The New American Poetry of Engagement: A 21st Century Anthology

Overview

This anthology of poetry collects 21st century American works by both established and emerging poets that deal with the public events, government policies, ecological and political threats, economic uncertainties, and large-scale violence that have largely defined the century to date. But these 138 poems by 50 poets do not simply describe, lament, or bear witness to contemporary events; they also explore the linguistic, temporal, and imaginative problems involved in doing so. In this way, the anthology offers a ...

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Overview

This anthology of poetry collects 21st century American works by both established and emerging poets that deal with the public events, government policies, ecological and political threats, economic uncertainties, and large-scale violence that have largely defined the century to date. But these 138 poems by 50 poets do not simply describe, lament, or bear witness to contemporary events; they also explore the linguistic, temporal, and imaginative problems involved in doing so. In this way, the anthology offers a comprehensive look at contemporary American poetry, demonstrating that poets are moving at once toward a new engagement with public concerns and toward a focus on the problems of representation. A detailed introduction by the editors along with poetics statements by many of the poets add depth and context to a book that will appeal to anyone interested in the state and evolution of contemporary American poetry.

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What People Are Saying

Steven Gould Axelrod
This superb anthology of "engaged" poems, framed by the editors' seminal introduction, will help define the age. Challenging the easy opposition of political and personal, the collection includes all sorts of astounding, unsettling poems by poets ranging from Rae Armantrout to Frank Bidart, Galway Kinnell, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Claudia Rankine. This is the Hour of Lead, but the poems shimmer. (Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786464678
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Keniston is an associate professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno. Jeffrey Gray is a professor of English at Seton Hall University. He lives in South Orange, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Saying What Happened in the 21st Century 1

New Rae Armantrout 17

Previews 18

Bubble Wrap 18

Action Poem 19

Curse Frank Bidart 20

The Soldier Who Guards the Frontier 21

To the Republic 22

Inauguration Day 23

Call and Answer Robert Bly 23

Let Sympathy Pass 24

The Stew of Discontents 25

Those Being Eaten 26

Here the Sleepers Sleep 27

The Altars of September Bruce Bond 28

Flag 29

Ringtone 32

Lines from the Reports of the Investigative Committees Joel Brouwer 32

Partial Inventory of Airborne Debris Timothy Donnelly 34

Dream of Arabian Hillbillies 38

The Ghost of Heaven Carolyn Forché 41

Flee Katie Ford 43

Earth 44

Fish Market 44

The Vessel Bends the Water 45

Background Check Forrest Gander 46

Protest Song Peter Gizzi 47

October Louise Glück 47

Some Common Terms in Latin That Are Larger Than Our Lives Albert Goldbarth 53

"A1" from The Day Kenneth Goldsmith 54

Little Exercise Jorie Graham 61

Praying (Attempt of June 14'03) 62

Guantánamo 64

Employment 66

Sweet Linda Gregerson 68

Father Mercy, Mother Tongue 70

Still Life 72

The Selvage 76

Y2K Eamon Grennan 78

Letter to Hayden Carruth Marilyn Hacker 78

From Names 80

Ghazal: min al-hobbi m'a qatal 82

Aftermath Forrest Hamer 83

What Happened 84

Conference 84

I am Your Waiter Tonight and My Name is Dmitri Robert Hass 85

Ezra Pound's Proposition 88

On Visiting the DMZ at Panmunjom: A Haibun 89

Some of David's Story 89

Happy Anniversary Bob Hicok 93

Full Flight 94

Troubled Times 96

In the Loop 97

Stop-loss 98

From Nine Untitled Epyllions Brenda Hillman 99

Reportorial Poetry, Trance & Activism 102

In a Senate Armed Services Hearing 102

Request to the Berkeley City Council Concerning Strawberry Creek 105

In High Desert Under the Drones 107

When the Towers Fell Galway Kinnell 107

From "Love in the Time of War" Yusef Komunyakaa 112

Grenade 113

The Towers 113

Heavy Metal Soliloquy 115

The Warlord's Garden 115

Surge 116

Clouds 117

Extraordinary Rendition Maxine Kumin 118

On Reading The Age of Innocence in a Troubled Time 119

Entering Houses at Night 120

Still We Take Joy 120

Just Deserts 121

Victory Ann Lauterbach 122

Hum 123

Echo Revision 125

Didactic Elegy Ben Lerner 129

Ready-Mades Timothy Liu 134

Vita Breva 135

Beauty 135

Elegy for Oum Kolsoum Written Across the Sky 135

Column I, Tablet XIII John Matthias 136

Jihad J. D. McClatchy 137

Assault to Abjury Raymond McDaniel 139

Sen Jak's Advice to the Tropically Depressed 139

On being Transparent: Cedar Rapids Airport Sandra McPherson 140

To the Light of September W. S. Merwin 142

To the Words 143

To the Grass of Autumn 143

To Ashes 144

To the Coming Winter 145

From "Hung Lyres" Philip Metres 146

Asymmetrices 146

Testimony 147

Compline 148

From "Homefront/Removes" 149

Dictionary in the Dark Naomi Shihab Nye 149

Interview, Saudi Arabia 150

I Never Realized They Had Aspirations Like Ours 150

A History Geoffrey O'Brien 151

September, 2001 Sharon Olds 153

Poem of Disconnected Parts Robert Pinsky 154

The Forgetting 156

The Anniversary 157

National Anthem Kevin Prufer 159

Dead Soldier 160

Those Who Could Not Flee 161

Recent History 163

God Bless Our Troops 164

From Don't Let Me be Lonely: An American Lyric: "Cornel West makes the point" Claudia Rankine 165

"Timothy McVeigh died at 7:14 A.M." 166

Given Days Ronald Revell 167

Vietnam Epic Treatment 172

Election Year 174

God Exploding Frederick Seidel 174

The Black-Eyed Virgins 175

Eurostar 176

Song: "The Swollen River Overthrows Its Banks" 176

The Bush Administration 177

Found Poem: Microloans Hugh Seidman 179

Thinking of Baghdad 180

The Anatomy of Melancholy Lisa Sewell 181

When I'm Crying, I'm not speaking Susan Stewart 183

When I'm speaking, I'm not crying 184

Elegy Against the Massacre at the Amish School in West Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Autumn 2006 184

In Rubble David Wagoner 187

War C. K. Williams 188

Fear 189

The Future 191

Cassandra, Iraq 192

Lies 193

Found in the Free Library Eleanor Wilner 193

In a Time of War 194

Back Then, We Called It "The War" 195

The Show Must Go On 197

Rendition, with Flag 198

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) 199

From Rising, Falling, Hovering: "He slept with the dead then" C. D. Wright 200

"One bright night" 200

"I was just thinking" 201

Exxon Robert Wrigley 202

The Poets: Profiles and Statements 205

Index 259

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