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After Confession: Poetry as Autobiographyby Kate (edt) Sontag
Synopses & Reviews
In an age of memoir, the distinction between fiction and nonfiction has become increasingly blurred, sparking controversy among writers and readers alike. But what about the autobiographical impulse in poetry? In this groundbreaking collection, some of our best contemporary poets contemplate the legacy of the confessional poets such as Plath, Sexton, and Lowell. They also tackle such fiery topics as the nature of authorial responsibility in telling the truth, the focus on issues of self in relation to others and to the natural world, the very essence of craft as transformation, and the role female poets have played in breaking the code of silence.
Rich in opinion and theory, After Confession offers the first thorough discussion on the lyric "I"--the boundaries between literal and emotional truth, memory and imagination, person and persona, narcissism and revelation.
Contributors: Joan Aleshire Frank Bidart Kimberly Blaeser Joseph Bruchac Marilyn Chin Billy Collins Stephen Dunn Annie Finch Carol Frost Brendan Galvin Pamela Gemin Louise Glück David Graham Kimiko Hahn Judith Harris Andrew Hudgins Colette Inez Yusef Komunyakaa Ted Kooser Sydney Lea William Matthews Thylias Moss Carol Muske-Dukes Sharon Olds Alicia Ostriker Stanley Plumly Claudia Rankine Adrienne Rich Kate Sontag Alan Williamson
Book News Annotation:
Poets Sontag and Graham have collected 29 essays in which American poets reflect on the nature of autobiographical poetry, wrestling with the related historical, ethical, and critical considerations. The collection presents a range of opinions, often conflicting, about the controversies of autobiographical poetry. After presenting some broad historical and critical views, essays are organized into sections with the themes of particular autobiographical contexts of such poets as Yusef Komunyakaa, Annie Finch, Thylias Moss, Stanley Plumly, Claudia Rankine, and Collette Inez; the problematics of the ethical and aesthetic concerns, particularly related to the implications of fictionalizing one's own experience in words that are or appear to be autobiographical; and the way that women's autobiographical poetry addresses issues of gender and sexuality.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
David Graham is the poetry editor of Blue Moon Review. He is the author of six collections of poetry, including Stutter Monk, and is a professor of English at Ripon College.
Kate Sontag teaches in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies. She lives in Ripon, Wisconsin.
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