Our Savage Art: Poetry and the Civil Tongue

Overview

Praise for The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin

"Our wittiest critic of contemporary verse lets loose one lethal shaft after another."-James Marcus, Newsday

"Logan has firmly established himself as the pit bull of mainstream poetry reviewers."-Maureen N. McLane, Chicago Tribune

Praise for Desperate Measures

"When it comes to separating the serious from the fraudulent, the ambitious from the ...

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Our Savage Art: Poetry and the Civil Tongue

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Overview

Praise for The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin

"Our wittiest critic of contemporary verse lets loose one lethal shaft after another."-James Marcus, Newsday

"Logan has firmly established himself as the pit bull of mainstream poetry reviewers."-Maureen N. McLane, Chicago Tribune

Praise for Desperate Measures

"When it comes to separating the serious from the fraudulent, the ambitious from the complacent, Logan has consistently shown us what is wheat and what is chaff.... The criticism we remember is neither savage nor mandarin.... There is no one in his generation more likely to write it than William Logan."-Adam Kirsch, Oxford American

Praise for William Logan

"Who's the Best Poetry Critic in America? His name I can mention. William Logan, who must be tired of being compared to Randall Jarrell, but such is one's fate when one writes as wickedly, knowledgeably, and uncompromisingly as he does."-James Wolcott

"Arguably the most industrious and notorious poet-critic to brandish that hyphen like a knife between his teeth since his acknowledged master Randall Jarrell.... He often comes off as nothing so much as the Dirty Harry of the poetry beat."-David Barber, The New York Times Book Review

"William Logan is the best practical critic around."-Christian Wiman, Poetry

"Is there today a more stringent, caring reader of American poetry than William Logan? Reputations of the Tongue may, at moments, read harshly. But this edge is one of deeply considered and concerned authority. A poet-critic engages closely with his masters, with his peers, with those whom he regards as falling short. This collection is an adventure of sensibility."-George Steiner

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - Jordan Davis

There is a grain of truth in almost everything [Logan] writes.

New York Times Book Review - Mark Ford
The latest installment in William Logan's prolonged and rambunctious assault on the state of American poetry.
The Dark Horse - Rory Waterman

One of the wittiest and most astute poet-critics of our -- or any -- generation.... A work of devilish wit, arrogance, insight, and intellect.The Dark Horse

David Barber

Arguably the most industrious and notorious poet-critic to brandish that hyphen like a knife between his teeth since his acknowledged master Randall Jarrell.... He often comes off as nothing so much as the Dirty Harry of the poetry beat.

Choice

Logan's prose is polished, witty, authoritative, and courageous.... Highly recommended.

New York Times Book Review - Mark Ford

The latest installment in William Logan's prolonged and rambunctious assault on the state of American poetry.

Times Literary Supplement
There is a grain of truth in almost everything [Logan] writes.

— Jordan Davis

Choice

Logan's prose is polished, witty, authoritative, and courageous.... Highly recommended.

New York Times Book Review
The latest installment in William Logan's prolonged and rambunctious assault on the state of American poetry.

— Mark Ford

The Dark Horse
One of the wittiest and most astute poet-critics of our — or any — generation.... A work of devilish wit, arrogance, insight, and intellect.The Dark Horse

— Rory Waterman

James Wolcott

Who's the Best Poetry Critic in America? His name I can mention. William Logan.

Mark Ford
The most obvious advantage of Logan's…approach to much of the contemporary poetry he writes about is that it transforms the normally rather stultifying genre of the poetry review into something more akin to a blood sport. Logan's hounding and slashing, parodying and chastising, make for what editors call good copy. Occasionally he exempts a passage, or a complete particular poem, from his mocking strictures, but in general one learns to expect—and even, in a slightly shameful way, like a member of the crowd at a Roman circus, to demand—the final turning of the emperor's thumb down, and the consigning of another poet to oblivion. Logan works as hard, in these reviews, as any stand-up comic or 18th-century satirist to unite critic and audience in a shared bond of ridicule.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231147330
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William Logan is the author of nine volumes of poetry and five books of criticism, including The Undiscovered Country, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. He has received the Randall Jarrell Award in Poetry Criticism from the Poetry Foundation, as well as the Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle, the Corrington Medal for Literary Excellence, and numerous awards for his poetry. He teaches at the University of Florida.

Columbia University Press

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