The Best American Poetry 2001

The Best American Poetry 2001

by Robert Hass, David Lehman
     
 

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The annual publication of The Best American Poetry is an eagerly awaited event among poetry fans across the country. This year's volume in the critically acclaimed series presents American poetry in all its dazzling variety at a moment of extraordinary richness and originality.

Guest editor Robert Hass, a former Poet Laureate and a central figure in

Overview


The annual publication of The Best American Poetry is an eagerly awaited event among poetry fans across the country. This year's volume in the critically acclaimed series presents American poetry in all its dazzling variety at a moment of extraordinary richness and originality.

Guest editor Robert Hass, a former Poet Laureate and a central figure in the poetry world, brings his passionate intelligence to The Best American Poetry 2001. In his engaging introduction, Hass writes that after sifting through dozens of literary magazines, he "found that there were large numbers of poems that gave me pleasure, seemed to have inventive force, or intellectual passion or surprise." The works he selected are diverse in every way and have only their excellence in common. Ranging from the traditional to the innovative, the book features important new poems from Anne Carson, Robert Creeley, Michael Palmer, Robert Pinsky, and Adrienne Rich; rare posthumous works by Elizabeth Bishop and James Schuyler; and poems by marvelous newcomers like Amy England, Olena Kalytiak Davis, and Rachel Zucker.

With comments from the poets illuminating their work, and series editor David Lehman's always entertaining foreword assessing the current state of the art, The Best American Poetry 2001 is a book every reader of poetry will want to have.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Hass (Sun Under Wood) offers some pleasures but few real surprises in this solid 14th installment of the ever-popular annual series. As always, a famous guest editor (Hass), series editor David Lehman (The Daily Mirror, etc.), and their assistants cull 75 poems by American writers from the previous year's run of journals: Lehman and Hass each add a short foreword, and the poets themselves send in "notes and comments," with which the volume concludes. Plenty of poets here are already famous Elizabeth Bishop, who died in 1979, appears with a revealingly unburnished, posthumously published poem from the New Yorker; Adrienne Rich, Galway Kinnell, Jorie Graham, Louise Gl?ck, Robert Creeley, Anne Carson, Robert Bly, John Ashbery and the new American laureate, Billy Collins, also turn up. So do the influential and richly rewarding poets Rae Armantrout and Lyn Hejinian, whose appearance here would once have been a surprise. (Opinions will differ on whether Hass should have included Brenda Hillman, to whom he is married.) As those who know Hass's own work might expect, his selections from lesser-known creators (like James Richardson) tend toward the expansive and meditative, with room for brief prose poems and extended comedy. And the volume as a whole as Hass's preface admits skews slightly older, and farther towards stars, than some previous Best Americans have (though not Rita Dove's entry from last year). The younger writers that are here including Lee Ann Brown, Christopher Edgar, Thomas Sayers Ellis ("some readings you really could hear/ a rat piss on cotton"), Noelle Kocot and Dean Young are energetic and accessible. Readers familiar with poetry according to Agni,APR, Fence and Verse, leavened here with a smattering of the old school, may not find much to discover; for others, this book is an excellent guide to the changing of the po-biz guard. Either way, it will be one of the top-selling poetry titles this year. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
This 15th annual sampling of the year's best magazine verse is as much about the state of poetry publishing in this country as it is about the poems themselves. It shows how much appreciation we owe to the discerning, indefatigable poetry editors of our literary magazines, from Paris Review and The New Yorker to Pequod and Quarter After Eight, who bring us not only the high-quality work we have come to expect from familiar names but also some terrific poems by lesser knowns. Poets who make it into Lehman's series get more exposure than most, which is why there's always some quibbling about the selections. But no one can quarrel with the choice of Elizabeth Bishop, whose posthumous "Vague Poem" is one of the great joys here. Also enjoyable are "Tattoos," a long, witty narrative by J.D. McClatchy, and Amy England's "The Art of the Snake Story." Fortunately, there are plenty more where these came from, and it is certainly handy to have recent work by the likes of Kenneth Koch, Louise Gleck, Adrienne Rich, and Yusef Komunyakaa all in one place. Recommended for most libraries. Ellen Kaufman, Dewey Ballantine Law Lib., New York Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743203845
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
09/01/1901
Series:
Best American Poetry Series
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.76(d)

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