Library JournalThis year's choice of ``best'' American poetry falls to Simic, who continues the relative ecumenism typical of the series, nodding briefly to formalists (Hacker, Hollander) and experimenters (Bernstein, Palmer). But given the bizarre aspect of Simic's own work, it's disappointing to find that the bulk of his selections seem more constrained, more dour, than those of his predecessors. Work by big-name poets culled from staid journals predominates, but with few exceptions (Carruth, Kizer) the memorable moments belong to the lesser-known: Lawrence Joseph's intriguing ``Some Sort of Chronicler I Am''; George Bilgere's ``Healing,'' a vivid snapshot of our ``democracy of failure''; and Stephen Yenser's ``Vertumnal,'' a singing reminder of poetry's power to invigorate the language we too often take for granted. For major poetry collections.-- Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, N.Y.
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