The twentieth edition of The Best American poetry series celebrates the rich and fertile landscape of American poetry. Renowned poet Heather McHugh loves words and the unexpected places they take you; her own poetry elevates wordplay to a species of metaphysical wit. For this year's anthology McHugh has culled a spectacular group of poems reflecting her passion for language, her acumen, and her vivacious humor.
From the thousands of poems published or posted in one year, McHugh has chosen seventy-five that fully engage the reader while illustrating the formal and tonal diversity of American poetry. With new work by established poets such as Louise Glück, Robert Hass, and Richard Wilbur, The Best American Poetry 2007 also features such younger talents as Ben Lerner, Meghan O'Rourke, Brian Turner, and Matthea Harvey.
Graced with McHugh's fascinating introduction, the anthology includes the ever-popular notes and comments section in which the contributors write about their work. Series editor David Lehman's engaging foreword limns the necessity of poetry. The Best American Poetry 2007 is an exciting addition to a series committed to covering the American poetry scene and delivering great poems to a broad audience.
The 20th volume in America's most popular annual poetry anthology series is perhaps the most esoteric. McHugh, an unusual poet herself, who says she is "Fond of the textures of a text, the matter of a letter," has tried to assemble what she feels is a cohesive anthology rather than simply a gathering of favorite poems from this past year's literary magazines. As ever, some familiar names-former editors and famous poets-appear: John Ashbery, Billy Collins ("Who has time for sunlight falling on the city"), Robert Creeley, Louise Glück, Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky, Galway Kinnell. But there are also a number of representatives, such as Rae Armantrout and Christian Bök ("selves we woo/ we lose// losses we levee/ we owe"), from off-center traditions. A few of the newbies tend toward the experimental, such as Ben Lerner and Danielle Pafunda: "Do he & he have a big muscle in the arm from the aiming?" All and all, this is a riskier than usual volume, though also full of familiar pleasures. Certainly it attests to poetry's continuing vitality. (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information