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Night Errands: How Poets Use Dreams
     

Night Errands: How Poets Use Dreams

by Roderick Townley (Editor)
 

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Night Errands is a long overdue anthology, comprising personal essays and accompanying poems by over two dozen contemporary American poets. It is the first collection to focus specifically on the messages the subconscious sends nightly to poets, and the ways such communications affect their work. The book is based on the premise that dreams and poetry are intimately

Overview

Night Errands is a long overdue anthology, comprising personal essays and accompanying poems by over two dozen contemporary American poets. It is the first collection to focus specifically on the messages the subconscious sends nightly to poets, and the ways such communications affect their work. The book is based on the premise that dreams and poetry are intimately related and in fact, parallel languages. Both rely on compression, juxtaposition, deep imagery, and ambiguity to create a charged atmosphere and unearth buried truths. Contributors include: Laurel Blossum, Micheal Burns, Nicholas Christopher, Sarah Cotterill, Rachel Hadas, Anthony hecht,Edwird Hirsch, John hollander, David Ignatow, Robert Kelly, Faye Kicknosway, Maxine Kumin, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, Gerard Malanga, Paul Mariani, J.D. McClatchy, Wesley McNair, Joyce Carol Oates, David Ray, Patricia Traxler, Diane Wakoski, Jane O. Wayne, Theodore Weiss, Richard Wilbur, Robley WilsonThe connection between dreams and poetry are valid and valuable and each essay makes the connection in a specifically useful and engaging way." --Mickey PearlmanNew and original material . . . helps the reader better understand the relation between dreams and poetry. The subject is of interest to all students of poetry and the other arts and . . . it would have a wide appeal beyond the academic market."--Richard Tillinghast, University of Michigan

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This engaging volume of over two dozen mostly original essays focuses on how the subconscious affects the poetry of contemporary American poets. Townley (executive director, The Writer's Place, Kansas City, MO) proposes that dreams and poetry are parallel languages: both rely heavily on the thoughts of the subconscious mind and on symbolic imagery, and "both employ compression and startling imagery and proceed by leaps rather than conventional logic." Each essay, written by poets such as Joyce Carol Oates, David Ignatow, and Laurel Blossom, explores how dreams and the subconscious influence each author's work, and each includes pertinent poetry samples and a photograph of the poet. The poets subscribe to a variety of styles, schools, and aesthetic sensibilities, and the collection represents a wide age range as well as an equal division of gender. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.--Kim Woodbridge, "The Scientist," Philadelphia
Booknews
Twenty-six contemporary poets share their work and reveal connections between their dreams and their poetry. Includes b&w photos of contributors. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Richard Tillinghast
New and original material . . . helps the reader better understand the relation between dreams and poetry. The subject is of interest to all students of poetry and the other arts and . . . it would have a wide appeal beyond the academic market.
Charlotte Observer
I saw an ad for Night Errands in The New York Review of Books and didn't rest—or dream—until it arrived in my mailbox. ...Night Errands will send the poet and reader of poetry on many day errands—you'll encounter poets and the mention of poets you'll want to read again; there are enticing words to look up; and an enticing "Selected Bibliography" to keep you busy far into the millennium.
Choice
In insightful essays (some abstract, some concrete), the poets discuss intricate relationships between dream states and poems . . . The picture is large and rich . . . fascinating personal odysseys into the mysteries of writing poetry.
Kennebec Journal
One of the most singular and satisfying literary books on dreams I've read in a long while. . . . Although Night Errands is not intended to be a Who's Who in contemporary poetry, its sampling is lively and first-rate. . . . Townley has artfully arranged to have all his poets dreaming together. The result is a rare peek into the subconscious of more than two dozen serious poets.
SF Bay Literary Supplement
The poets featured here . . . attempt to unravel the connections between dreams and poetry. The result is an illuminating, nuanced, and cliche-free compendium. Sprinkled throughout are epiphanies on the subconcious, the writing process, and the art of poetry.
Kansas City Magazine
Night Errands brings together primary materials from poets speaking in their highly individual voices.
Forecast Bridgewater, NJ
A unique anthology of poems, accompanied by personal essays, collects works by ontemporary American poets that explore the interrelation of dreams and poetry, showing the similarities between the two and meditating on the subconscious roots of creativity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822957300
Publisher:
University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date:
02/28/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
5.95(w) x 8.93(h) x 0.68(d)

Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction

It takes a special kind of bravery . . . to enter the dark wood of the subconscious and confront whatever lives there. Unlike the knights errant of the past, who merely slew their dragons and brought back their bloody tongues, the poet’s night errand is to bring back his creature alive, its tongue intact and singing. The songs will be enigmatic, even after the poet has given them form and translated them into the waking vernacular. The strangeness is still upon them. That’s what makes them poetry...

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