Join series editor David Lehman as he introduces an all-star line up of the following contributors to this year's volume, chosen by guest editor David Wagoner: John Ashbery, Mark Bibbins, Suzanne Cleary, Billy Collins, Jim Cummins, Mark Doty, Margaret Gibson, Douglas Goetsch, Michael Grabell, Dolores Hayden, Jennifer Michael Hecht readingSarah Hannah's "The Safe House," Richard Howard, Tina Kelley, Philip Levine, Phillis Levin, Susan Blackwell Ramsay, James Richardson, Martha Silano, Mitch Sisskind, Craig Morgan Teicher, and Matthew Zapruder.
Here's what Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker has to say: Lehman’s particular theme this year is the state of poetry criticism, and he doesn’t hold back: “Poetry criticism at its worst today,” Lehman asserts, “is mean in spirit and spiteful in intent,” and he goes on from there to apply an especially vigorous flogging to the critic William Logan . . . Read all of Tucker's review here.
This from Publishers Weekly (starred review): * From the moment series editor David Lehman invokes the myth of Jacob wrestling the Angel in his introduction, the gloves are off in this year's installment of this popular annual anthology. Lehman devotes much of his introduction to throwing jabs at longtime sparring partner and professional poetry grump William Logan,whom Lehman calls “wounded” and “thin skinned.” Guest editor Wagoner chooses to abstain from the scuffle, but there's no denying the
aesthetic character amassed by the poems he's selected: American poets not only want to talk about their country this year, they want to talk violence in (and toward) their country. “They came to blow up America,” writes John Ashbery, followed hard on his heels by Mark Bibbins, who warns our fifth state, “Connecticut! we're sawing you in half.” Denise Duhamel envisions “How It Will End” (“We look around, but no one is watching us”) and Rob Cook, in his bold and incantatory “Song of America,” tells us, “I'm raising my child to drown and drop dead and to carry buildings on his back.” It appears our poets are at last ready to confront the hysteria and violence of the past eight years, and who can say there's a better year than 2009 to begin. (Sept.)
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