América Is Her Name
Luis J. Rodríguez Northwestern University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PZ7.R61885Am 1996
Set in the Pilsen barrio of Chicago, this children's picture book gives a heartwarming message of hope. The heroine, América, is a primary school student who is unhappy in school until a poet visits the class and inspires the students to express themselves creatively-in Spanish or English. América Is Her Name emphasizes the power of individual creativity in overcoming a difficult environment and establishing self-worth and identity through the young girl América's desire and determination to be a writer. This story deals realistically with the problems in urban neighborhoods and has an upbeat theme: you can succeed in spite of the odds against you. Carlos Vázquez's inspired four-color illustrations give a vivid sense of the barrio, as well as the beauty and strength of the young girl América.
“Think of a man walking in the desert,” writes Griffin, “looking for the path to its summit, looking for the observatory that may, at last, shed light on what’s below.”
In this luminous and moving book of essays, award-winning author Shaun Griffin weaves together a poetic meditation on living meaningfully in this world. Anchored in the American West but reaching well beyond, he recounts his discoveries as a poet and devoted reader of poetry, a teacher of the disadvantaged, a friend of poets and artists, and a responsible member of the human family.
Always grounded in place, be it Nevada, South Africa, North Dakota, Spain, Zimbabwe, or Mexico, Griffin confronts the world with an openness that allows him to learn and grow from the people he meets. This is a meditation on how all of us can confront our own influences to achieve wholeness in our lives. Along with Griffin, readers will reflect on how they might respond to a homeless man walking through central Nevada, viewing the open desert as Thoreau might have viewed Walden, seeing the US-Mexico border as a region of lost identity, reconciling how poets who live west of the Hudson River find anonymity to be their laurel, and experiencing how writing poetry in prison becomes lifesaving.
Whether poets or places in the West or beyond, experiences with other cultures, or an acute awareness that poetry is the refuge of redress—all have influenced Griffin’s writing and thinking as a poet and activist in the Great Basin. The mindfulness of Because the Light Will Not Forgive Me demonstrates that even though the light does not forgive, it still reveals.
Challenging Theodor Adorno's famous statement that "writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric," Beyond Lament is a rich and varied anthology consisting of new and previously published poems about the atrocity of the Holocaust. While writing poetry about the Holocaust may be considered by some to be a futile attempt to express the inexpressible, for many the need to give voice to the anger and despair of the Holocaust is as essential as the need to come to grips with its unspeakable horror.
Editor Marguerite M. Striar has arranged the nearly 300 poems in this volume to tell the story beginmning with the early premonitions of Nazi evil in 1933, through the course of the unthinkable violence that ended in 1945 with Hitler's demise, to the flourishing of concern for human rights in the aftermath of the Holocaust. These works by well-known poets such as Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs, Czeslaw Milosz, Dannie Abse, and Robert Pinsky, as well as many lesser-known or unknown poets, show how poetry makes history memorable, confirm the resiliance of the human spirit, and prove that even in the fact of great suffering, the flame of creation will not be extinguished.
Crisis, breakdown, rejuvenation: this is the territory of poetry that Rudman takes readers into with this set of essays. Constructed as a series of character studies, the essays are rooted in autobiographical material with biographical counterpoints, tying the poets distinctly to places. Even as they are placed, however, they are displaced: Rudman's subjects, from D.H. Lawrence to Czeslaw Milosz to T. S. Eliot, are almost all exiles, either geographically or within themselves. This exile spins anger into energy, transmuting emotion into imagination the same way that Passaic Falls, known to William Carlos Williams, turns water into power. The mosaic style of the essays touches on nerve after nerve, avoiding the snags of academic jargon to ease towards an illuminating truth about the artists' shifting work and worlds. Some of the Samuels--Beckett and Fuller--were able to navigate these shifts, while others--Coleridge and Johnson--are shown to be less able to transmute their energy into motion.
The Book Smugglers is the nearly unbelievable story of ghetto residents who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts—first from the Nazis and then from the Soviets—by hiding them on their bodies, burying them in bunkers, and smuggling them across borders. It is a tale of heroism and resistance, of friendship and romance, and of unwavering devotion—including the readiness to risk one’s life—to literature and art. And it is entirely true. Based on Jewish, German, and Soviet documents, including diaries, letters, memoirs, and the author’s interviews with several of the story’s participants, The Book Smugglers chronicles the daring activities of a group of poets turned partisans and scholars turned smugglers in Vilna, “The Jerusalem of Lithuania.” The rescuers were pitted against Johannes Pohl, a Nazi “expert” on the Jews, who had been dispatched to Vilna by the Nazi looting agency, Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, to organize the seizure of the city’s great collections of Jewish books. Pohl and his Einsatzstab staff planned to ship the most valuable materials to Germany and incinerate the rest. The Germans used forty ghetto inmates as slave-laborers to sort, select, pack, and transport the materials, either to Germany or to nearby paper mills. This group, nicknamed “the Paper Brigade,” and informally led by poet Shmerke Kaczerginski, a garrulous, street-smart adventurer and master of deception, smuggled thousands of books and manuscripts past German guards. If caught, the men would have faced death by firing squad at Ponar, the mass-murder site outside of Vilna. To store the rescued manuscripts, poet Abraham Sutzkever helped build an underground book-bunker sixty feet beneath the Vilna ghetto. Kaczerginski smuggled weapons as well, using the group’s worksite, the former building of the Yiddish Scientific Institute, to purchase arms for the ghetto’s secret partisan organization. All the while, both men wrote poetry that was recited and sung by the fast-dwindling population of ghetto inhabitants. With the Soviet “liberation” of Vilna (now known as Vilnius), the Paper Brigade thought themselves and their precious cultural treasures saved—only to learn that their new masters were no more welcoming toward Jewish culture than the old, and the books must now be smuggled out of the USSR. Thoroughly researched by the foremost scholar of the Vilna Ghetto—a writer of exceptional daring, style, and reach—The Book Smugglers is an epic story of human heroism, a little-known tale from the blackest days of the war.
In the arena of poetry and poetics over the past century, no idea has been more alive and contentious than the idea of form, and no aspect of form has more emphatically sponsored this marked formal concern than the line. But what, exactly, is the line? Emily Rosko and Anton Vander Zee’s anthology gives seventy original answers that lead us deeper into the world of poetry, but also far out into the world at large: its people, its politics, its ecology. The authors included here, emerging and established alike, write from a range of perspectives, in terms of both aesthetics and identity. Together, they offer a dynamic hybrid collection that captures a broad spectrum of poetic practice in the twenty-first century.
Rosko and Vander Zee’s introduction offers a generous overview of conversations about the line from the Romantics forward. We come to see how the line might be an engine for ideals of progress—political, ethical, or otherwise. For some poets, the line touches upon the most fundamental questions of knowledge and existence. More than ever, the line is the radical against which even alternate and emerging poetic forms that foreground the visual or the auditory, the page or the screen, can be distinguished and understood.
From the start, a singular lesson emerges: lines do not form meaning solely in their brevity or their length, in their becoming or their brokenness; lines live in and through the descriptions we give them. Indeed, the history of American poetry in the twentieth century could be told by the compounding, and often confounding, discussions of its lines. A Broken Thing both reflects upon and extends this history, charting a rich diffusion of theory and practice into the twenty-first century with the most diverse, wide-ranging and engaging set of essays to date on the line in poetry, revealing how poems work and why poetry continues to matter.
A Company of Poets
Louis Simpson University of Michigan Press, 1981 Library of Congress PS3537.I75C6 1981 | Dewey Decimal 809.1
This is a collection of essays, reviews, and interviews in which the author, himself a distinguished poet, expresses his ideas about the nature of poetry and criticizes his contemporaries. Simpson takes his stand with the “poetry of feeling” and agrees with Woodsworth that poetry should be written in a selection of the language “really spoken by men.” His reviews of American poets who have since become famous show Simpson to be an acute an innovative thinker. There are also essays on modern classics: Apollinaire, MacDiarmid, Lawrence, Crane, and Pound. The collection shows the full range of the critic of whom the Times Literary Supplement recently said: “Simpson’s critical and narrative voice is very distinctive – it is generous, sympathetic, spontaneously free and wittily fatalistic. Most originally, perhaps, this voice marries criticism, biography, literary and cultural history in an imaginative atmosphere of sheer wonder and discovery.”
The question of why Plato censored poetry in his Republic has bedeviled scholars for centuries. In Exiling the Poets, Ramona A. Naddaff offers a strikingly original interpretation of this ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy. Underscoring not only the repressive but also the productive dimension of literary censorship, Naddaff brings to light Plato's fundamental ambivalence about the value of poetic discourse in philosophical investigation.
Censorship, Nadaff argues, is not merely a mechanism of silencing but also provokes new ways of speaking about controversial and crucial cultural and artistic events. It functions philosophically in the Republic to subvert Plato's most crucial arguments about politics, epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Naddaff develops this stunning argument through an extraordinary reading of Plato's work. In books 2 and 3, the first censorship of poetry, she finds that Plato constitutes the poet as a rival with whom the philosopher must vie agonistically. In other words, philosophy does not replace poetry, as most commentators have suggested; rather, the philosopher becomes a worthy and ultimately victorious poetic competitor. In book 10's second censorship, Plato exiles the poets as a mode of self-subversion, rethinking and revising his theory of mimesis, of the immortality of the soul, and, most important, the first censorship of poetry. Finally, in a subtle and sophisticated analysis of the myth of Er, Naddaff explains how Plato himself censors his own censorships of poetry, thus producing the unexpected result of a poetically animated and open-ended dialectical philosophy.
Ezra Pound among the Poets
Edited by George Bornstein University of Chicago Press, 1985 Library of Congress PS3531.O82Z623 1985 | Dewey Decimal 811.52
"Be influenced by as many great writers as you can," said Ezra Pound. Pound was an "assimilative poet" par excellence, as George Bornstein calls him, a writer who more often "adhered to a . . . classical conception of influence as benign and strengthening" than to an anxiety model of influence. To study Pound means to study also his precursors—Homer, Ovid, Li Po, Dante, Whitman, Browning—as well as his contemporaries—Yeats, Williams, and Eliot. These poets, discussed here by ten distinguished critics, stimulated Pound's most important poetic encounters with the literature of Greece, Rome, China, Tuscany, England, and the United States. Fully half of these essays draw on previously unpublished manuscripts.
If baseball is the sport of nostalgic prose, basketball’s movement, myths, and culture are truly at home in verse. In this extraordinary collection of essays, poets meditate on what basketball means to them: how it has changed their perspective on the craft of poetry; how it informs their sense of language, the body, and human connectedness; how their love of the sport made a difference in the creation of their poems and in the lives they live beyond the margins. Walt Whitman saw the origins of poetry as communal, oral myth making. The same could be said of basketball, which is the beating heart of so many neighborhoods and communities in this country and around the world. On the court and on the page, this “poetry in motion” can be a force of change and inspiration, leaving devoted fans wonderstruck.
Winner of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and numerous other awards, C. K. Williams is one of the most distinguished poets of his generation. Known for the variety of his subject matter and the expressive intensity of his verse, he has written on topics as resonant as war, social injustice, love, family, sex, death, depression, and intellectual despair and delight. He is also a gifted essayist, and In Time collects his best recent prose along with an illuminating series of interview excerpts in which he discusses a wide range of subjects, from his own work as a poet and translator to the current state of American poetry as a whole.
In Time begins with six essays that meditate on poetic subjects, from reflections on such forebears as Philip Larkin and Robert Lowell to “A Letter to a Workshop,” in which he considers the work of composing a poem. In the book’s innovative middle section, Williams extracts short essays from interviews into an alphabetized series of reflections on subjects ranging from poetry and politics to personal accounts of his own struggles as an artist. The seven essays of the final section branch into more public concerns, including an essay on Paris as a place of inspiration, “Letter to a German Friend,” which addresses the issue of national guilt, and a concluding essay on aging, into which Williams incorporates three moving new poems. Written in his lucid, powerful, and accessible prose, Williams’s essays are characterized by reasoned and complex judgments and a willingness to confront hard moral questions in both art and politics.
Wide-ranging and deeply thoughtful, In Time is the culmination of a lifetime of reading and writing by a man whose work has made a substantial contribution to contemporary American poetry.
Compiled by three noted poets, this is an eclectic, stimulating, and informed selection of poets' remarks on poetry spanning eras, ethnicities, and aesthetics. The 102 selections from nearly as many poets reach back to the Greeks and Romans, then draw on Chaucer, Shakespeare, Sidney, and Milton, on to Shelley, Keats, Coleridge, and Poe, then Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, Rilke, and Pound, concluding with many of our contemporaries, including Hall, Clifton, Mackey, Kunitz, and Rukeyser. The book is divided into three sections. "Musing" concerns issues of inspiration, "Making," issues of craft, from diction to meter to persona and voice, and "Mapping," the role of poetry and the poet. Headnotes at the beginning of each selection provide background information about the poet and commentary on the significance of the selection. There is also a useful appendix with a listing of essays arranged according to more specific topics. As the poets write in their introduction: "This book was intended to deepen readers' understanding of age-old poetic ideas while at the same time pointing out new directions for thinking about poetry, juxtaposing the familiar and the strange, reconfiguring old boundaries, and shaking up stereotypes."
In Mentor and Muse, a collection of twenty-nine insightful essays by some of today’s leading poetic minds, editors Blas Falconer, Beth Martinelli, and Helena Mesa have brought together an illuminating anthology that draws upon both established and emerging poets to create a one-of-a-kind resource and unlock the secrets of writing and revising poetry.
Gathered here are numerous experts eager to share their wisdom with other writers. Each author examines in detail a particular poetic element, shedding new light on the endless possibilities of poetic forms. Addressed within are such topics as the fluid possibilities of imagery in poetry; the duality of myth and the personal, and the power of one to unlock the other; the surprising versatility of traditional poetic forms; and the pleasure of collaboration with other poets. Also explored in depth are the formative roles of cultural identity and expectations, and their effect on composition; advice on how to develop one’s personal poetic style and approach; the importance of setting in reading and meaning; and the value of indirection in the lyric poem. Challenges to conventional concepts of beauty are examined through Shakespeare’s sonnets, and the ghost of Longfellow is called upon to guide students through the rewards and roadblocks of writing popular poetry. Poetic persona is demystified through Newton’s law of gravity, while the countless permutations of punctuation are revealed with analysis of e. e. cummings and W. S. Merwin.
The essays include the full text of the poems discussed, and detailed, relevant writing exercises that allow students the opportunity to directly implement the strategies they have learned. While many advanced topics such as authenticity, discordant music, and prosody are covered, this highly readable volume is as user-friendly as it is informative. Offering a variety of aesthetics and approaches to tackling the issues of composition, Mentor and Muse takes poets beyond the simple stages of poetic terms and strategies. These authorsinvite students to explore more advanced concepts, enabling them to draw on the traditions of the past while at the same time forging their own creative paths into the future.
Chosen as one of the "Best Books for Writers" by Poets & Writers magazine
A New Geography of Poets
Edward Field University of Arkansas Press, 1993 Library of Congress PS615.N39 1992 | Dewey Decimal 811.5408
Sparked by Archibald MacLeish's assertion that "there always was a relationship between poet and place," Field and his co-editors offer an updated look at the contemporary poetry scene in A New Geography of Poets.
Poetry Like Bread contains poems by nearly forty poets published by the Curbstone Press during the last twenty years. These poets are probably unlike any you have studied. Their engagement with everyday political and economic realities is as direct as a newspaper, their language as familiar as conversation. Their motto, taken from Roque Dalton for the title of the collection, is that "poetry, like bread, is for everyone."
These poems were not written to be studied. They were meant to be read. Or better yet, heard. Whole or in part. Alone or among friends and strangers. Reading and hearing them, you must respond and react. Some may inspire you, knock the wind out of you—make you indignant, sad, joyous, ashamed. Whether you drop this book, seek out others, join a social action group, write letters to your elected representatives, or write poems of your own, your reaction to the poems will be as political as the poems themselves.
Some of the subjects of these poems may be unfamiliar to you, or very familiar to you. Many relate stories from war-torn Central and South America, where U. S. policy has had a huge impact on people's lives. The rest are the voices of the voiceless here in the U.S: Latinos and African Americans, Vietnam veterans and Vietnamese, prison inmates, blue collar workers, migrant workers, women, the homeless. It's the poet's job to open up and validate these worlds to us. Our job, once roused, is to learn. To learn and to act.
Judge Dee, the master detective of seventh-century China, sets out to solve a puzzling double murder and discovers complex passions lurking beneath the placid surface of academic life. A mild-mannered student is rumored to have been slain by a fox-demon, while a young dancer meets her death as she dresses to perform for the magistrate's illustrious dinner guests—an obese Zen monk revered for his calligraphy, a beautiful poetess accused of murder, and the past president of the imperial academy. To connect the present crimes with betrayals and adulteries from decades past, the clever judge must visit a high-class brothel and the haunted shrine of the Black Fox. From the moment the young scholar is found dead on the eve of the Autumn Festival, the pace never lets up.
"The China of old, in Mr. van Gulik's skilled hands, comes vividly alive again."—Allen J. Hubin, New York Times Book Review
"If you have not yet discovered Judge Dee, I envy you that initial pleasure. . . . For the magistrate of Poo-yang belongs in that select group headed by Sherlock Holmes."—Robert Kirsch, Los Angeles Times
Poets and Playwrights was first published in 1967. 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.
Poets and Playwrights is a collection of nine essays by the eminent Shakespearean scholar and critic, the late Elmer Edgar Stoll. In this work, which was first published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1930, Professor Stoll presents his maturest consideration of the art of the poets and playwrights of his subtitle—Shakespeare, Jonson, Spenser, and Milton. The most extensive essay, "Shakespeare and the Moderns," includes, in Mr. Stoll's words, "a review of Shakespeare as I conceive him, in order the better to compare him with those who in some respect or other are his peers."
Poets On Place
W. T. Pfefferle Utah State University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS325.P634 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.540932
Out to see America and satisfy his travel bug, W. T. Pfefferle resigned from his position as director of the writing program at Johns Hopkins University and hit the road to interview sixty-two poets about the significance of place in their work. The lively conversations that resulted may surprise with the potential meanings of a seemingly simple concept. This gathering of voices and ideas is illustrated with photo and word portraits from the road and represented with suitable poems.
The poets are James Harms, David Citino, Martha Collins, Linda Gregerson, Richard Tillinghast, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Mark Strand, Karen Volkman, Lisa Samuels, Marvin Bell, Michael Dennis Browne, David Allan Evans, David Romtvedt, Sandra Alcosser, Robert Wrigley, Nance Van Winckel, Christopher Howell, Mark Halperin, Jana Harris, Sam Hamill, Barbara Drake, Floyd Skloot, Ralph Angel, Carol Muske-Dukes, David St. John, Sharon Bryan, Donald Revell, Claudia Keelan, Alberto Rios, Richard Shelton, Jane Miller, William Wenthe, Naomi Shihab Nye, Peter Cooley, Miller Williams, Beth Ann Fennelly, Natasha Trethewey, Denise Duhamel, Campbell McGrath, Terrance Hayes, Alan Shapiro, Nikki Giovanni, Charles Wright, Rita Dove, Henry Taylor, Dave Smith, Nicole Cooley, David Lehman, Lucie Brock-Broido, Michael S. Harper, C. D. Wright, Mark Wunderlich, James Cummins, Frederick Smock, Mark Jarman, Carl Phillips, Scott Cairns, Elizabeth Dodd, Jonathan Holden, Bin Ramke, Kenneth Brewer, and Paisley Rekdal.
In response to a lack of source works for wide-ranging approaches to teaching poetry, award-winning poet Joshua Marie Wilkinson has gathered ninety-nine micro-essays for poets, critics, and scholars who teach and for students who wish to learn about the many ways poets think about how a poem comes alive from within—and beyond—a classroom. Not narrowly concerned with how to read poetry or how to write poetry, by virtue of their central concern with teaching poetry, the essays in this fresh and innovative volume address both reading and writing and give teachers and students useful tools for the classroom and beyond.
Divided into four sections—“Reflections / Poetics,” “Exercises / Praxis,” “New Approaches to Poetry Courses and Methodology,” and “Talks / Directives”—Poets on Teaching provides practical, intelligent advice. “Reflections / Poetics” encompasses the most expansive approaches to teaching poetry, where poets reflect variously on what teachers can cultivate in their classrooms. “Exercises / Praxis” consists of hands-on approaches to reading and, especially, writing poems. “New Approaches to Poetry Courses and Methodology” features essays on rethinking specific courses, offering new ideas for course design and pedagogy. “Talks / Directives” contains a series of more informal and conversational discussions geared toward becoming a stronger reader, writer, teacher, and student of poetry. Poets on Teaching will be required reading for new and experienced teachers alike.
Kazim Ali, Rae Armantrout, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Dan Beachy-Quick, Bruce Beasley, Claire Becker, Jaswinder Bolina, Jenny Boully, Joel Brouwer, Lily Brown, Laynie Browne, Stephen Burt, Julie Carr, Joshua Clover, Matthew Cooperman, Oliver de la Paz, Linh Dinh, Ben Doller, Sandra Doller, Julie Doxsee, Lisa Fishman, Graham Foust, John Gallaher, Forrest Gander, C. S. Giscombe, Peter Gizzi, Lara Glenum, Kenneth Goldsmith, Johannes Göransson, Noah Eli Gordon, Arielle Greenberg, Richard Greenfield, Sarah Gridley, Anthony Hawley, Terrance Hayes, Eric Hayot, Brian Henry, Brenda Hillman, Jen Hofer, Paul Hoover, Christine Hume, Brenda Iijima, Lisa Jarnot, Kent Johnson, Bhanu Kapil, Karla Kelsey, Aaron Kunin, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Dorothea Lasky, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Ada Limón, Timothy Liu, Sabrina Orah Mark, Dawn Lundy Martin, Kristi Maxwell, Joyelle McSweeney, Christina Mengert, Albert Mobilio, K. Silem Mohammad, Fred Moten, Jennifer Moxley, Laura Mullen, Sawako Nakayasu, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Hoa Nguyen, Jena Osman, D. A. Powell, Kristin Prevallet, Bin Ramke, Jed Rasula, Srikanth Reddy, Barbara Jane Reyes, Boyer Rickel, Elizabeth Robinson, Martha Ronk, Emily Rosko, Prageeta Sharma, Evie Shockley, Eleni Sikelianos, Richard Siken, Ron Silliman, Tracy K. Smith, Juliana Spahr, Sasha Steensen, Peter Streckfus, Cole Swensen, Michael Theune, Tony Trigilio, Spring Ulmer, Karen Volkman, Catherine Wagner, G. C. Waldrep, Mark Wallace, Tyrone Williams, Mark Yakich, Jake Adam York, Stephanie Young, Timothy Yu, Matthew Zapruder, Andrew Zawacki, and Rachel Zucker
This collection of essays, by fifteen scholars across diverse fields, explores forty years of writing by Giannina Braschi, one of the most revolutionary Latinx authors of her generation. Since the 1980s, Braschi’s linguistic and structural ingenuities, radical thinking, and poetic hilarity have spanned the genres of theatre, poetry, fiction, essay, musical, manifesto, political philosophy, and spoken word. Her best-known titles are El imperio de los sueños, Yo-Yo Boing!, and United States of Banana. She writes in Spanish, Spanglish, and English and embraces timely and enduring subjects: love, liberty, creativity, environment, economy, censorship, borders, immigration, debt, incarceration, colonialization, terrorism, and revolution. Her work has been widely adapted into theater, photography, film, lithography, painting, sculpture, comics, and music. The essays in this volume explore the marvelous ways that Braschi’s texts shake upside down our ideas of ourselves and enrich our understanding of how powerful narratives can wake us to our higher expectations.
David R. Slavitt will tell you that he does not believe in literary criticism so much as in "remarks," which are more portable and, often, more enlightening. In this witty and unusual work, he remarks upon the life of a poet in the second half of the twentieth century, how it was--and how it is--to be an American writer.
Combining personal reminiscence with deft literary analysis, incisive biographical sketches, and, sometimes, literary gossip, these essays give new perspectives on the famous--such as Harold Bloom, Robert Penn Warren, Robert Frost, and Stephen Spender--and recover the charms of the near-forgotten--such as Dudley Fitts, Winfield Townley Scott, Merrill Moore and John Hall Wheelock. Slavitt writes with self-deprecating humor of his own literary education, and uses his impressive experience and erudition to illuminate the whims of poetic influence, passion, and reputation. With a refreshing honesty and considerable poise, he gives readers an enlightening view of the vast and ever-changing literary universe.
Red, White, and Blues, a new anthology from the award-winning editors of Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America and Vespers: Contemporary American Poems of Religion and Spirituality, offers a chorus of contemporary American poets on the idea of liberty, democracy, patriotism, and the American Dream;a twenty-first-century "Song of Myself” for the entire country.
The poems in Red, White, and Blues reflect our collective memory—from icons of pop culture to national disasters and times of unrest. Yet they are not simply reflections of the headline news or political diatribes of the day; instead, they provide roadmaps of American history—roadmaps of where we’ve been, who we are, and where we’re going as a nation.
Poets as diverse as Martín Espada and Paisley Rekdal, J. P. Dancing Bear and Vivian Shipley seek to answer questions that resonate within the heart of our national identity—what does it mean to be an American? What is the American Dream? How does one define patriotism? Regardless of ethnicity, gender, or class, each poet’s answer to such questions proves that our experiences unite us more than they divide us.
Red, White, and Blues is an ambitious collection of the finest contemporary poetry on the subject of America and the indefatigable spirit of its citizens. Its poems don’t pull punches, nor do they celebrate without cause. They show spirit and excitement, outrage and joy, solemnity and ambiguity—all reflections of our wonderfully diverse nation.
Robert Lowell in Love
Jeffrey Meyers University of Massachusetts Press Library of Congress PS3523.O89Z7878 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.52
Robert Lowell was known not only as a great poet but also as a writer whose devotion to his art came at a tremendous personal cost. In this book, his third on Robert Lowell, Jeffrey Meyers examines the poet’s impassioned, troubled relationships with the key women in his life: his mother, Charlotte Winslow Lowell; his three wives—Jean Stafford, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Caroline Blackwood; nine of his many lovers; his close women friends—Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Bishop, and Adrienne Rich; and his most talented students, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. Lowell’s charismatic personality, compelling poetry, and literary fame attracted lovers and friends who were both frightened and excited by his aura of brilliance and danger. He loved the idea of falling in love, and in his recurring manic episodes he needed women at the center of his emotional and artistic life. Each affair became an intense dramatic episode. Though he idealized his loves and encouraged their talents, his frenetic affairs and tortured marriages were always conducted on his own terms. Robert Lowell in Love tells the story of the poet in the grip of love and gives voice to the women who loved him, inspired his poetry, and suffered along with him.
Show Me Your Environment, a penetrating yet personable collection of critical essays, David Baker explores how a poem works, how a poet thinks, and how the art of poetry has evolved—and is still evolving as a highly diverse, spacious, and inclusive art form. The opening essays offer contemplations on the “environment of poetry from thoughts on physical places and regions as well as the inner aesthetic environment. Next, he looks at the highly distinctive achievements and styles of poets ranging from George Herbert and Emily Dickinson through poets writing today. Finally, Baker takes joy in reading individual poems—from the canonical to the contemporary; simply and closely.
The Straight Line brings together memoir, informal talks, autobiographical essays, unconventional book reviews, instructional pieces, imaginative speculations on the nature of reading, and poems about writing. What distinguishes these pieces is Ron Padgett's refreshing sense of humor and the changing, unexpected angles on his point of view. He pokes fun at the concept of "finding one's poetic voice," has a dream conversation with a Russian poet, talks to his typewriter, parodies Robert Frost, deconstructs the haiku, finds weird word lists in the dictionary, and extols the pleasures of mistakes in writing.
But along with the playful wit comes Padgett's serious fascination with how words work. Essays discuss such subjects as the otherness of languages; French poets and their relationship to Cubist painters; an afternoon with the poet Edwin Denby; a tribute to Ted Berrigan; twentieth-century modernism; and suggestions for using the computer to write poetry.
The book concludes with pieces that Padgett has written during his thirty years as a teacher of poetry. Essays explore the unexpected relationships between poetry and dance; the practical value of using "gimmicks" to inspire poetry writing; and some radical and entertaining ideas for innovative ways to read creatively.
Ron Padgett is Publications Director, Teachers and Writers Collaborative. His books include Albanian Diary, Creative Reading, and Old Faithful: 18 Writers Present Their Favorite Writing Assignments.
"How piercing the duet we're offered between Marilyn Hacker and the reality principle. Reality saying, it’s impossible, something's always sacrificed: you can't be so merry and so raw; so learned and earthy; so gut-wrenching, so danceable at once. Can you? To which, steadily, the voice of Marilyn Hacker: Yes. Evidently; Evidently so."
---Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, author of Epistemology of the Closet and Touching Feeling
"Hacker is one of our best singers---by turns elegiac and fierce, sweet and witty. With each new collection her voice grows richer, more resonant, sorrowing and lovely."
---Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
"Marilyn Hacker joins a marvelous facility with poetic forms to a shockingly intense sensuality. Not unlike Baudelaire, you might say, and indeed like him, she shares a taste for excess, drink, Paris, women, crowds. 'Enivrez-vous!' Baudelaire ordered his readers, and Marilyn Hacker has taken his advice seriously."
---Edmund White, author of Hotel de Dream, City Boy, and Le Flâneur
"Everything is thrilling and true, fast and witty, deep and wise; her vitality is the pulse of life itself."
---Derek Mahon, author of Harbour Lights and An Autumn Wind
A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.
For over twenty years, award-winning poet, translator, and editor Marilyn Hacker has been writing incisive criticism and reviews of contemporary poetry, with particular attention to the work of feminist poets, poets of color, and any poets whose work she judged worthy of more attention from the American (and sometimes British) reading public.
Unauthorized Voices is Hacker’s first collection of critical prose, bringing together her essays on American, British, Irish, and French poets. It includes pieces on Adrienne Rich, Hayden Carruth, Elizabeth Bishop, Tony Harrison, Marilyn Nelson, and June Jordan; on French and Francophone poets including Vénus Khoury-Ghata and Guy Goffette; on poetry and politics; and on the contemporary sonnet, all affirming Hacker as a lively, unabashedly opinionated American critical voice.
Marilyn Hacker is the author of twelve books of poems, most recently Names and Essays on Departure, and of ten collections of poetry translated from the French, including Marie Étienne's King of a Hundred Horsemen, recipient of the 2009 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She has been the recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, two Lambda Literary Awards, and the National Book Award for her own poetry and is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Loved for his decidedly American voice, for his painterly rendering of modern urban settings, and for his ability to re-imagine a living language shaped by the philosophy of “no ideas but in things,” William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) left an indelible mark on modern poetry. As each successive generation of poets discovers the “new” that lives within his work, his durability and expansiveness make him an influential poet for the twenty-first century as well. The one hundred and two poems by one hundred and two poets collected in Visiting Dr. Williams demonstrate the range of his influence in ways that permanently echo and amplify the transcendent music of his language.
Contributors include: Robert Creeley, David Wojahn, Maxine Kumin, James Laughlin, A. R. Ammons, Wendell Berry, Heid Erdrich, Frank O’Hara, Lyn Lifshin, Denise Levertov, Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg, and a host of others.
Like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Robert Frost looms large in the American literary landscape, straddling the 19th and 20th centuries like a poetic colossus: whosoever desires passage must, at some point, contend with the monolithic presence of Robert Frost. As they did in Visiting Emily and Visiting Walt, in Visiting Frost, Sheila Coghill and Thom Tammaro once again capture the conversations between contemporary poets and a legend whose voice endures. In his introduction to the collection, Frost biographer Jay Parini likens the poet to a “great power station, one who stands off by himself in the big woods, continuously generating electricity that future poets can tap into for the price of a volume of his poems.” A four-time Pulitzer Prize winner whose work is principally associated with the landscape and life in New England, Frost (1874-1963) was a traditional, psychologically complex, often dark and intense poet. In Visiting Frost, one hundred homage-paying poets--some who knew Frost, most only acquainted through his work--celebrate and reflect that intensity, in effect tapping into his electrical current. By reacting to specific Frost poems, by reinventing others, and by remembering aspects of Frost or by quarreling with him, the contributors speak on behalf of us whose lives have been brightened by the memorization and recitation of such poems as “The Road Not Taken” or “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” As the poets pay tribute to Frost's place in American poetry and history, they suggest--more than forty years after his death--just how alive and vital he remains in our collective memory.
The poetry of Wallace Stevens has inspired generations of poets of every school. Here, for the first time, is assembled an astonishing variety of poems, by a full range of poets, inspired by Stevens’s life and work. In its own way, each poem exhibits the torque and feel of his poetry, yet each also is deeply personal and conveys how meaningful Stevens was and remains for poets and poetry.
Whether whimsical or serious, solemn or light, the poems in Dennis Barone and James Finnegan’s Visiting Wallace are sure to inspire delight and thought. Alan Filreis’s brilliant foreword asks us to consider whether there is another modern poet who means as much to contemporary verse as Stevens: “seventy-six poems giving us seventy-six distinct Stevenses to follow and succeed.”
For twenty years, the Poets on Poetry series, under the editorship of Donald Hall, has provided readers with a variety of prose reflections, interviews, essays, and other works by America's leading contemporary poets. With Written in Water, Written in Stone, Martin Lammon celebrates the longevity and literary success of the series by gathering together exemplary selections from many of its volumes. Organized by theme ranging from language and form, politics and poetry, to the literary industry, Written in Water, Written in Stone offers a remarkable survey of the salient issues that concern contemporary poets and their readers.
Included are selections from, among others, Robert Bly, Hayden Carruth, Amy Clampitt, Robert Creeley, Tess Gallagher, Donald Hall, Robert Hayden, Galway Kinnell, Richard Kostelanetz, Maxine Kumin, Philip Levine, Marge Piercy, Anne Sexton, Charles Simic, Louis Simpson, William Stafford, Diane Wakoski, Charles Wright, and James Wright. This diverse collection of popular contemporary poets is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.
Martin Lammon teaches creative writing at Fairmont State College. He is a poet and editor of the literary magazine Kestrel.