A latest annual anthology complements top-selected American poems of the year with poet notes about their creative processes.
the best american poetry 2014
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The premier anthology of contemporary American poetry continues with an exceptional volume edited by award-winning novelist and poet Sherman Alexie, now with a new essay by Alexie on reactions to the 2015 publication. Since its debut in 1988, The Best American Poetry has become a mainstay for the direction and spirit of American poetry. Each volume in the series presents the year’s most extraordinary new poems and writers. Guest editor Sherman Alexie’s picks for The Best American Poetry 2015 highlight the depth and breadth of the American experience. Culled from electronic and print journals, the poems showcase some of our leading luminaries—Amy Gerstler, Terrance Hayes, Ron Padgett, Jane Hirshfield—and introduce a number of outstanding younger poets taking their place in the limelight. A leading figure since his breakout poetry collection The Business of Fancydancing in 1992, Sherman Alexie won the National Book Award for his novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. He describes himself as “lucky enough to be a full-time writer” and has written short stories, novels, screenplays, and essays—but he is at his core a poet. As always, series editor David Lehman’s foreword assessing the state of the art kicks off the book, followed by an introductory essay in which Alexie discusses his selections. The Best American Poetry 2015 is a guide to who’s who and what’s happening in American poetry today.
Celebrating thirty years, the 2018 edition of the Best American Poetry—“a ‘best’ anthology that really lives up to its title” (Chicago Tribune)—collects the most significant poems of the year, chosen by Poet Laureate of California Dana Gioia. In a review of Best American Poetry 2017, The Washington Post said, “The poems, ordered alphabetically by author, have a wonderful cohesion and flow, as if each contributes to a larger narrative about life today.” The guest editor for 2018, Dana Gioia, has an unconventional poetic background. Gioia has published five volumes of poetry, served as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and currently sits as the Poet Laureate of California, but he is also a graduate of Stanford Business School and was once a Vice President at General Foods. He has studied opera and is a published librettist, in addition to his prolific work in critical essay writing and editing literary anthologies. Having lived several lives, Gioia brings an insightful, varied, eclectic eye to this year’s Best American Poetry. With his classic essay “Can Poetry Matter?”, originally run in The Atlantic in 1991, Gioia considered whether there is a place for poetry to be a part of modern American mainstream culture. Decades later, the debate continues, but Best American Poetry 2018 stands as evidence that poetry is very much present, relevant, and finding new readers.
An anthology of contemporary poets presents works that reflect the diversity in American poetry
Our annual anthology of finalists and winners of the National Magazine Awards 2014 includes Max Chafkin's oral history of Apple from Fast Company, Joshua Davis's intimate portrait of tech pioneer John McAfee's personal and public breakdown from Wired; Kyle Dickman's haunting investigation into the preventable death of nineteen firemen battling an Arizona wildfire; and Ariel Levy's emotional account of extreme travel to a remote land—while pregnant—from The New Yorker. Other essays include Wright Thompson's bittersweet profile of Michael Jordan's fifty-something second act (ESPN the Magazine); Jean M. Twenge's revealing look at fertility myths and baby politics (The Atlantic); Janet Reitman's controversial study of the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Rolling Stone); Luke Mogelson's harrowing experience accompanying asylum seekers on a potentially deadly sea voyage to Australia (New York Times Magazine); Lisa Miller's poignant report from Newtown, Connecticut, as the town tries to cope with the aftermath of one of the nation's worst mass shootings (New York); Emily Nussbaum's critiques of gender and politics on television (The New Yorker); and Witold Rybczynski's poetic engagement with modern architecture (Architect). The collection concludes with the award-winning poem "Elegies" by Kathleen Ossip (Poetry) and "The Embassy of Cambodia," a short story by Zadie Smith (The New Yorker).
The Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The Twentieth Century contains over 400 entries that treat a broad range of individual poets and poems, along with many articles devoted to topics, schools, or periods of American verse in the century. Entries fall into three main categories: poet entries, which provide biographical and cultural contexts for the author's career; entries on individual works, which offer closer explication of the most resonant poems in the 20th-century canon; and topical entries, which offer analyses of a given period of literary production, school, thematically constructed category, or other verse tradition that historically has been in dialogue with the poetry of the United States.
Winner, 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, poetry category Winner, 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize Finalist, 2015 National Book Award, poetry category Finalist, 2015 NAACP Image Awards, poetry category Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a sustained meditation on that which goes away—loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it—that tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.
The acclaimed annual, The Best American Poetry, is the most prestigious showcase of new poetry in the United States and Canada. Each year since the series began in 1988, David Lehman has contributed a foreword, and this has evolved into a sort of state-of-the-art address that surveys new developments and explores various matters facing poets and their readers today. This book collects all twenty-nine forewords (including the two written for the retrospective “Best of the Best” volumes for the tenth and twenty-fifth anniversaries.) Beginning with a new introduction by Lehman and a foreword by poet Denise Duhamel (guest editor for The Best American Poetry 2013), the collection conveys a sense of American poetry in the making, year by year, over the course of a quarter of a century.
On the 50th anniversary of Ted Berrigan's and the 25th anniversary of Bernadette Mayer's, Bloof Books is thrilled to publish THE SONNETS by Sandra Simonds. As Simonds has written, "There's no consensus on how to do it. Does it have to have a traditional rhyme scheme? Does it need to be written in iambic pentameter? Does it have to be about unrequited love? Does it even need to be fourteen lines? Ask twenty poets these questions, and you'll get two-hundred answers. And simply calling a sonnet a sonnet doesn't really make it a sonnet." THE SONNETS is this poet's exploration of the tradition, as well her testing of the (probably apocryphal) remark made by William Carlos Williams that it's a "fascist form." As for the classic theme of love: "It's easy for me to fool myself into thinking that I'm in love so sometimes I get all tangled up in love triangles, squares and octagons," Simonds explains. "Maybe it's a poet's disease.... In real life relationships people are always vying for power but in the sonnet, it's the poet and the sonnet that are in a struggle to the death. The problem is that the poet is at a huge disadvantage because the sonnet has the history OF THE SONNET on its side and almost always wins." Each of the sonnets here indeed has fourteen lines (and each section fourteen sonnets). Some of the poems rhyme. Most do talk of love, as it burgeons and fades. But as always with Simonds's work, the reader should come to THE SONNETS expecting to be upended. Sandra Simonds is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2008) and Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012). Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2014, the American Poetry Review, Fence, Poetry, and other journals.