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"Wagoner's words are a living link to the world, enacting it so vitally that they feel like natural facts."-The Seattle TimesIn his twenty-fourth book of poetry, David Wagoner reflects on youth, love, regret, and expectation versus reality. Here a master writes at top form, back-dropped by life's curious moments and imagining Jesus as an untidy roommate or considering our final destination in "Beginner's Guide to Death.""After the Point of No Return"After that moment when you've lost all reasonfor going back where you started, when going aheadis no longer a Yes or No, but a matter of fact,you'll need to weigh, on the one hand, what will seem,on the other, almost nothing against somethingslightly more than nothing and must chooseagain and again, at points of fewer and fewerchances to guess, when and which way to turn.That's when you might stop thinking about starsand storm clouds, the direction of wind,the difference between rain and snow, the time of day or the lay of the land, about which treesmean water, which birds know what you needto know before it's too late, or what's right hereunder your feet, no longer able to tell youwhere it was you thought you had to go.David Wagoner is the author of two dozen books of poetry and ten novels. A longtime teacher at University of Washington, he was the editor at Poetry Northwest. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
David Wagoner writes about regular lives with plain grace and transcendent humanity, and the seventy-five poems he has chosen for the 2009 edition of The Best American Poetry grapple with life, celebrate freedom, and teem with imaginative energy. With engaging notes from the poets, Wagoner's superb introductory essay, series editor David Lehman's astute foreword about the current state of poetry and criticism, and cover art from the beloved poet John Ashbery, The Best American Poetry 2009 is a memorable and delightful addition to a series dedicated to showcasing the work of poets at their best. ip and its generous embrace of American poetry in all its exuberant variety, the Best American Poetry series continues to be, as Robert Pinsky says, "as good a comprehensive overview of contemporary poetry as there can be."