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Edited by poets about poets, Contemporary American Poetry is a chronologically organized anthology covering major poets born after 1920.
Howard Nemerov (b. March 1, 1920, d. July 5, 1991).
History of a Literary Movement.
A Primer of the Daily Round.
The Fourth of July.
The Human Condition.
Charles Bukowski (b. August 16, 1920, d. March 9. 1994).
question and answer.
young in new orleans.
the great escape.
Amy Clampitt (b. June 15, 1920, d. September 10, 1994).
What the Light was Like.
Nothing Stays Put.
Hayden Carruth (b. August 3, 1921).
Woodsmoke at 70.
Richard Wilbur (b. March 1, 1921).
A Simile for her Smile.
Love Calls Us to the Things of the World.
Advice to a Prophet.
Mona Van Duyn (b. May 9, 1921).
Letters from a Father.
Frederick Morgan (b. April 25, 1922).
James Dickey (b. February 2, 1923, d. January 19, 1997).
The Heaven of Animals.
Anthony Hecht (b. January 16, 1923).
The Dover Bitch.
“More Light! More Light!”
Third Avenue in Sunlight.
The Feast of Stephen.
The Book of Yolek.
Alan Dugan (b. February 12, 1923).
On a Seven-Day Diary.
Love Song: I and Thou.
Closing Time at 2nd Ave. Deli.
Daniel Hoffman (b. April 3, 1923).
Richard Hugo (1923).
Degrees of Gray in Phillipsburg.
Bay of Recovery.
Denise Levertov (b. October 24, 1923, d. December 20, 1999).
What Were They Like?
Song for Ishtar.
Louis Simpson (b. March 27, 1923).
My Father in the Night Commanding No.
To the Western World.
Edgar Bowers (b. March 2, 1924, d. February 4, 2000).
For Louis Pasteur.
A Fragment: The Cause.
Edward Field (b. June 7, 1924).
Bride of Frankenstein.
The Dog Sitters.
John Haines (b. June 29. 1924).
Life in an Ashtray.
Gerald Stern (b. February 22, 1925).
Behaving Like a Jew.
The Sounds of Wagner.
Maxine Kumin (b. June 6, 1925).
At the End of the Affair.
Noted in the New York Times.
Donald Justice (b. August 12, 1925).
Counting the Mad.
Men at Forty.
But That Is Another Story.
American Scenes (1904-1905).
Carolyn Kizer (b. December 10, 1925).
The Ungrateful Garden.
From “Pro Femina,” Three.
On a Line from Sophocles.
W. D. Snodgrass (b. January 5, 1926).
After Experience Taught Me.
A. R. Ammons (b. February 18, 1926, d. February 25, 2001).
First Carolina Said-Song.
The Foot Washing.
So I Said I Am Ezra.
Robert Bly (b. December 23, 1926).
After Drinking All Night With a Friend, We Go Out in a Boat at Dawn to See Who Can Write the Best Poem.
Where We Must Look For Help.
For my son Noah, 10 Years Old.
James Merrill (b. March 3, 1926, d. February 6, 1995).
Charles on Fire.
The Broken Home.
Days of 1964.
Robert Creeley (b. May 21, 1926).
I Know a Man.
Stomping With Catullus.
Allen Ginsberg (b. June 3, 1926, d. April 5, 1997).
A Supermarket in California .
From Howl, I.
Frank O'Hara (b. June 27, 1926, d. July 25, 1966).
Why I Am Not a Painter.
The Day Lady Died.
John Ashbery (b. July 28, 1927).
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape.
Daffy Duck in Hollywood.
The Other Tradition.
Paradoxes and Oxymorons.
Galway Kinnell (February 1, 1927).
After Making Love We Hear Footsteps.
Little Sleep's Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight.
Saint Francis and the Sow.
W. S. Merwin (b. September 30. 1927).
The Drunk in the Furnace.
For the Anniversary of My Death.
The Last One.
The Judgement of Paris.
James Wright (b. December 13, 1927, d. March 25, 1980).
A Note Left in Jimmy Leonard's Shack.
Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio.
Two Poems About President Harding.
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.
Donald Hall (b. September 20, 1928).
The Young Watch Us.
To a Waterfowl.
Names of Horses.
Philip Levine (b. January 10, 1928).
Animals are Passing From Our Lives.
They Feed They Lion.
What Work Is.
Anne Sexton (b. November 9, 1928, d. October 4, 1974).
Unknown Girl in the Maternity Ward.
All my Pretty Ones.
The Truth the Dead Know.
In Celebration of my Uterus.
Adrienne Rich (b. May 16, 1929).
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers.
Living in Sin.
Diving into the Wreck.
From “An Atlas of the Difficult World,” XIII (Dedications).
X. J. Kennedy (b. August 21, 1929).
In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day.
September Twelfth, 2001.
Thom Gunn (b. August 29, 1929).
In the Tank.
From the Wave.
Gregory Corso (b. March 26, 1930, d. January 17, 2001).
Miller Williams (b. April 8, 1930).
Let Me Tell You.
Folding his USA Today.
He Makes His Point in the Blue Star Café.
Gary Snyder (b. May 8, 1930).
Hay For the Horses.
Rhina Espaillat (b. January 20, 1932).
Linda Pastan (b. May 27, 1932).
Sylvia Plath (b. October 27, 1932, d. February 11, 1963).
The Moon and the Yew Tree.
Gerald Barrax (b. June 21, 1933).
Strangers like Us: Pittsburgh, Raleigh, 1945-1985.
Pittsburgh, 1948: The Music Teacher.
Mark Strand (b. April 11, 1934).
Keeping Things Whole.
The Great Poet Returns.
Robert Mezey (b. February 28, 1935).
Russell Edson (b. April 9. 1935).
When the Ceiling Cries.
An Old Man in Love.
Mary Oliver (b. September 10, 1935).
The Black Snake.
University Hospital, Boston.
The Buddha's Last Instruction.
Fred Chappell (b. May 28, 1936).
Narcissus and Echo.
My Grandmother Washes Her Feet.
Ave Atque Vale.
Nancy Willard (b. June 26, 1936).
A Humane Society.
How to Stuff a Pepper.
A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God.
Lucille Clifton (b. June 27, 1936).
homage to my hips.
wishes for sons.
Susan Howe (b. June 10, 1937).
Closed Fist Withholding an Open Palm.
C. K. Williams (b. November 4, 1936).
Robert Phillips (b. February 2, 1938).
Running on Empty.
The Stone Crab: A Love Poem.
Charles Simic (b. May 9, 1938).
“I was stolen by the gypsies...”
Betty Adcock (b. September 16, 1938).
Digression on the Nuclear Age.
To a Young Feminist Who Wants to Be Free.
Jared Carter (b. January 10, 1939).
Drawing the Antique.
The Purpose of Poetry.
Ted Kooser (b. April 25, 1939).
Selecting a Reader.
The Tattooed Lady.
Stephen Dunn (b. June 24, 1939).
A Secret Life.
The Sexual Revolution.
Tom Disch (b. February 2, 1940).
Ballade of the New God.
The Rapist's Villanelle.
Pattiann Rogers (b. March 23, 1940).
Discovering Your Subject.
Robert Pinsky (b. October 20, 1940).
The Want Bone.
Peter Makuck (b. October 26, 1940).
Robert Hass (b. March 1, 1941).
Meditation at Lagunitas.
A Story About the Body.
Billy Collins (b. March 22, 1941).
Gibbons Ruark (b. December 10, 1941).
Lecturing My Daughters.
Charles Martin (b. June 25, 1942).
How My Queer Uncle Died at Last.
Henry Taylor (b. June 21, 1942).
William Matthews (b. November 11, 1942, d. November 12, 1997).
The Search Party.
Sharon Olds (b. November 19, 1942).
The One Girl at the Boys Party.
I Go Back to May 1937.
Marilyn Hacker (b. November 27, 1942).
Ghazal on Half a Line by Adrienne Rich.
Sydney Lea (b. December 22, 1942).
Louise Gluck (b. April 22, 1943).
Ellen Bryant Voigt (b. May 9, 1943).
Michael Palmer (b. May 11, 1943).
Voice and Address.
[A word is coming up on the screen...]
Untitled [O you in that little bark...]
James Tate (b. December 8, 1943).
The Blue Booby.
The Lost Pilot.
Teaching the Ape to Write Poems.
Shirley Geok-Lin Lim (b. December 27, 1944).
Pantoum for Chinese Women.
Riding into California.
Robert Morgan (b. October 3, 1944).
Finding an Old Newspaper in the Woods.
Dick Davis (b. April 8, 1945).
Farewell to the Mentors.
Duchy and Shinks.
A Monorhyme for the Shower.
Kay Ryan (b. September 11, 1945).
Drops in the Bucket.
B.H. Fairchild (b. October 17, 1945).
A Photograph of the Titanic.
Leon Stokesbury (b. December 5, 1945).
To His Book.
The Day Kennedy Died.
The Composition of “The Eve of St. Agnes” Followed in Mid-April by “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.”
Marilyn Nelson (b. April 26, 1946).
The Ballad of Aunt Geneva.
Molly Peacock (b. June 30, 1947).
Why I am not a Buddhist.
A Favor of Love.
Ai (b. October 21, 1947).
She Didn't Even Wave.
Yusef Komunyakaa (b. April 29, 1947).
My Father's Love Letters.
Ode to the Maggot.
Jim Hall (b. July 4, 1947).
Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem Too.
Amy Uyematsu (October 18, 1947).
Lessons from Central America.
Timothy Steele (b. January 22, 1948).
Sapphics Against Anger.
From “Short Subjects,” Social Reform.
Albert Goldbarth (b. January 31, 1948).
Dog, Fish, Shoes (or Beans).
Thomas Lux (b. December 10, 1948).
Graveyard by the Sea.
Wendy Rose (b. May 7, 1948).
Lynn Emanuel (b. March 14, 1949).
Frying Trout While Drunk.
Outside Room Six.
David St. John (b. July 24, 1949).
Los Angeles, 1954.
My Tea with Madame Descartes.
Sarah Cortez (b. February 11, 1950).
Rosie Working Plain Clothes.
How to Undress a Cop.
Rodney Jones (b. February 11, 1950).
Winter Retreat: Homage to Martin Luther King, Jr.
On the Bearing of Waitresses.
Carolyn Forché (b. April 28, 1950).
Strangers on a Train.
Chase Twichell (b. August 20, 1950).
From The Ghost of Eden:
XVIII. The City in the Lilac.
VII. Car Alarm.
XXI. Corporate Geese.
Jorie Graham (b. May 9, 1950).
I Watched a Snake.
Two Paintings by Gustav Klimt.
At Luca Signorelli's Resurrection of the Body.
Emily Grosholz (October 17, 1950).
Letter from Germany.
Mekeel McBride (b. July 3, 1950).
If That Boaty Pink Cadillac from 1959 With The Huge Fins.
Timothy Murphy (b. January 10, 1950).
The Track of a Storm.
Dana Gioia (b. December 24, 1950).
Planting a Sequoia.
The Next Poem.
Elegy with Surrealist Proverbs as a Refrain.
Joy Harjo (b. May 9, 1951).
She Had Some Horses.
Song for the Deer and Myself to Return On.
Naomi Shihab Nye (b. March 12, 1952).
The Traveling Onion.
Andrew Hudgins (b. April 22, 1951).
Air View of an Industrial Scene.
From “Saints and Strangers,” Where the River Jordan Ends.
Heat Lightening During Drought.
Judith Ortiz Cofer (b. February 24, 1952).
The Lesson of the Teeth.
The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica.
Mark Jarman (b. June 5, 1952).
Rita Dove (b. August 28, 1952).
Brad Leithauser (b. February 27, 1952).
A Quiled Quilt, A Needle Bed.
The Odd Last Thing She Did.
Alberto Ríos (b. September 18, 1952).
The Purpose of Altar Boys.
Harryette Mullen (b. ? 1953).
Julia Alvarez (b. March 27, 1953).
How I Learned to Sweep.
Mark Doty (b. August 10, 1953).
Gjertrud Schnackenberg (b. August 27, 1953).
Kim Addonizio (b. July 31, 1954).
First Poem for You.
Michael Donaghy (b. May 24, 1954).
Black Ice and Rain.
Mary Jo Salter (b. August 15, 1954).
Welcome to Hiroshima.
David Mason (b. December 11, 1954).
Song of the Powers.
Ginger Andrews (b. May 16, 1956).
Primping in the Rearview mirror.
H. L. Hix (b. November 24, 1960).
Selections from “Orders of Magnitude”: 46, 48 and 83.
Denise Duhamel (b. June 13, 1961).
Catherine Tufariello (b. April 9, 1963).
Greg Williamson (b. June 26, 1964).
Kites at the Washington Monument.
Raphael Campo (b. November 24, 1964).
Christian Wiman (b. August 31, 1966).
Diane Thiel (b. May 9, 1967).
Memento Mori in Middle School.
Suji Kwock Kim (b. ? 1968).
A. E. Stallings (b. July 2, 1968).
Hades Welcomes His Bride.
Wilmer Mills (b. October 1, 1969).
Morrie Creech (b. September 15, 1970).
Beth Ann Fennelly (b. May 22, 1971).
Asked for a Happy Memory of her Father, She Recalls Wrigley Field.
Appendix 1: Literary Movements.
Appendix 2: Major Prizes.
Index of Critical Terms.
Index of Poets, Titles, and First Lines.