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School Library Journal
Huff (The Revolutionary War Era), Burt Kimmelman (English, New Jersey Inst. of Technology), and poet Temple Cone (Considerations of Earth and Sky) have compiled a current and comprehensive reference source on American poetry that features over 1100 entries ranging in length from 500 to more than 3500 words. Volume 1, with entries written by Huff, covers poems and poets from the early Colonial era to the 19th century. Volume 2, a revised and updated edition of The Facts On File Companion to 20th-Century American Poetry(2005), is edited by Kimmelman and Cone and written by over 260 contributors; it reflects the diverse poetic schools and movements of a more complex and dynamic literary epoch. Volume 1 includes members of the literary pantheon such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson and represents literary schools ranging from Quaker poetry to poetry in translation. Poetry aficionados at the cusp of adulthood will appreciate Volume 2 more: it includes the pathos of Sylvia Plath's poetry, the Roman Catholic/Buddhist-influenced Beat works of Jack Kerouac, plus the imagist school, objectivist poetry, and the New York school. The literary method used in both volumes follows the new criticism school of the mid-20th century, a pedagogical style in keeping with current high school and first-year university teaching of English literature. In Volume 1, biographical entries are accompanied by bibliographies, though this literary aid is not available for literary works, whereas bibliographies are available for all entries in Volume 2.
—Kam W. Teo
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