The speaker in Irene McKinney’s poems is most often alone, sitting at the side of a stream, or standing at her own chosen gravesite in the Appalachian mountains, and the meditations spoken out of this essential solitude are powerfully clear, witty, and wide-ranging in content and tone. The center sequence of poems in the Emily Dickinson persona explores and magnifies that great and enigmatic figure. The poems are firmly grounded in concern for the ways in which the elemental powers are at work in the earth and in us: on the surface of our lives, and deeper in the underworld of the coalmines. In McKinney’s poems, the human world is never seen as separate from the natural one.
Applause is a collection of poems about joy and dread — mirroring the extremes of the contemporary American experience.
One of the major voices in Latin American poetry confronts the political realities of contemporary Central America. The poems are richly human documents rooted in Alegria’s knowledge of and love for her subjects.
Now back in print, this heralded second collection by the award-winning poet centers around the Greek myth of Niobe and the theme of endurance.
Night Watch on the Chesapeake is Peter Meinke’s third collection of poetry. The poems traverse a wide landscape of topics from playing baseball, the death of a friend, divorce, and even poetry itself.
The Essential Etheridge Knight is a selection of the best work by one of the country’s most prominent and liveliest poets. It brings together poems from Knight’s previously published books and a section of new poems.
Cold Comfort is a book of poems written out of deep affection and concern for the world in a dangerous time. An urbane stylist, Anderson characteristically focuses on rural and small-town America, where the events of personal history intersect those of the larger world.
With The Imaginary Lover, Alicia Ostriker takes her place among the most striking and original poets whose work is informed by feminist consciousness. Her characterization of the best poetry by women, in the New York Times Book Review, aptly describes this book: “intimate rather than remote, passionate rather than distant, defying divisions between emotion and intellect, private and public, life and art, writer and reader.” To read her poems is to “discover not only more of what it means to be a woman but more of what it means to be human.”
In Evidence is a collection of poems in the voices of allied troops who liberated Nazi concentration camps in Europe in the spring of 1945. Barbara Helfgott Hyett heard poems in the eyewitness testimony of United States soldiers. She has shaped the words of thirty speakers into a songle narrative, a single voice.
Wyndmere is a town in North Dakota where Carol Muske’s mother was born, and where she visited as a child. Muske’s grandparents are buried there, and it is where her mother met and married her father. Now almost a ghost town, Wyndmere is the source of imagery in many of these poems, as well as the idea of Wynd-mere, wind-mother, both inspiration and principle of separation.
Since the appearance of his first book in 1972, Larry Levis has been one of the most original and most highly praised of contemporary American poets. In Winter Stars, a book of love poems and elegies, Levis engages in a process of relentless self-interrogation about his life, about losses and acceptances. What emerges is not merely autobiography, but a biography of the reader, a “representative life” of our time.
“Aliveness is Gary Gildner’s striking quality,” Crystal McLean writes in the magazine New Letters, and thise selection of Gary Gildner’s previously published poems, plus eighteen new poems, demonstrates the aptness of that perception. Accessible and eminently readable, the poems in Blue Like the Heavens also possess great emotional depth. Readers who complain about the obscurity of contemporary American poetry will delight in this book.
Shelton assembles the best of his previous work together with a selection of new poems.
Emplumada is Lorna Dee Cervantes’s first book, a collection of poems remarkable for their surface clarity, precision of image, and emotional urgency. Rooted in her Chicana heritage, these poems illuminate the American experience of the last quarter century and, at a time when much of what is merely fashionable in American poetry is recondite and exclusive, Cervantes has the ability to speak to and for a large audience.
Praise for Burkard’s first poetry collection, In a White Light“Burkard’s poetics will be considered new and strange to many readers, though Stevens, Zufosky, and Ashbery were scouts to this light-laden terrain. [His] book is a blessing.”—James Cervantes