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.
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.
In this fourth collection of reflections on writing and the writing life, the late William Stafford's lifelong refusal to separate his work from the task of living responsibly -- "What a person is shows up in what a person does" -- rings clear.
The Answers Are Inside the Mountains collects unpublished interviews, poems, articles, aphorisms, and writing exercises from this great American man of letters and hugely prolific author, who kept a journal for nearly half a century and produced over 20,000 poems -- a staggering output by any standard.
The book begins with the words "To overwhelm by rightness," a phrase evoking the two demands Stafford made on himself: to write daily, and to live uprightly. The Answers Are Inside the Mountains lives up to those deceptively simple ethics, and confirms William Stafford's enduringly important voice for our uncertain age.
William Stafford (1914-93) authored more than thirty-five books of poetry and prose, including the highly acclaimed Writing the Australian Crawl, You Must Revise Your Life, Crossing Unmarked Snow: Further Views on the Writer's Vocation, and Traveling Through the Dark, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry.
The Art of Poetry
Kenneth Koch University of Michigan Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3521.O27A6 1996 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
A charter member of the legendary New York School of poets that includes John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch has become one of America's best known and best loved poets. His apt parodies and zany poetic conceits have earned him the distinction of being the funniest poet in America, and his extravagant imagination and knack for high hilarity have pleased generations of readers.
Here, in The Art of Poetry, Koch offers amusing and thought-provoking essays on the nature of the
poetic moment, from its heartfelt emergence in an elementary school classroom to its raucous display in a set of satirical cartoons drawn by the author. Also included are interviews with Allen Ginsberg and Jordan Davis in which Koch discusses a range of diverse topics, including literary criticism, French poetry, and Santa Claus. The Art of Poetry provides Koch's audience with not only the musings and mischievous thoughts of the poetic mind, but also the reflections of the most respected poetry teacher in America.
Kenneth Koch's other books include On the Great Atlantic Rainway: Selected Poems 1950-1988; Seasons on Earth, Days and Nights, The Art of Love, One Thousand Avant-Garde Plays, and One Train, for which he won the Bollingen Prize in American Poetry. He is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
Robin Blaser moved from his native Idaho to attend the University of California, Berkeley, in 1944. While there, he developed as a poet, explored his homosexuality, engaged in a lively arts community, and met fellow travelers and poets Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer. The three men became the founding members of the Berkeley core of what is now known as the San Francisco Renaissance in New American Poetry.
In the company of a small group of friends and writers in 1974, Blaser was asked to narrate his personal story and to comment on the Berkeley poetry scene. In twenty autobiographical audiotapes, Blaser talks about his childhood in Idaho, his time in Berkeley, and his participation in the making of a new kind of poetry. The Astonishment Tapes is the expertly edited transcript of these recordings by Miriam Nichols, Blaser’s editor and biographer.
In The Astonishment Tapes Blaser comments extensively on the poetic principles that he, Duncan, and Spicer worked through, as well as the differences and dissonances between the three of them. Nichols has edited the transcripts only minimally, allowing readers to make their own interpretations of Blaser’s intentions.
Sometimes gossipy, sometimes profound, Blaser offers his version on the inside story of one of the most significant moments in mid-twentieth century American poetry. The Astonishment Tapes is of considerable value and interest, not only to readers of Blaser, Duncan, and Spicer, but also to scholars of the early postmodern and twentieth-century American poetry.