Hammer and Blaze: A Gathering of Contemporary American Poets


Hammer and Blaze provides a true cross-section of the best contemporary poets writing in North America today. Editors Ellen Bryant Voigt and Heather McHugh have brought together the work of sixty poets who have taught at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, one of the most respected and influential writing programs of its kind.
The stellar group of contributors includes MacArthur fellows Campbell McGrath, Anne Carson, Edward Hirsch, Eleanor Wilner, Susan Stewart, and Lucia...
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Hammer and Blaze provides a true cross-section of the best contemporary poets writing in North America today. Editors Ellen Bryant Voigt and Heather McHugh have brought together the work of sixty poets who have taught at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, one of the most respected and influential writing programs of its kind.
The stellar group of contributors includes MacArthur fellows Campbell McGrath, Anne Carson, Edward Hirsch, Eleanor Wilner, Susan Stewart, and Lucia Perillo. Also represented here are works by Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Dunn and Louise Glück; Ruth Lilly Prize winner Carl Dennis; and Robert Wrigley, Thomas Lux, and B. H. Fairchild, winners of the Kingsley Tufts Award. From the couplets of Pablo Medina to the neoclassical lyricisms of Carl Phillips, this anthology appropriately reflects the cross-cultural nature of contemporary North American poetry with its most diverse and prestigious voices. A number of the poems are previously unpublished, including work by Joan Aleshire, Stuart Dischell, Stephen Dobyns, Stephen Dunn, Roland Flint, Carol Frost, Barbara Greenberg, Edward Hirsch, Pablo Medina, Steve Orlen, Gregory Orr, Kathleen Peirce, Kenneth Rosen, Daniel Tobin, Alan Williamson, and Eleanor Wilner.
Hammer and Blaze, a gathering of our best poets, should garner attention from the literary world at large as well as from students of contemporary poetry and creative writing.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Edward Hirsch, Thomas Lux, Louise Gl ck and Stephen Dobyns are some of the bards showcased in Hammer and Blaze: A Gathering of Contemporary American Poets. The volume gathers work by poets who have taught at the Warren Wilson MFA Program, including editors Ellen Bryant Voigt (Kyrie) and Heather McHugh (The Father of the Predicaments). A range of styles is reflected, from Carl Phillips's neoclassical lyrics to Campbell McGrath's "Because This Is Florida": "Because this is Florida, we can be what we choose to be,/ say, Dixie-fried Cubano rednecks. It's that kind of place./ When the heavy metal band plays `Rocky Top, Tennessee'...." (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

"This collection brings together some of the finest poetry of the last two decades."--Sue E. Budin

"Hammer and Blaze is a fine introduction to one segment of today's literary community."--Judith Kitchen, Georgia Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820324166
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Bryant Voigt has published seven collections of poetry, and is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Messenger  (2007) was awarded the Poets’ Prize and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for poetry. She is the founder of the first low-residency graduate program for writers and her honors include the O.B. Hardison, Jr. Award for Poetry and Teaching, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund fellowship. Heather McHugh is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the University of Washington, Seattle, and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Among her works are The Father of the Predicaments, Broken English: Poetry and Partiality, and a translation of Euripides' Cyclops.
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Table of Contents

In a Trunk Not Looked into for Twenty Years 1
South Woods in October, with the Spiders of Memory 3
Cycladic Figure 4
Renovated Zoo, Now Called Habitat 5
To Charlotte Bronte 7
Slipping 8
Persephone 9
Full Flower Moon 10
Up To 11
Wide-Eyed Look 12
"Some Vision of the World Cashmere" 13
The Last Saffron 14
Ghazal 16
After the Auction of My Grandmother's Farm 18
Chequamegon 19
Chronic Town 20
Imaginary 21
Carpathian Frontier 22
River 23
Praying with George Herbert in Late Winter 24
Reading Frank O'Hara in the Hospital 26
Evening Song 27
Benton's Clouds 28
Ohio Fields after Rain 30
Treatise on Touch 31
Bad Cello 34
I Imagine the Mortician 35
Bones Not of This Puny World 36
Lament 39
Dreampoem 3 41
Dreampoem 4 42
Dreampoem 6 42
Dreampoem 7 43
Dreampoem 8 44
Dreampoem 10 45
My Religion 47
Flexion of God 48
God's Name 50
The Wolf God 51
God's Ardor 52
Argos 53
Brave Sparrow 54
My Crucifixion 56
The Barber 57
Bardo 58
The Other 59
Final Season 59
Nocturne with Witch, Oven and Two Little Figures 61
My Crow, Your Crow 63
For Lear 63
The God Who Loves You 65
A Priest of Hermes 66
Not the Idle 67
Gelati 68
The Moth 70
Crooked Wood 72
How to Like It 75
His Favorite Blue Cup 76
How It Was at the End 77
(His life was the practice) 78
No Moment Past This One 78
A Postmortem Guide 80
Burying the Cat 81
Oklahoma City 83
Poe in Margate 84
Chekhov in Port Republic 85
The Dig 86
The Burial 87
Inside gertrude stein 88
The White Dress 89
All the People in Hopper's Paintings 91
The Machinist, Teaching His Daughter to Play the Piano 93
Old Men Playing Basketball 94
The Great Gizzardo 96
Lord of the Jungle, Larva-Nude 97
Herkimer, Mohawk, et al., in Autumn 97
Australia 98
What We Wait For 99
Faces Underwater 99
Bang! 101
Wake 102
Spring 103
Barukh ata adonay 104
Nothing Doing 105
The Fidgeting 106
Gouge, Adze, Rasp, Hammer 107
The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars 108
The St. Louis Zoo 111
Komodo 112
Compatibility 114
Scorn 115
Requin 115
Blue Annunciation 117
Ghazal 118
I Not I 119
Down There, If You Look 120
Envoi 121
Mock Orange 122
Celestial Music 123
The Wild Iris 124
Ithaca 125
Nest 125
The Education 129
I Was Looking 130
What They Are 131
The Visitation 132
The Knife Accuses the Wound 134
Grammatical Mood 135
Cord 138
Submersible 141
I Am 142
Sackcloth 142
God's World, 1927 143
Rotgut 144
Scrolls 145
The Desire Manuscripts 146
America 151
Carnal Knowledge 152
Lucky 153
Lawrence 155
Jet 156
Prayer 158
A Certain Light 158
Reading Ovid 160
Practicing 161
What the Living Do 162
Do Not Leave Baby Unattended 164
Joy 165
Small Boys Petting Caterpillar 167
The Satyr's Heart 169
Blacklegs 169
Sheep Child 171
The South Gate 172
Elegy 173
Sheet Music 174
Linear 176
Impetus 179
Balm 179
2. Caravaggio: Swirl & Vortex 182
7. Coda: Kind of Blue 185
Portrait 187
Beauty School 187
Henry Clay's Mouth 188
Tactile 189
Pre-Cerebral 190
Bonehead 190
The Orange 191
Because This Is Florida 192
The Zebra Longwing 193
Benediction for the Savior of Orlando 194
Past All Understanding 197
The Looker 198
Etymological Dirge 199
What He Thought 200
Just Some 202
Havana Dream 203
Amor Vincit Omnia 203
Venus in Varadero 204
The Peasant Heart 204
Before the Solutions 205
End of the Affair 205
Butterflies That Save Us from Ourselves 206
Reverie: The Saturday Evening Post 207
Nature Rarely Confides in Me 209
Bolt from the Blue: A Sequence 212
(Trauma) Storm 214
Screaming Out Loud 215
Almost a Loneliness 216
How Smoothly 216
Be-All 217
Ovidian 218
Confession 1.8.13 218
Confession 10.8.13 219
Confession 4.2.3 219
Two Sisters 220
Confession 2.5.10 221
Inseminator Man 222
Lost Innocence of the Potato Givers 225
From the Devotions 227
The Kill 229
Trade 231
Section 1 from Plot 233
Cerberus 239
The Sofia Buslot 240
Bulgarian Girl 241
Striking a Match 241
Redbird, Soon in the Morning 242
The Wine-Dark Sea 243
Reminder 244
A Good Father 244
A Two-Year-Old Girl in a Restaurant 245
Birthday 246
Every Sunday 246
Wings of the Morning 247
The Present Perfect 248
American Solitude 250
Last Requests 252
Poem Ending with a Phrase from the Psalms 253
Definition of the Soul 254
After Surgery 255
Mop String 256
History 257
Front Street 257
The Burned Boy 258
Augusto Jandolo: On Excavating an Etruscan Tomb 260
Newsreel 261
Prayer 263
The Dreamhouse 264
Red Dog 266
Of Oystermen, Workboats 267
Night Pleasures 268
Making a Statement 269
Descending 269
At the Vet's 271
Dead Moth in a Bottle of Mineral Water 272
Tatyana 272
Encounter on an Italian Beach 273
Lost Life 274
A Night in Assisi 276
The Seasons 278
Two Brief Views of Hell 278
Let me tell you about my marvelous god 280
The Sea of Time and Space 281
Vessel: Mythos 284
Myth of the Flood 285
Hunger for Something 286
Decade 286
Erotic Energy 287
To the Reader: Polaroids 288
To the Reader: If You Asked Me 288
To the Reader: Twilight 289
The path between 290
The Night Sea 290
I have lived in your face 290
One Foot in the Dark 291
A linnet in the rain 291
The Passing 292
The Art of Distance, I 293
The Art of Distance, II 294
The Art of Distance, VI 296
Largesse 297
Linda Does My Horoscope 299
Where the Hills Come Down Like a Lion's Paw on Summer 302
Tidepools, Part 2 303
The Muse 305
Field of Vision 306
Epitaph 307
Facing into It 308
Of a Sun She Can Remember 310
German Chronicle 311
The Pumpkin Tree 317
About Language 318
Dark Forest 319
The Longing of Eagles 321
Sunflower 323
The River Merchant, Stuck in Kalamazoo, Writes His Wife a Letter During Her Semester Abroad 324
I Can Hardly Be Considered a Reliable Witness 325
How I Get My Ideas 326
Acknowledgments 329
Contributors' Notes 337
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