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An Invitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthologyby Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz
Synopses & Reviews
For a reader unaccustomed to reading poetry, or who has fallen away from the custom, this collection offers an inviting way into the art, or back into it. For readers devoted to poetry, it offers illuminating examples of the infinitely various ways a poem reaches a reader.
In both the book and the videos on the accompanying DVD, poems by Sappho, Shakespeare, Keats, Whitman, and Dickinson as well as contemporary poets are introduced by people from across the United States — a construction worker, a Supreme Court justice, a glassblower, a marine — each of whom speaks about his or her connection to the poem. Their comments are variously poignant, funny, heartening, tart, penetrating, and eccentric, showing some of the ways poetry is alive for American readers. An Invitation to Poetry will inspire a fresh experience of poetry's pleasure and insight.
"The third of an ongoing series, and perhaps the best so far, this anthology brings together 200 poems from the Favorite Poem Project, the brainchild of then–Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, who asked regular folks to send him their favorite poem, with an explanation of their choice. They did — nearly twenty thousand of them did — and the result, three anthologies so far, points to the depth and breadth of poetry's hold on the American consciousness.
The poems offered here are rich, diverse, interesting, moving, funny. The poems are presented alphabetically by the author's last name, so there are some pleasing juxtapositions: O'Hara's wonderful Poem: (Lana Turner Has Collapsed!) is followed by George Oppen's lovely, quiet Psalm, followed by Wilfred Owen's moving, stunning, disturbing Dulce Et Decorum Est. A single cultivated mind wouldn't offer such poem sequences, and neither would a purposely comprehensive anthology, but one such as this, showing the poetic taste of a nation of poetry readers, provides just such pleasures and surprises.
Each poem is prefaced by a short note from the person who sent in the poem, and why. These comments add to the sense of a large and various community of readers who love poetry, and love individual poems, for specific, personal reasons. In the back of the book is a DVD, with 28 of the selections being read by the people who sent them in. These short pieces, handsomely produced in a documentary style, offer glimpses into the lives of the readers, and why the poems they chose mean so much to them. The book and DVD serve as a document which as a whole gives a very heartening picture of the state of poetry reading in America." Reviewed by Peter Walpole, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"Overall, a fine collection of poets' voices that will serve readers well." Library Journal
A multimedia collection of poems introduced by American readers, featuring a DVD including a video introduction by Robert Pinsky.
The widely acclaimed Favorite Poem Project anthology, An Invitation to Poetry, edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz, is now available in a value-priced student paperback edition.
Bringing together 200 poems chosen by American readers, the anthology includes work by Sappho, Keats, Rilke, Whitman, and Dickinson, as well as by contemporary poets. The selections are introduced by people from all walks of life'"a construction worker, a Supreme Court justice, a glass blower, a marine'"each commenting on his or her connection to the poem.
An Invitation to Poetryis accompanied by a free DVD featuring a video introduction by Robert Pinsky and 27 of the Favorite Poem Project segments as seen on PBS"s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
About the Author
Robert Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project during his tenure as poet laureate of the United States. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Maggie Dietz is the Favorite Poem Project's director. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Together they have edited two other books in the favorite Poem Project Anthology series, Americans' Favorite Poems and Poems to Read.
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