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Since its inception in 1988, "The Best American Poetry" series has achieved brand-name status in the literary world as the preeminent showcase of each year's most important contributions to American poetry. Arriving at a time when, as series editor David Lehman writes in his foreword, "the hunger for poetry and the need for elegy" is great, this year's volume demonstrates poetry's astonishing vitality, its ability to move and inspire us in a way no other medium can. As do the previous volumes in this esteemed series, "The Best American Poetry 2002" spotlights the work of today's most innovative and talented poets. The pleasure of the poems selected here, editor Robert Creeley explains in his introduction, is "that they caught my fancy, some almost outrageously, some by their quiet, nearly diffident manner, some by unexpected turns of thought or insight, others by a confident authority and intent." Reflecting Creeley's standing as a figure revered across the wide spectrum of American poetry, this exceptional anthology features a diverse mix of established masters such as Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and Charles Wright; rising stars like Anne Carson, Carl Phillips, and Rae Armantrout; and the leading lights of a younger generation, such as Anselm Berrigan, Jenny Boully, and Maggie Nelson. With comments from the poets elucidating their work, a thought-provoking introduction from Creeley, and Lehman's always popular foreword assessing the current state of poetry, "The Best American Poetry 2002" will prove as irresistible to new readers as it is indispensable for poetry fans everywhere.
Taste the book: "Some Place I resolved it, I found in my life a center and secured it. It is the house, trees beyond, a term of view encasing it. The weather reaches only as some wind, a little deadened sighing. And if the life weren't? when was something to happen, had I secured that-had I, had I, insistent. There is nothing I am, nothing not. A place between, I am. I am more than thought, less than thought. A house with winds, but a distance -something loose in the wind, feeling weather as that life, walks toward the lights he left. "... 3 You did it, and didn't want to, and it was simple. You were not involved, even if your head was cut off, or each finger twisted from its shape until it broke, and you screamed too with the other, in pleasure. Face me, in the dark, my face. See me. It is the cry I hear all my life, my own voice, my eye locked in self sight, not the world what ever it is but the close breathing beside me I reach out for, feel as warmth in my hands then returned. The rage is what I want, what I cannot give to myself, of myself, in the world. 5 After, what is it-as if the sun had been wrong to return, again. It was another life, a day, some time gone, it was done. But also the pleasure, the opening relief even in what was so hated."
This definitive collection showcases thirty years of work by one of the most significant American poets of the twentieth century, bringing together verse that originally appeared in eight acclaimed books of poetry ranging from Hello: A Journal (1978) to Life & Death (1998) and If I were writing this (2003). Robert Creeley, who was involved with the publication of this volume before his death in 2005, helped define an emerging counter-tradition to the prevailing literary establishment--the new postwar poetry originating with Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky and expanding through the lives and works of Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, and others. The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005 will stand together with The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2000 as essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century American poetry.
"At its concentrated best, the sting of this poetry is indelible. Formally the poems are miniatures... but there is nothing of the miniature in the power that they release. . . . Theirs is the compression of the lyric epigram, taut, hard, constrained, graven upon the page." -Dudley Fitts, Saturday Review
Robert Creeley is one of the most celebrated and influential American poets. A stylist of the highest order, Creeley imbued his correspondence with the literary artistry he brought to his poetry. Through his engagements with mentors such as William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound, peers such as Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac, and mentees such as Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Ed Dorn, Susan Howe, and Tom Raworth, Creeley helped forge a new poetry that re-imagined writing for his and subsequent generations. This first-ever volume of his letters, written between 1945 and 2005, document the life, work, and times of one of our greatest writers, and represent a critical archive of the development of contemporary American poetry, as well as the changing nature of letter-writing and communication in the digital era.
Denise Levertov's Selected Poems delivers in a single accessible volume "one of the essential poets of our time" (Poetry Flash). Culled from two dozen poetry books, and drawing from six decades of her writing life, The Selected Poems of Denise Levertov offers a chronological overview of her great body of work. It is splendid and impressive to have at last a clear, unobstructed view of her ground-breaking poetry--the work of a poet who, as Kenneth Rexroth put it, "more than anyone, led the redirection of American poetry...to the mainstream of world literature." Described by Publishers Weekly as "at once as intimate as Creeley and as visionary as Duncan," Levertov was lauded as "one of the indispensable poets of our language, one of those few writers to whom it is necessary to pay attention" by The Malahat Review. No poet is more overdue for a single accessible volume; no career could be better to have within easy reach.
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