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"Poetry encourages us to have dialogue through the observed, the felt, and the imaginary," writes editor Yusef Komunyakaa in his thought-provoking introduction to The Best American Poetry 2003. As a black child of the American South and a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Komunyakaa brings his singular vision to this outstanding volume. Included here is a diverse mix of senior masters, crowd-pleasing bards, rising stars, and the fresh voices of an emerging generation. With comments from the poets elucidating their work and series editor David Lehman's eloquent foreword assessing the state of the art, The Best American Poetry 2003 is a must-have for readers of contemporary poetry. Jonathan Aaron Beth Anderson Nin Andrews Wendell Berry Frank Bidart Diann Blakely Bruce Bond Catherine Bowman Rosemary Catacalos Joshua Clover Billy Collins Michael S. Collins Carl Dennis Susan Dickman Rita Dove Stephen Dunn Stuart Dybek Charles Fort James Galvin Amy Gerstler Louise GlÜck Michael Goldman Ray Gonzalez Linda Gregg Mark Halliday Michael S. Harper Matthea Harvey George Higgins Edward Hirsch Tony Hoagland Richard Howard Rodney Jones Joy Katz Brigit Pegeen Kelly Galway Kinnell Carolyn Kizer Jennifer L. Knox Kenneth Koch John Koethe Ted Kooser Philip Levine J. D. McClatchy W. S. Merwin Heather Moss Stanley Moss Paul Muldoon Peggy Munson Marilyn Nelson Daniel Nester Naomi Shihab Nye Ishle Yi Park Robert Pinsky Kevin Prufer Ed Roberson Vijay Seshadri Alan Shapiro Myra Shapiro Bruce Smith Charlie Smith Maura Stanton Ruth Stone James Tate William Tremblay Natasha Trethewey David Wagoner Ronald Wallace Lewis Warsh Susan Wheeler Richard Wilbur C. K. Williams Terence Winch David Wojahn Robert Wrigley Anna Ziegler Ahmos Zu-Bolton II
Beginning with "Canticle," this varied new collection often returns to the idea of poem as hymn, ethereal and haunting, as Komunyakaa reveals glimpses of memory, myth, and violence. With contemplations that spring up along walks or memories conjured by the rhythms of New York, Komunyakaa pays tribute more than ever before to those who came before him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Yusef Komunyakaa is a professor in the Council of Humanities and Creative Writing at Princeton University. He is the author of five Wesleyan titles including the Pulitzer-winning Neon Vernacular (1993), which also won the Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award from the Claremont Graduate School, Thieves of Paradise (1998), Magic City (1992), and Dien Cai Dau (1988). In 1991 he won the Thomas Forcade Award, in 1993 he was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry, and in 1997 he was awarded the Hanes Poetry Prize.
Best known for Neon Vernacular, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1994, and for Dien Cai Dau, a collection of poems chronicling his experiences as a journalist in Vietnam, Yusef Komunyakaa has become one of America's most compelling poets. Pleasure Dome gathers the poems in these two distinguished books and five others--over two and a half decades of Komunyakaa's work. In addition, Pleasure Dome includes 25 early, uncollected poems and a rich selection of 18 new poems.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa is well known for his jazz poetry, and this book is the first to bring together the verve and vitality of his oeuvre. The centerpiece of this volume is the libretto "Testimony." Paying homage to Charlie Parker, "Testimony" was commissioned for a radio drama with original music by eminent Australian composer and saxophonist Sandy Evans. Remarkably rich and evocative, encompassing a wide range of musical energy and performers, this moving affirmation of Parker's genius became a milestone in contemporary radio theater. Twenty-eight additional poems spanning the breadth of Komunyakaa's career are included, including two never previously published. Accompanying the poems are interviews and essays featuring Komunyakaa, Evans, radio producer Christopher Williams, jazz critic Miriam Zolin, jazz writer and editor Sascha Feinstein, and musical director, Paul Grabowsky. Sascha Feinstein writes the foreword. Check for the online reader's companion at testimony.site.wesleyan.edu. (This edition does not include any audio.)
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