Between the Lines: A History of Poetry in Letters, 1962-2002

Overview

In November 2002 the Chicago Tribune broke the astonishing story that Chicago-based Poetry magazine had received a bequest of more than $100 million from the amateur poet and pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly, making it at once the richest as well as the most famous literary organization in the United States. What happened before and after this remarkable gift is now revealed in Between the Lines, edited by Poetry's longtime editor Joseph Parisi and its former senior editor Stephen Young. It is a concluding ...
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Overview

In November 2002 the Chicago Tribune broke the astonishing story that Chicago-based Poetry magazine had received a bequest of more than $100 million from the amateur poet and pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly, making it at once the richest as well as the most famous literary organization in the United States. What happened before and after this remarkable gift is now revealed in Between the Lines, edited by Poetry's longtime editor Joseph Parisi and its former senior editor Stephen Young. It is a concluding episode in the book that follows on the editors' Dear Editor (2002), which chronicled Poetry's first fifty years through its poignant, hilarious, and brutally frank correspondence with its contributing poets. Dear Editor told the story of Poetry's central role in the Modernist movement and its rise to a position as the acknowledged "magazine of verse." Between the Lines carries the narrative through the second revolution in American poetry, set against the backdrop of the restive early sixties, the tumultuous era of the Vietnam War, and the social upheavals of the last four decades. Virtually all of the close to five hundred letters in the book have never been printed before. In them, famous and aspiring authors tell Poetry's editors of their artistic aspirations, rivalries, problems and successes, unvarnished opinions, and reactions to events of the day, unfolding the improbable tale of how perennially impoverished Poetry survived to make literary—and financial—history. The book is abundantly illustrated with candid photographs, drawings, posters, programs, and clippings from newspapers and magazines.
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Editorial Reviews

California Bookwatch
Fascinating reading.
Choice
These volumes present the formation of an enormously important strain of literary judgement in 20th-century American poetry.
Grand Forks Herald
A rich cultural history of the creative process.
Booklist
Poetry lovers will be thrilled with the...distinctive...poets...represented here in letters candid, shrewd, funny, and venomous.
— Donna Seaman
CHOICE
These volumes present the formation of an enormously important strain of literary judgement in 20th-century American poetry.
Kay Ryan
Reading Between the Lines is so much fun it feels wrong.
Virginian-Pilot - Beth Hester
Reading Between the Lines is a lot like dipping into your older sister's diary—you feel vaguely guilty, but the entires are so compelling you quickly get over it...this book is a particularly good read.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Poetry lovers will be thrilled with the...distinctive...poets...represented here in letters candid, shrewd, funny, and venomous.
Virginian-Pilot
Reading Between the Lines is a lot like dipping into your older sister's diary—you feel vaguely guilty, but the entires are so compelling you quickly get over it...this book is a particularly good read.
— Beth Hester
California Bookwatch
...fascinating reading.
Choice
These volumes present the formation of an enormously important strain of literary judgement in 20th-century American poetry.
Georgia Review
. . . the range of epistolary tones and timbres, moods and manias here is deep, broad, and well-nigh bewildering.
—Fred Chappell
Library Journal
These letters to the editors of Poetry magazine show the history of Poetry to be as exciting and tumultuous as the times in which the letters were written. Virtually every prominent American poet-and some from England and Ireland-from the last half of the 20th century wrote to Poetry to submit their poems, put in a good word for friends, or excoriate their enemies. Parisi, the magazine's former editor, and Young (program director, Poetry Fdn.), its former senior editor, have compiled more than 500 of these letters and illustrated them with photographs, drawings, posters, programs, and newspaper and magazine clippings. Money is a recurring theme-the magazine was never financially stable, and the poets (being poets) were always broke. When Poetry finally received a whopping $100 million endowment, lively debate ensued as to whether it deserved such a contribution and what its collaborators should do with the money. This is a continuation of the saga of Poetry magazine begun in Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters, The First Fifty Years: 1912-1962, also edited by Parisi and Young. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Amy K. Weiss, Univ. of California Lib., Santa Barbara Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566636568
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Parisi was chief editor of Poetry for twenty years; Stephen Young, former senior editor of Poetry, is program director of the Poetry Foundation. They have also edited The Poetry Anthology and Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters: The First Fifty Years, 1912-1962, and Mr. Parisi has edited 100 Essential Modern Poems. Both live in Chicago.
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Table of Contents

Ch. I Outrageous fortune 3
Ch. II The lyre and lucre : Poetry's first fifty years 15
Ch. III A second poetry renaissance (Henry Rago, 1962-1966) 33
Ch. IV The late sixties : protests and poets (1967-1968) 79
Ch. V Transition and contention (Daryl Hine, 1968-1972) 106
Ch. VI The seventies (1972-1977) 144
Ch. VII John Frederick Nims Redux (1978-1980) 179
Ch. VIII The early eighties (1981-1983) 217
Ch. IX Expanding in the eighties (Joseph Parisi, 1983-1989) 246
Ch. X New ventures in the nineties (1990-1996) 288
Ch. XI Fin de siecle (1997-2002) 332
Ch. XII The aftermath 376
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