The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetryby Rita Dove
Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, introduces readers to the most significant and compelling poems of the past hundred years in The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Now available in paperback, this/i>/b>
A beautiful paperback edition of Penguin’s landmark poetry anthology
Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, introduces readers to the most significant and compelling poems of the past hundred years in The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Now available in paperback, this indispensable volume represents the full spectrum of aesthetic sensibilities—with varying styles, voices, themes, and cultures—while balancing important poems with vital periods of each poet. Featuring earlier works by Robert Frost, James Weldon Johnson, and Wallace Stevens along with examples from the new generation of critically acclaimed poets, including A. E. Stallings, Terrance Hayes, and Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, Dove’s selections paint a dynamic and cohesive portrait of modern American poetry.
—Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]
“One of the gifts of twentieth-century U.S. poetics has been the series of debates about what we are to value in and about poetry, and one of the tasks of the student of poetry is to develop her own criteria for excellence, taking her cues from the values of her own cultures—inherited, encountered, or taught, as the case may be.”
—Evie Shockley, Boston Review
"Selecting poets and poems to represent a century of poetry, especially the riotous twentieth century in America, is a massive undertaking fraught with peril and complication. Poet Rita Dove—a Pulitzer Prize–winning former U.S. poet laureate, professor, and presidential scholar—embarked on what became a consuming four-year odyssey. She reports on obstacles and discoveries in an exacting and forthright introduction, featuring striking quotes, vivid profiles, and a panoramic view of the evolution of poetic visions and styles that helped bring about social as well as artistic change [...] Dove's incisive perception of the role of poetry in cultural and social awakenings infuses this zestful and rigorous gathering of poems both necessary and unexpected by 180 American poets. This landmark anthology will instantly enhance and invigorate every poetry shelf or section."
—Donna Seaman for Booklist
"At last, 20th century poetry itself! Rita Dove's [anthology] is intelligent, generous, surprising, and altogether thrilling to read—literally, a heart-thumping collection. In her editorial hands the 20th century is broad but sharply contoured. Most other poetry anthologies give us schools, corners, clubs, and identities, but this one gives us something beyond representative that gets at the extraordinary accomplishment and range of multi-vocal American poetry in the century. Dove's selection—and this book—will long stand as the definitive anthology of American poetry."
"The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry has the solid, respectable, upright feel of a book bound for the syllabuses of myriad college courses. But it also has enough surprises to make it ideal for the rest of us too. It belongs on the bedside table as well as in a backpack."
—The Chicago Tribune
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- 6.42(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.32(d)
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- 18 Years
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Meet the Author
Rita Dove is an award-winning poet, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. She has published numerous volumes of poetry, fiction, plays, and essays. She is currently Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she lives with her husband, the writer Fred Viebahn. Her book Collected Poems 1974 — 2004 was longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry.
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Typically, a new anthology of poetry is a little noticed event. Poetry critics at major newspapers question whether the art form itself has any relevance in the 21st Century. Thank you Rita Dove for parting the clouds! This is indeed a representative collection of the best poets from the last century. Insofar as such a task can be achieved, this work captures the rich, bold and varied voices of the big century. It was an era unparalleled for global strife, social and economic upheaval, advancement in industry, technology and science, and uniquely marked by rapid transformations in communications and the arts. Gratefully, this anthology has set off a firestorm. Credit for this goes to Poet Laureate Rita Dove for her innovative approach to compiling this work and to an important counterpoint provided by her longtime associate, Harvard Professor Helen Vendler. They have engaged in a well publicized debate on poetry, aesthetics, criticism and the relation of these to history. It is a debate well worth having. And more importantly, this is poetry worth the reading. Don't miss it!
This is a very good anthology and a very nice looking hard cover book. It is a great source for someone to discover and read samples from nearly every major American Poet of the twentieth century. I say "nearly" due to the exclusion of Allen Giensburg and Silvia Plath. The importance of Giensburg and Plath is made obvious by the fact that Rita Dove mentions their exclusion in her introduction. An editor's job is not always easy, and of course not every poet can appear in every anthology. I will say however, that for a volume that comes in at under seven hundred pages, Rita Dove, whose own poetry is well worth discovering, did a very good job. This collection is full of favorites as well as poems that for some, may be lesser known but are equally as good. Rita Dove has presented us with a volume that may not contain every important poet of the twentieth century, but certainly an anthology that will keep you up reading way past your bedtime. Enjoy!