constitutes poetry in the lyric tradition depends on a stringently controlled point of view and aims for a timeless, intransitive utterance. Stephen Fredman’s study proposes a different perspective.
American Poetry as Transactional Art explores a salient quality of much avant-garde American poetry that has so far lacked sustained treatment: namely, its role as a transactional art. Specifically Fredman describes this role as the ways it consistently engages in conversation, talk, correspondence, going beyond the scope of its own subjects and forms—its existential interactions with the outside world. Poetry operating in this vein draws together images, ideas, practices, rituals, and verbal techniques from around the globe, and across time—not to equate them, but to establish dialogue, to invite as many guests as possible to the World Party, which Robert Duncan has called the “symposium of the whole.”
Fredman invites new readers into contemporary poetry by providing lucid and nuanced analyses of specific poems and specific interchanges between poets and their surroundings. He explores such topics as poetry’s transactions with spiritual traditions and practices over the course of the twentieth century; the impact of World War II on the poetry of Charles Olson and George Oppen; exchanges between poetry and other art forms including sculpture, performance art, and ambient music; the battle between poetry and prose in the early work of Paul Auster and in Lyn Hejinian’s My Life. The epilogue looks briefly at another crucial transactional occasion: teaching American poetry in the classroom in a way that demonstrates that it is at the center of the arts and at the heart of American culture.
"Tyler Hoffman brings a fresh perspective to the subject of performance poetry, and this comes at an excellent time, when there is such a vast interest across the country and around the world in the performance of poetry. He makes important connections, explaining things in a manner that remains provocative, interesting, and accessible."
---Jay Parini, Middlebury College
American Poetry in Performance: From Walt Whitman to Hip Hop is the first book to trace a comprehensive history of performance poetry in America, covering 150 years of literary history from Walt Whitman through the rap-meets-poetry scene. It reveals how the performance of poetry is bound up with the performance of identity and nationality in the modern period and carries its own shifting cultural politics. This book stands at the crossroads of the humanities and the social sciences; it is a book of literary and cultural criticism that deals squarely with issues of "performance," a concept that has attained great importance in the disciplines of anthropology and sociology and has generated its own distinct field of performance studies. American Poetry in Performance will be a meaningful contribution both to the field of American poetry studies and to the fields of cultural and performance studies, as it focuses on poetry that refuses the status of fixed aesthetic object and, in its variability, performs versions of race, class, gender, and sexuality both on and off the page.
Relating the performance of poetry to shifting political and cultural ideologies in the United States, Hoffman argues that the vocal aspect of public poetry possesses (or has been imagined to possess) the ability to help construct both national and subaltern communities. American Poetry in Performance explores public poets' confrontations with emergent sound recording and communications technologies as those confrontations shape their mythologies of the spoken word and their corresponding notions about America and Americanness.
American Poetry Now is a comprehensive collection of the best work from the renowned Pitt Poetry Series. Since its inception in 1967, the series has been a vehicle for America's finest contemporary poets. The series list includes Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Toi Derricotte, Denise Duhamel, Lynn Emanuel, Bob Hicok, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser, Larry Levis, Sharon Olds, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Virgil Suárez, Afaa Michael Weaver, David Wojahn, Dean Young, and many others.
Throughout its forty-year history, the Pitt Poetry Series has provided a voice for the diversity that is American poetry, representing poets from many backgrounds without allegiance to any one school or style. American Poetry Now is a true representation of contemporary American poetry.
Ed Ochester, series editor for nearly thirty years, has assembled a quintessential selection-along with biographies and photos, an enlightening introduction, and a suggested list for further reading, all in a highly accessible format. American Poetry Now is a sweeping anthology that will delight poetry fans, students, teachers, and general readers alike.
Sarah Vap University of Iowa Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3622.A679A44 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
2006 Iowa Poetry Prize winner
“If everyone decided to call themselves a girl / that word would stop.” In this award-winning volume of authoritative and assertive poems, Sarah Vap embarks on an emotional journey to the land of America’s female children. Questioning, contradicting, radically and restlessly demanding acceptance, she searches for a way to move from serious girlhood to womanly love. Demonstrating the seriousness of female childhood—which is as dangerous and profound as war, economics, and history, that is, as manhood, in her view—Vap reveals the extremes of self-doubt and self-righteousness inherent in being a contemporary American girl.
“When we’re overcome / by everything we think we love—then by morning / we’re adults.” Just as the oil of American spikenard may provide relief from childhood, so does Sarah Vap provide the kind of holy and extravagant love and honor that can relieve the growing pains of “everyone’s little girl.”
This publication marks the first time in a hundred years that a wide range of nineteenth-century American women's poetry has been accessible to the general public in a single volume. Included are the humorous parodies of Phoebe Cary and Mary Weston Fordham and the stirring abolitionist poems of Lydia Sigourney, Frances Harper, Maria Lowell, and Rose Terry Cooke. Included, too, are haunting reflections on madness, drug use, and suicide of women whose lives, as Cheryl Walker explains, were often as melodramatic as the poems they composed and published. In addition to works by more than two dozen poets, the anthology includes ample headnotes about each author's life and a brief critical evaluation of her work. Walker's introduction to the volume provides valuable contextual material to help readers understand the cultural background, economic necessities, literary conventions, and personal dynamics that governed women's poetic production in the nineteenth century.
David Roderick University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014
David Roderick’s second book, The Americans, pledges its allegiance to dirt. And to laptops. And to swimming pools, the Kennedys, a flower in a lapel, plastic stars hanging from the ceiling of a child’s room, churning locusts, a jar of blood, a gleam of sun on the wing of a plane. His poems swarm with life. They also ask an unanswerable question: What does it mean to be an American? Restless against the borders we build—between countries, between each other—Roderick roams from place to place in order to dig into the messy, political, idealistic and ultimately inexplicable idea of American-ness. His rangy, inquisitive lyrics stitch together a patchwork flag, which he stakes alongside all the noise of our construction, our obsessive building and making, while he imagines the fate of a nation built on desire.
Winner of the 2014 Julie Suk Award for the best poetry book published by an independent press.
From its title forward, AMERIFIL.TXT is an unusual book. The title, unpacked like a computer filename and pronounced "Amerifile Text," reveals the book's beguiling proposition: that the answer to the question of what it means to be an American lies not on television talk shows nor within think tanks but within American memory itself. The virtue of this "Amerifile" is to demonstrate that such memory exists, in texts ready to access as if they were digital entries in an online commonplace book.
The twenty-three American writers who appear in the book range chronologically from the colonial thinker John Wise to the contemporary poet John Ashbery. Their appearances are arranged to comment almost interactively on identifiable American issues like "Doing Your Thing," "How Writing Is Written," "Pursuit of Happiness," and "Right to Privacy." Douglas Crase has said that he finds rearrangement morally and artistically more interesting than opinions, as rearrangement involves choice and commitment, while opinions are only held. In the end, readers may conclude that Amerifil.Txt is not a commonplace book at all, but rather a spiritual autobiography of its compiler.
Douglas Crase is a widely anthologized poet, essayist, and critic. His acclaimed volume of poetry The Revisionist earned nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the American Book Award in poetry. He has received an Ingram-Merrill Award, a Whiting Writer's Award, and fellowships from the MacArthur and Guggenheim foundations and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
Edwin Torres University of Arizona Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3570.O696A6 2014 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In this vibrant reflection of sound and word, poet Edwin Torres reignites the possibilities of poetry. From poems like “Me No Habla Spic,” a rumination of life’s major moments, to “Fixative,” which exercises shifting vantage points, Torres is nimble—surfing through memory, definition, and forms of social address. In this new collection, Torres offers some signature performance pieces for the first time in print.
Ameriscopia reimagines New York City and its expansive inspirations, which for Torres capture the contradictions of America. Allusions to the Twin Towers, Coney Island hot dogs, and the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe continuously recolor the pages. But even as he makes these iconic references, Torres allows his poems to invert and refract the identities they evoke—New-Yorker-American-Latino-Dad-Performer-Boy-Writer—to invigorate poetry out of its slumber into a deep cultural urgency. Torres’s kaleidoscopic vision is borne of decades of poetic experimentation. Audiences have delighted in his spontaneous mashups of disparate topic matters; writers have studied his skilled technique at synthesizing—for example, from a mundane curbside view to an imagined conversation with artists Marcel Duchamp and Yves Tanguy.
Torres writes, “I discovered that, this world uncovered / is like the soul / of The Puerto Rican man — occupied / by the weight of his balance.” Ameriscopia is Torres’s statement on growing up and the inspirational facets that accompany his journey into fatherhood. From conversations in cars to fast-beat lullabies, Torres’s poetry taps into rhythms both distinctive and dynamic. In Ameriscopia Torres is at full force, a poet in control, a writer emboldened by the page—in flight.
This prose translation of the medieval French verse narrative Ami and Amile recounts the legendary friendship of two valiant knights who are as indistinguishable as twin brothers. Ami and Amile serve Charlemagne together, face together the hatred of an archetypal villain, confront the daunting challenges of women and love, and accept extraordinary sacrifices for each other's sake. Miracles mark the end of their lives, and their shared tomb becomes a pilgrims' shrine.
The compelling translation by Samuel N. Rosenberg and Samuel Danon is accompanied by an introduction on the background, genre, and general sense of the tale. The volume also includes an afterword by David Konstan, which examines the medieval work's concept of friendship within a perspective extending back to classical antiquity.
This translation will reveal Ami and Amile as a major work of the French Middle Ages. In elegant and forceful prose, it weaves together the themes of friendship and love and the status of women, of sin and punishment, the moral problem of doing wrong for the right reason, and the mythic affliction of leprosy. The work will foster lively literary and philosophical discussion.
Ami and Amile is of interest to a wide range of readers, including students of history, comparative literature, and gender studies. Medievalists will find it a welcome addition to their libraries and a captivating experience for their students.
The volume is published in the series Stylus: Studies in Medieval Culture, edited by Eugene Vance, University of Washington. Samuel N. Rosenberg is Professor of French and Italian at Indiana University; Samuel Danon is Professor of French at Reed College.
Philosophers and theorists have long recognized both the subversive and the transformative possibilities of friendship, the intimacy of which can transcend the impersonality of such identity categories as race, class, or gender. Unlike familial relations, friendships are chosen, opening a space of relative freedom in which to create and explore new identities. This process has been particularly valuable to poets marginalized by gender or sexuality since the second half of the twentieth century, as friendship provides both a buffer against and a wedge into predominantly male homosocial poetic communities.
Among Friends presents a richly theorized evocation of friendship as a fluid, critical social space, one that offers a vantage point from which to explore the gendering of poetic institutions and practices from the postwar period to the present. With friendship as an optic, the essays in this volume offer important new insights into the gender politics of the poetic avant-garde, since poetry as an institution has continued to be transformed by dramatic changes wrought by second-wave feminism, sexual liberation, and gay rights. These essays reveal the intimate social negotiations that fight, fracture, and queer the conventions of authority and community that have long constrained women poets and the gendering of poetic subjectivities.
From this shared perspective, the essays collected here investigate a historically and aesthetically wide-ranging array of subjects: from Joanne Kyger and Philip Whalen’s trans-Pacific friendship, to Patti Smith’s grounding of her punk persona in the tension between her romantic friendships with male artists and her more professional connections to the poets of the St. Mark’s scene, and from the gender dynamics of the Language School to the Flarf network’s reconception of poetic community in the digital age and the Black Took Collective’s creation of an intimate poetics of performance. Together, these explorations of poetic friendship open up new avenues for interrogating contemporary American poetry.
Contributors: Maria Damon, Andrew Epstein, Ross Hair, Duriel E. Harris, Daniel Kane, Dawn Lundy Martin, Peter Middleton, Linda Russo, Lytle Shaw, Ann Vickery, Barrett Watten, Ronaldo V. Wilson
Among the Monarchs
Christine Garren University of Chicago Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3557.A7177A83 2000 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In poems of haunting lyricism, and in a voice wholly unlike any other American poet, Christine Garren's second book of poetry explores common themes such as love, loss, and family with an uncommon sensibility. Among the Monarchs is filled with unforgettable metaphors, unconventional and unpredictable juxtapositions, turns and angles of perception, and seductive free verse rhythms. Through all of this, Garren captivates readers in a unique exploration of the nature of desire, the raptures and burdens of love and loss, the peculiarities of family life and, perhaps most compelling, the power of poetic imagination to shape what we see and feel. At once engaging and disquieting, Among the Monarchs attests to the inexhaustible possibilities of lyric poetry.
Amy Lowell, American Modern
Bradshaw, Melissa Rutgers University Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3523.O88Z54 2004 | Dewey Decimal 811.52
For decades, the work of one of America’s most influential poets, 1925 Pulitzer Prize–winner Amy Lowell (1874–1925), has been largely overlooked. This vigorous, courageous poet gave voice to an erotic, thoroughly American sensibility. Cigar-smoker, Boston Brahmin, lesbian, impresario, entrepreneur, and prolific poet, Lowell heralded the rush of an American poetic flowering. A best-selling poet as well as a wildly popular lecturer (autograph-seeking fans were sometimes so boisterous that she required a police escort), she was a respected authority on modern poetry, forging the path that led to the works of Allen Ginsberg, May Sarton, Sylvia Plath, and beyond. Yet, since her death, her work has suffered critical neglect.
This volume presents an essential revaluation of Lowell, and builds a solid critical basis for evaluating her poetry, criticism, politics, and influence. Essays explore the varied contributions of Lowell as a woman poet, a modernist, and a significant force of the literary debates of early twentieth-century poetics. In addition to placing Lowell in her proper historical context, contributors demonstrate her centrality to current critical and theoretical discussions: feminist, gay and lesbian, and postcolonial, in as well as in disability, American, and cultural studies. The book includes a transatlantic group of literary critics and scholars.
Amy Lowell, American Modern offers the most sustained examination of Lowell to date. It returns her to conversation and to literary history where she belongs.
Kyle Dargan Northwestern University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3604.A74A6 2018 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
In Anagnorisis: Poems, the award-winning poet Kyle Dargan ignites a reckoning. From the depths of his rapidly changing home of Washington, D.C., the poet is both enthralled and provoked, having witnessed-on a digital loop running in the background of Barack Obama's unlikely presidency—the rampant state-sanctioned murder of fellow African Americans. He is pushed toward the same recognition articulated by James Baldwin decades earlier: that an African American may never be considered an equal in citizenship or humanity.
This recognition—the moment at which a tragic hero realizes the true nature of his own character, condition, or relationship with an antagonistic entity—is what Aristotle called anagnorisis. Not concerned with placatory gratitude nor with coddling the sensibilities of the country's racial majority, Dargan challenges America: "You, friends- / you peckish for a peek / at my cloistered, incandescent / revelry-were you as earnest / about my frostbite, my burns, / I would have opened / these hands, sated you all."
At a time when U.S. politics are heavily invested in the purported vulnerability of working-class and rural white Americans, these poems allow readers to examine themselves and the nation through the eyes of those who have been burned for centuries.
As Angela Jackson has developed as a poet, her poetry has engaged various artistic perspectives yet always maintains a characteristic combination of compassion, grace, and daring. Drawing from earlier works contained in chapbooks, And All These Roads Be Luminous is filled with a world of characters engaged in explorations of identity, sexuality, creativity, and spirituality--all revealed through a passionate verse brimming with surprises.
Andy Warhol is usually remembered as the artist who said that he wanted to be a machine, and that no one need ever look further than the surface when evaluating him or his art. Arguing against this carefully crafted pop image, Reva Wolf shows that Warhol was in fact deeply emotionally engaged with the people around him and that this was reflected in his art.
Wolf investigates the underground culture of poets, artists, and filmmakers who interacted with Warhol regularly. She claims that Warhol understood the literary imagination of his generation and that recognizing Warhol's literary activities is essential to understanding his art. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material, including interviews, personal and public archives, tape recordings, documentary photographs, and works of art, Wolf offers dramatic evidence that Warhol's interactions with writers functioned like an extended conversation and details how this process impacted his work. This highly original and fascinating study gives us fresh insight into Warhol's art as practice and reformulates the myth that surrounds this popular American artist.
Homero Aridjis is widely regarded as Mexico’s greatest living poet. His work has been translated into numerous languages, and he has received critical praise from artists and writers such as Luis Buñuel, Yves Bonnefoy, Octavio Paz and Jorge Luis Borges.
The seventeen poems gathered in this pocket book, selected by the author, have been brought together as introduction to a body of work spanning thirty years. The poems are rendered in the original Spanish, with English translations on the facing pages.
At the end of the volume there is included a transcript of a question-and-answer session held at Swedenborg House in London in 2011, in which the author discusses his interest in Swedenborg, the inspiration behind his poetry, his groundbreaking environmental activism, and also his key influences.
Angelinetum and Other Poems
Giovanni Marrasio Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PA8547.M5376A2 2016 | Dewey Decimal 871.04
Giovanni Marrasio was esteemed in the Renaissance as the first to revive the ancient Latin elegy, and his Angelinetum, or “Angelina’s Garden,” and other poems explores that genre in all its variety, from love poetry, to a description of a court masque, to political panegyric, to poetic exchanges with famous humanists of the day.
Anglophone Poetry in Colonial India, 1780–1913: A Critical Anthology makes accessible for the first time the entire range of poems written in English on the subcontinent from their beginnings in 1780 to the watershed moment in 1913 when Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature.Mary Ellis Gibson establishes accurate texts for such well-known poets as Toru Dutt and the early nineteenth-century poet Kasiprasad Ghosh. The anthology brings together poets who were in fact colleagues, competitors, and influences on each other. The historical scope of the anthology, beginning with the famous Orientalist Sir William Jones and the anonymous “Anna Maria” and ending with Indian poets publishing in fin-de-siècle London, will enable teachers and students to understand what brought Kipling early fame and why at the same time Tagore’s Gitanjali became a global phenomenon. Anglophone Poetry in Colonial India, 1780–1913 puts all parties to the poetic conversation back together and makes their work accessible to American audiences.With accurate and reliable texts, detailed notes on vocabulary, historical and cultural references, and biographical introductions to more than thirty poets, this collection significantly reshapes the understanding of English language literary culture in India. It allows scholars to experience the diversity of poetic forms created in this period and to understand the complex religious, cultural, political, and gendered divides that shaped them.
The Poetry and Poetics Colloquium, in conjunction with Northwestern University Press, is delighted to announce that Nicole Sealey is the winner of the fourth annual Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named will be published by Northwestern University Press with a planned launch party at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago in January 2016.
At turns humorous and heartbreaking, The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named explores in both formal and free verse what it means to die, which is to say, also, what it means to live. In this collection, Sealey displays an exquisite sense of the lyric, as well as an acute political awareness. Never heavy-handed or dogmatic, the poems included in this slim volume excavate the shadows of both personal and collective memory and are, at all points, relentless. To quote the poet herself, here is a debut as luminous and unforgiving "as the unsparing light at tunnel’s end."
Paisley Rekdal University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3568.E54A85 2012 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Voted one of the five best poetry collections for 2012 by Publishers Weekly,Animal Eye employs pastoral motifs to engage a discourse on life and love, as Coal Hill Review states "It is as if a scientist is at work in the basement of the museum of natural history, building a diorama of an entire ecosystem via words. She seem snot only interested in using the natural world as a metaphoric lens in her poems but is set on building them item by item into natural worlds themselves."
How can literary imagination help us engage with the lives of other animals? The question represents one of the liveliest areas of inquiry in the humanities, and Mark Payne seeks to answer it by exploring the relationship between human beings and other animals in writings from antiquity to the present. Ranging from ancient Greek poets to modernists like Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, Payne considers how writers have used verse to communicate the experience of animal suffering, created analogies between human and animal societies, and imagined the kind of knowledge that would be possible if human beings could see themselves as animals see them.
The Animal Part also makes substantial contributions to the emerging discourse of the posthumanities. Payne offers detailed accounts of the tenuousness of the idea of the human in ancient literature and philosophy and then goes on to argue that close reading must remain a central practice of literary study if posthumanism is to articulate its own prehistory. For it is only through fine-grained literary interpretation that we can recover the poetic thinking about animals that has always existed alongside philosophical constructions of the human. In sum, The Animal Part marks a breakthrough in animal studies and offers a significant contribution to comparative poetics.
Animal Purpose: Poems
Michelle Y. Burke Ohio University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3602.U75527A36 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
2015 Winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize
In Animal Purpose, Michelle Y. Burke explores the lives of men and women as they stand poised between the desire to love and the compulsion to harm. In one poem, a woman teaches a farmhand the proper way to slaughter a truckload of chickens. In another, a couple confronts the recent loss of a loved one when a stranger makes an unexpected confession in a crowded restaurant. Set in both rural and urban spaces, these poems challenge received ideas about work, gender, and place. Danger blurs into beauty and back again. Burke scours the hard edges of the world to find “fleeting softness,” which she wishes “into the world like pollen that covers everything.”
David Dodd Lee Four Way Books, 2014 Library of Congress PS3562.E3383A6 2014 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Reading Animalities is like inhaling and exhaling innumerable versions of life—and like life, these poems embrace “carnage and joy”: “the sun on the horizon bleeding…/ where the loons swim in it by moonlight still laughing.” The curious juxtaposition of the familiar with the surreal—“the flaming peonies,” “black lemons floating on white water.”—contemplates the question, “Why is there something instead of nothing?” PRAISE FOR DAVID DODD LEE “Highly dynamic, irreverent, subversive, and driven by a kinetic music that often breaks into riot…”–Nick Sturm, The Laurel Review “Obsessively, elegantly, poignantly, David Dodd Lee immerses himself in the mysterious intercourse of self and place.”—Franz Wright
"In this original and wonderfully energetic book, Bradley Paul moves from humor to mockery to play to anger to grief, and sometimes all at once. This poetry shifts, it slams, it hammers, it thinks; it corrodes our sorrow and foolishness; it captures our national haplessness, sad and firing and still."
"This is a book of 'Instructions,' a 'How To' book, a 'Guide' to the anarchic carnival of everyday life. It is a wicked book smelling of 'scrapple' and the 'puke of poetry.' And yet rising out of the bile is something else--call it a love for words and poetry--that can gleefully announce that 'a monkey could write this poem.' Read this book and you will lean 'how to stop your doppelganger from plagiarizing you,' which is exactly what you need to know to live in the twenty-first century."
Bradley Paul’s work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Pleiades, Smartish Pace, Boston Review, and other journals. His first book of poetry, The Obvious, was selected by Brenda Hillman for the 2004 New Issues Poetry Prize. A native of Baltimore, he now lives in Los Angeles.
Anne Carson: Ecstatic Lyre
Joshua Marie Wilkinson, editor University of Michigan Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3553.A7667Z54 2015 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Anne Carson’s works re-think genre in some of the most unusual and nuanced ways that few writers ever attempt, from her lyric essays, enigmatic poems, and novels in verse to further forays into video and comics and collaborative performance. Carson’s pathbreaking translations of Ancient Greek poetry and drama, as well as her scholarship on everything from Sappho to Celan, only continue to demonstrate the unique vision she has for what’s possible for a work of literature to become.
Anne Carson: Ecstatic Lyre is the first book of essays dedicated to the breadth of Anne Carson’s works, individually, spanning from Eros the Bittersweet through Red Doc. With contributions from Kazim Ali, Dan Beachy-Quick, Julie Carr, Harmony Holiday, Cole Swensen, Eleni Sikelianos, and many others (including translators, poets, essayists, scholars, novelists, critics, and collaborators themselves), we learn from Carson’s greatest admirers and closest readers about the books that moved and inspired them.