Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems


Too many amazing poems end up overlooked by the academy and excluded from the canon, remaining largely unknown to the poetry-reading public.  Joy Katz and Kevin Prufer’s Dark Horses joyfully rediscovers dozens of these poems, recognizes their power, and illuminates their significance. 


Seventy-five established American poets including Billy Collins, John Ashbery, Linda Bierds, Carl Phillips, C. K. Williams, Wanda Coleman, Miller Williams, and Dana Gioia have ...

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Too many amazing poems end up overlooked by the academy and excluded from the canon, remaining largely unknown to the poetry-reading public.  Joy Katz and Kevin Prufer’s Dark Horses joyfully rediscovers dozens of these poems, recognizes their power, and illuminates their significance. 


Seventy-five established American poets including Billy Collins, John Ashbery, Linda Bierds, Carl Phillips, C. K. Williams, Wanda Coleman, Miller Williams, and Dana Gioia have each selected one unjustly neglected poem, most never previously anthologized, and written a concise commentary to accompany it. Selections include forgotten gems by well known poets as well as poems by writers who have fallen into obscurity. Dark Horses also acts as a primer on how to creatively read a poem and a documentary of the bonds between a poem and its reader.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Poets Katz (The Garden Room) and Prufer (Fallen from a Chariot; The New Young American Poets), both editors of the journal Pleiades, asked over five dozen poets (ranging from some of America's most well-known, like Billy Collins and John Ashbery, to rising talents, like D.A. Powell and Susan Wheeler) to each pick one obscure or underappreciated poem and to write an accompanying explanation of their choice. The resulting anthology gathers a host of surprising poems-works by Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, Man Ray and Laura (Riding) Jackson all find their way here-along with passionate prose. Carol Muske-Dukes picked the tragically lush Thomas James ("...here is my new mouth,/ Chiseled with care") and Mary Jo Bang introduces a youthful Sylvia Plath ("I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead"). In one of the anthology's most moving moments, Stanley Plumly movingly revisits Elizabeth Bishop's "Poem," which he calls "more 'personal' and less 'finished' than what this inveterate writer is commonly committed to." While the curatorial process-which involves so many other people-ensures that few readers will like every poem, it also guarantees that most will find new favorites. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - James Beschta
This substantial collection is commendable on at least three levels, the most apparent being the ingenuity of its unifying element. Over 60 established poets, from Billy Collins to Bin Ramke, Molly Peacock and Carolyn Kizer, have each selected a poem that has been unduly passed over and have offered a brief justification for its inclusion in this volume. The concept of shedding light on work "overlooked by the academy and excluded from the canon" is at once intriguing and significant. The obvious result is the presentation of a wide range of neglected poems recommended by practicing experts in the field. Some of these pieces were written by obscure authors whose body of work has never been widely distributed. Others are the works of luminaries like Emily Dickinson and John Donne or more contemporary notables like Mary Oliver and Wislawa Szymborska, though the poems themselves are those seldom acknowledged or included in academic anthologies. The third striking element of this volume is the body of essays submitted in defense of individual choices. Wide-ranging, sometimes informal, sometimes analytical, usually intellectually challenging, these commentaries offer an overview of contemporary theoretical criticism and "a documentary of the bonds between a poem and its reader." Dark Horses will add insight and breadth to any well-established collection of literature and enrich those who read it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252072871
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 11/23/2005
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Joy Katz is the author of Fabulae, winner of the Crab Orchard Award in poetry. She held a Wallace Stegner fellowship in poetry, is a senior editor at Pleiades, and is a frequent contributor to Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Verse, Bomb, Fence, and Conduit. Kevin Prufer is the editor of The New Young American Poets, listed as one of the ten best poetry books of 2000 by Booklist, and of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing. He is the author of The Finger Bone, a finalist for the 2002 Laughlin Award, the new Fallen From a Chariot, and other books.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     1
A Bookshop Idyll: Recommended by Rachel Hadas     5
from The Ridge Farm: Recommended by Forrest Hamer     9
New Year's Poem: Recommended by Linda Bierds     11
Morfudd's Hair: Recommended by Pamela Alexander     13
Young Woman's Song: Recommended by Rachel Wetzsteon     15
Poem: Recommended by Stanley Plumly     18
Mirage: Recommended by John Koethe     22
Old Countryside: Recommended by Martha Collins     24
Drunken Winter: Recommended by David Lehman     26
A Trenta-Sei of the Pleasure We Take in the Early Death of Keats: Recommended by Miller Williams     28
Whatever Happened to Don Ho: Recommended by Billy Collins     31
from Like the Molave: Recommended by Nick Carbo     34
[This World is not Conclusion]: Recommended by Richard Foerster     38
[A Pit-but Heaven over it-]: Recommended by Rae Armantrout     41
Gilligan's Island: Recommended by David Trinidad     43
[Show me, dear Christ, Thy spouse, so bright and clear]: Recommended by Paul Muldoon     46
True Night: Recommended by Reginald Shepherd     48
Dark Old Men: Recommended by Wanda Coleman     52
Adulterated: Recommended by Eric Pankey     55
Birthday Cake:Recommended by Tony Hoagland     57
Guide to Marine Mammals and Sentence Structure: Recommended by Jim Daniels     60
[On your midnight pallet lying]: Recommended by J. D. McClatchy     63
White Poems: Recommended by Lynn Emanuel     67
The Fish, the Man, and the Spirit: Recommended by Albert Goldbarth     70
As Many Questions as Answers: Recommended by Bin Ramke     74
Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh XXI Dynasty: Recommended by Carol Muske-Dukes     77
Radi os: Recommended by Stephen Yenser     80
Modifications: Recommended by Denise Duhamel     83
Watching TV: Recommended by Hoa Nguyen and Dale Smith     86
Tortoise Shout: Recommended by David St. John     89
In Answer to Your Query: Recommended by Carolyn Kizer     93
The Morning After My Death: Recommended by Christopher Buckley     95
Three Moves: Recommended by Lucia Perillo     99
Aftermath: Recommended by John Hollander     102
The Garden by Moonlight: Recommended by D. A. Powell     105
Meeting Point: Recommended by Elise Paschen     107
The Landscape Is Behind the Door: Recommended by Dara Wier     111
The Trees Are Down: Recommended by Molly Peacock     115
The Drive: Recommended by Amy Gerstler      118
Cage: Recommended by Don Bogen     121
John Chapman: Recommended by R. T. Smith     124
Psalm: Recommended by Carl Phillips     128
The Hardncss Scale: Recommended by Lloyd Schwartz     131
Mad Girl's Love Song: Recommended by Mary Jo Bang     135
The Craftsmen of the Little Box: Recommended by Alan Michael Parker     138
"Blandula, Tenella, Vagula": Recommended by Susan Wheeler     140
The Moonflower: Recommended by John Ashbery     142
Epilogue: Recommended by Charles Bernstein     145
Epilogue: Recommended by Dean Young     149
Nine Poems (for the unborn child): Recommended by Marilyn Hacker     152
February: Recommended by Peter Gizzi     159
Poem: Recommended by Robert Phillips     162
Untitled Poem: Recommended by Cole Swensen     164
Heritage: Recommended by Maggie Anderson     166
Returning Birds: Recommended by Elton Glaser     168
The Chain Gang Guard: Recommended by Betty Adcock     171
Water Lilies: Recommended by Annie Finch     175
The Cat and the Sea: Recommended by Susan Ludvigson     177
The Ruiner of Lives: Recommended by C. K. Williams     180
Summer Has Come: Recommended by Fanny Howe      184
[There was a man of double deed]: Recommended by Toi Derricotte     186
Distraction: Recommended by Ann Townsend     188
Making Love to Myself: Recommended by David Wojahn     191
Time to Come: Recommended by David Baker     194
The Mock Song: Recommended by Barry Goldensohn     198
Fromereville: Recommended by Dana Gioia     200
Acknowledgments     205
Index of Titles     209
Contributors     211
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