November 12, 2014

The Art of Daring



THE ART OF DARING
RISK, RESTLESSNESS, IMAGINATION

by Carl Phillips

$12.00
Graywolf Press, 2014.

Award-winning poet Carl Phillips’s invaluable essays on poetry, the tenth volume in the celebrated Art of series of books.

In six insightful essays, Carl Phillips meditates on the craft of poetry, its capacity for making a space for possibility and inquiry. What does it mean to give shapelessness a form? How can a poem at once explore the natural world and the inner world? Phillips demonstrates the restless qualities of the imagination by reading and examining poems by Ashbery, Bogan, Frost, Niedecker, Shakespeare, and others, and by considering other art forms, such as photography and the blues. The Art of Daring is a lyrical, persuasive argument for the many ways that writing and living are acts of risk. “I think it’s largely the conundrum of being human that makes us keep making,” Phillips writes. “I think it has something to do with revision—how, not only is the world in constant revision, but each of us is, as well.”

May 25, 2014

Robert Duncan: Collected Essays



Robert Duncan
Collected Essays and Other Prose
James Maynard (Editor)

University of California Press
Hardcover, 592 pages
ISBN: 9780520267732
January 2014
$60.00

This volume in the Collected Writings of Robert Duncan series gathers a far-reaching selection of Robert Duncan’s prose writings including most of his longer and more well-known essays along with other prose that has never been widely available. Ranging in original publication dates between 1940 and 1985, the forty-one titles reveal a great deal about Duncan’s life in poetry—including his impressions of poets whose work he admires, both contemporaries and precursors. Evocative and eclectic, this work delineates the intellectual contexts and sources of Duncan’s poetics, and opens a window onto the literary communities in which he participated.

April 10, 2014

A Poet's Glossary



A Poet's Glossary
by Edward Hirsch

A joyful, elegant glossary of poetic terms spanning centuries and continents, from the famed poet and author of the bestselling How to Read a Poem (And Fall in Love with Poetry).

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780151011957
ISBN-10: 0151011958
Pages: 736
Publication Date: 04/08/2014

Also available in: eBook - $24.00

February 26, 2014

A Guide to Poetics Journal



A Guide to Poetics Journal
Writing in the Expanded Field, 1982–1998
Lyn Hejinian, ed.; Barrett Watten, ed.

Wesleyan University Press

2013 • 416 pp. 20 illus.

$29.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7121-2
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7120-5
$23.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7122-9

Lyn Hejinian and Barrett Watten are internationally recognized poet/critics. Together they edited the highly influential Poetics Journal, whose ten issues, published between 1982 and 1998, contributed to the surge of interest in the practice of poetics. A Guide to Poetics Journal presents the major conversations and debates from the journal, and invites readers to expand on the critical and creative engagements they represent.

In making their selections for the guide, the editors have sought to showcase a range of innovative poetics and to indicate the diversity of fields and activities with which they might be engaged. The introduction and headnotes by the editors provide historical and thematic context for the articles. The Guide is intended to be of sustained creative and classroom use, while the companion Archive of all ten issues of Poetics Journal allows users to remix, remaster, and extend its practices and debates. (See http://www.upne.com/0819571236.html for more information on the digital archive.)

February 17, 2014

Our Deep Gossip



Our Deep Gossip
Conversations with Gay Writers on Poetry and Desire
Interviews by Christopher Hennessey

Univ of Wisconsin Press
Copyright: 2013
ISBN:9780299295646

From Walt Whitman forward, a century and a half of radical experimentation and bold speech by gay and lesbian poets has deeply influenced the American poetic voice. In Our Deep Gossip, Christopher Hennessy interviews eight gay men who are celebrated American poets and writers: Edward Field, John Ashbery, Richard Howard, Aaron Shurin, Dennis Cooper, Cyrus Cassells, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Kazim Ali. The interviews showcase the complex ways art and life intertwine, as the poets speak about their early lives, the friends and communities that shaped their work, the histories of gay writers before them, how sex and desire connect with artistic production, what coming out means to a writer, and much more.

While the conversations here cover almost every conceivable topic of interest to readers of poetry and poets themselves, the book is an especially important, poignant, far-reaching, and enduring document of what it means to be a gay artist in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century America.

January 4, 2014

Sound Ideas


Sound Ideas: Hearing and Speaking Poetry
by B. Eugene McCarthy and Fran Quinn
Hobblebush Books

ISBN 978-0-9845921-9-7
Publication Date: March, 2013
Price: $18.95

Hearing and speaking are essential to making poems live. Poems are a physical experience. This book explains how to find your way to the heart of a poem by taking it off the page.

The authors have taught poetry successfully with this method for many years, and now they share it beyond their own classrooms.

November 12, 2013

In Time


In Time: Poets, Poems and the Rest
by C.K. Williams

Cloth $27.50
ISBN: 9780226899510

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.

October 25, 2013

Amy Lowell Anew


Amy Lowell Anew: A Biography
By Carl Rollyson

978-1-4422-2392-9 • Hardback
August 2013 • $34.00

978-1-4422-2394-3 • eBook
August 2013 • $33.99

Pages: 278

The controversial American poet Amy Lowell (1874-1925), a founding member of the Imagist group that included D. H. Lawrence and H. D., excelled as the impresario for the “new poetry” that became news across the U. S. in the years after World War I. Maligned by T. S. Eliot as the “demon saleswoman” of poetry, and ridiculed by Ezra Pound, Lowell has been treated by previous biographers as an obese, sex-starved, inferior poet who smoked cigars and made a spectacle of herself, canvassing the country on lecture tours that drew crowds in the hundreds for her electrifying performances.

In fact, Lowell wrote some of the finest love lyrics of the 20th century and led a full and loving life with her constant companion, the retired actress Ada Russell. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1926. This provocative new biography, the first in forty years, restores Amy Lowell to her full humanity in an era that, at last, is beginning to appreciate the contributions of gays and lesbians to American’s cultural heritage. Drawing on newly discovered letters and papers, Rollyson’s biography finally gives this vibrant poet her due.

October 10, 2013

Airmail



AIRMAIL
THE LETTERS OF ROBERT BLY AND TOMAS TRANSTRÖMER

Edited by Thomas R. Smith

Airmail provides a rare portrait of two artists who have become integral to each other’s particular genius and who are essential contributors to global literature. Across their correspondence, Bly and Tranströmer are profoundly engaged with each other and with the larger world: the Vietnam War, European and American elections, and the struggles of affording a life as a writer. Airmail also illuminates the work of translation, as each begins translating the other’s poetry. Their collaboration quickly turned into a friendship that has lasted fifty years. Airmail collects more than 290 letters, written from 1964 until 1990, when Tranströmer suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. This publication marks the first time letters by Bly and Tranströmer have been made available in the United States, and this edition includes poetry and translations by both writers that have never before been published.

August 31, 2013

What Poets Are Like


What Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life

In some 60 short episodes, this book captures moments of a writer's inner and public life, close moments with friends and strangers, occasional reminders of a poet's generally low place in the cultural hierarchy; time spent with cats; the curious work of writing. He tells the stories of his time spent in bookstores and recounts the glorious, then tragic, arc of Cody's Bookstore in Berkeley, ending with the author whose scheduled event fell on the day after the business shut down, but who stood outside the locked door and read aloud just the same. As all writers do, Soto suffers the slings and arrows of rejection, often from unnamed Midwest poetry journals, and seeks the solace of a friendly dog at such moments. Soto jabs at the crumbs of reward available to writers--a prize nomination here, a magazine interview there--and notes the toll they take on a frail ego. The pleasure Soto takes in the written word, a dose of comic relief plus his appreciation of the decisive moment in life make this an engaging and readable writer's confession.

Sasquatch Books, 2103.

August 14, 2013

The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop


The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop
by Diane Lockward

ISBN 978-1-936138-62-3
263 pages. $20.00
Wind Publications, 2013

A collection of poems, writing prompts, craft tips,
and interviews for aspiring and practicing poets.

Fifty-six poets contributed twenty-seven Craft Tips, ten Poet on the Poem Q&As, and twenty-seven model poems that go with the prompts.

July 24, 2013

The Strangest of Theatres

The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders

Edited by Jared Hawkley, Susan Rich, and Brian Turner
$22.00
McSweeney's

The Strangest of Theatres explores how poets who are willing to venture beyond our borders can serve as envoys to the wider world and revitalize American poetry in the process. What are they looking for when they leave? What do they find? How does their experience shape them, and what is revealed when they sit down at their desks and take up the pen?

Original and reprinted essays by contemporary poets who have spent time abroad address questions of estrangement, identity, and home. These reflections represent a diverse atlas of experience and include work by Kazim Ali, Elizabeth Bishop, Naomi Shihab Nye, Nick Flynn, Yusef Komunyakaa, Claudia Rankine, Charles Simic, Alissa Valles, and many others.

June 13, 2013

A Poet's Guide to Poetry, Second Edition

A Poet's Guide to Poetry, Second Edition
by Mary Kinzie

584 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1999, 2013
Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing

In A Poet’s Guide to Poetry, Mary Kinzie brings her decades of expertise as poet, critic, and director of the creative writing program at Northwestern University to bear in a comprehensive reference work for any writer wishing to better understand poetry. Detailing the formal concepts of poetry and methods of poetic analysis, she shows how the craft of writing can guide the art of reading poems.

For this new edition, Kinzie has carefully reworked the introductory material and first chapter, as well as amended the annotated bibliography to include the most recent works of criticism. The updated guide also contains revised exercises and adjustments throughout the text to make the work as lucid and accessible as possible.

May 9, 2013

Virtues of Poetry


The Virtues of Poetry
James Longenbach
Price $14.00
Graywolf Press

The Virtues of Poetry is a resplendent and ultimately moving work of twelve interconnected essays, each of which describes the way in which a particular excellence is enacted in poetry. James Longenbach closely reads poems by Shakespeare, Donne, Blake, Keats, Dickinson, Yeats, Pound, Bishop, and Ashbery (among others), sometimes exploring the ways in which these writers transmuted the material of their lives into art and always emphasizing that the notions of excellence we derive from art are fluid, never fixed. Provocative, funny, and astute, The Virtues of Poetry is indispensable for readers, teachers, and writers. Longenbach reminds us that poetry delivers meaning in exacting ways, and that it is through its precision that we experience this art’s lasting virtues.

April 19, 2013

What Light Can Do



What Light Can Do
Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World

by Robert Hass
Ecco

ISBN-10: 0061923923
ISBN-13: 978-0061923920

These acute and deeply engaging essays are as much a portrait of the elegant thought processes of an unconventional and virtuoso mind as they are inquiries into their subjects, which range from meditations on how we see and treat the earth to the relationship between literature and religion, from explorations of the works of writers as diverse as Korean poet Ko Un, Wallace Stevens, Cormac McCarthy, and Anton Chekhov to the ways in which photography—much like an essay—embodies a sustained act of attention.

A perceptive and evocative mixture of memory, philosophical interrogation, and criticism, the essays in What Light Can Do, finely attuned to the pleasures and pains of being human, are always grounded in the beauty of the material world and its details, and in the larger political and social realities we inhabit.

April 7, 2013

The Poet Resigns



The Poet Resigns
Poetry in a Difficult World
by Robert Archambeau

ISBN: 978-1-937378-41-7
Paperback
Price: $17.95

What are we really wishing for when we want poetry to have the prominence it had in the past? Why do American poets overwhelmingly identify with the political left? How do poems communicate? Is there an essential link between formal experimentation and political radicalism? What happens when poetic outsiders become academic insiders? Just what makes a poem a poem? If a poet gives up on her art, what reasons could she find for coming back to poetry? These are the large questions animating the essays of The Poet Resigns: Poetry in a Difficult World, a book that sets out to survey not only the state of contemporary poetry, but also the poet's relationship to politics, society, and literary criticism.

March 7, 2013

The Hide-and -Seek Muse

The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations of Contemporary Poetry
Lisa Russ Spaar

Publisher: Drunken Boat Media
ISBN: 9780988241602
Price: $19.95

Guggenheim Fellow and award-winning poet Lisa Russ Spaar was the poetry editor for the Chronicle of Higher Education's Arts & Academe and Brainstorm blogs, where every Monday she regaled an ever-growing audience with a brief commentary on a poem of her choosing. This book collects the best of these memorable micro-essays, demonstrating how a well-wrought poem speaks to our rich cultural and spiritual life. As the title essay reveals, Spaar's own father believed that "poetry was out to trick him" and in this collection, encompassing a range of crucial poets from the formal to the experimental, Spaar gently and lovingly debunks that notion, showing us the vital place that contemporary poetry can have in the life of the mind. This is an enthralling book for poets and non-poets alike.

February 11, 2013

Renegade Poetics


Renegade Poetics
Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry

2011
264 pages
$39.95
1-60938-058-4
University of Iowa Press

Beginning with a deceptively simple question—What do we mean when we designate behaviors, values, or forms of expression as “black”?—Evie Shockley’s Renegade Poetics separates what we think we know about black aesthetics from the more complex and nuanced possibilities the concept has long encompassed. The study reminds us, first, that even among the radicalized young poets and theorists who associated themselves with the Black Arts Movement that began in the mid-1960s, the contours of black aesthetics were deeply contested and, second, that debates about the relationship between aesthetics and politics for African American artists continue into the twenty-first century.

November 16, 2012

Beyond the Lyric


Beyond the Lyric
by Fiona Sampson
Chatto & Windus (October 15, 2012)

ISBN-10: 0701186461
ISBN-13: 978-0701186463

In a series of groundbreaking new classifications, beginning with the bread-and-butter diction of the Plain Dealers and ending on the capacious generosity of the Exploded Lyric, it examines the broad range of contemporary tendencies – from the baroque swagger of the Dandies to the restrained elegance of the Oxford Elegists; from the layered, haunting verse of Mythopoesis to the inventive explorations of the New Formalists. By probing the cultural context from which these groups emerge and shifting the critical focus back to the work itself, Sampson’s astute analysis illuminates and demystifies each of these terms and asks the big questions about what makes a poem.

August 22, 2012

The Monkey & the Wrench

The Monkey & the Wrench
Essays into Contemporary Poetics

Edited by Mary Biddinger and John Gallaher.
University of Akron Press
ISBN: 978-1-931968-91-1

Paperback Price: $14.95

The Monkey and the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics takes a snapshot of a moving target: the ever-shifting conversation about today's poetry. The ten essays in this collection offer reflections and insights, practical advice for craft matters, and provocative points of departure for those who read and write poetry. This series seeks to further the discussion of poetics in America and beyond, and to showcase the ideas of writers and critics with varied sensibilities. The first volume in the Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics, The Monkey & the Wrench explores the debate over hybrid aesthetics, confronts the topic of contemporary rhyme, and ventures into the realm of persona and the mystical poem. This volume is ideal for both the classroom and the nightstand, for the poet's desk and the critic's bookshelf. Series editors Mary Biddinger and John Gallaher have assembled an eclectic collection that welcomes the reader into the conversation, while documenting the seismic activity in today's poetry world.

August 8, 2012

Madness, Rack, and Honey


Madness, Rack, and Honey
By Mary Ruefle

Release Date: August 7, 2012

ISBN# 9781933517575

Over the course of 15 years, award-winning poet Mary Ruefle delivered a lecture every six months to a group of poetry graduate students. Collected here for the first time, these lectures articulate the wisdom accrued through a life dedicated entirely to poetry. Intellectually virtuosic, instructive and experiential, Madness, Rack, and Honey resists definition, demanding instead an utter—and utterly pleasurable—immersion.

July 26, 2012

On Poetry


On Poetry
by Glyn Maxwell

Oberon Press, UK (2012)
ISBN: 9781849430852
Hardcover, £12.99

On Poetry, the latest addition to the Oberon Masters series, is a collection of short essays and reflections on poetry from the acclaimed British poet Glyn Maxwell.

These essays illustrates Maxwell’s poetic philosophy, that the greatest verse arises from a harmony of mind and body, and that poetic forms originate in human necessities – breath, heartbeat, footstep, posture. He speaks of his inspirations, his models, and takes us inside the strange world of the Creative Writing Class, where four young hopefuls grapple with love, sex, cheap wine and hard work. Illustrated with examples from canonical poets, this is a beautiful and accessible guide to the most ancient and sublime of the realms of literature.

June 20, 2012

My Poets


My Poets
by Maureen N. McLane
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2012)
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374217495
288 pages, $25.00

McLane invokes in My Poets not necessarily the best poets, nor the most important poets (whoever these might be), but those writers who, in possessing her, made her. “I am marking here what most marked me,” she writes. Ranging from Chaucer to H.D. to William Carlos Williams to Louise Glück to Shelley (among others), McLane tracks the “growth of a poet’s mind,” as Wordsworth put it in The Prelude. In a poetical prose both probing and incantatory, McLane has written a radical book of experimental criticism. Susan Sontag called for an “erotics of interpretation”: this is it. Part Bildung, part dithyramb, part exegesis, My Poets extends an implicit invitation to you, dear reader, to consider who your “my poets,” or “my novelists,” or “my filmmakers,” or “my pop stars,” might be.

May 31, 2012

Talk Poetry


Talk Poetry
Poems and Interviews with Nine American Poets
by David Baker

$19.95 paper
978-1-55728-981-0

What is more direct and intimate than one-to-one conversation? Here two forces in American poetry, the Kenyon Review and the University of Arkansas Press, bring together discussions between one of America’s leading poets and editors, David Baker, and nine of the most exciting poets of our day. The poets, who represent a wide array of vocations and aesthetic positions, open up about their writing processes, their reading and education, their hopes for and discontents with the contemporary scene, and much more, treating readers to a view of the range and capacity of contemporary American poetry.

May 5, 2012

Poetry in Person


Poetry in Person
edited by Alexander Neubauer

In Alexander Neubauer's Poetry in Person, we are treated to a series of remarkable conversations that were recorded in the classroom of the legendary New School poetry teacher Pearl London, from the early 1970s through the mid-1990s - a time when a significant generation came of age in American poetry. Among the many visitors to her class (whom London asked to bring drafts of poems in progress, so that her students could learn about the nitty-gritty of creation and revision) were Lucille Clifton, Robert Pinsky, Paul Muldoon, Derek Walcott, Louise Glück, Charles Simic, and Galway Kinnell.

Knopf/Random House, 2010
Pages: 368 | ISBN: 978-0-307-26967-6