Synopses & Reviews
This eagerly awaited volume in the celebrated Best American Poetry
series reflects the latest developments and represents the state of the art today. Paul Muldoon, the distinguished poet and international literary eminence, has selected -- from a pool of several thousand published candidates -- the top seventy-five poems of the year.
With insightful comments from the poets illuminating their work, and series editor David Lehman's perspicacious foreword, The Best American Poetry 2005 is indispensable for every poetry enthusiast.
"This extraordinarily popular series enters its 18th year with a strong, entertaining, accessible effort; Muldoon (Hay, Madoc, etc.) avoids polemics and lets readers focus on poems. Elder statesmen and big names put in expected appearances, some of them (A.R. Ammons, Donald Justice, Charles Bukowski) with posthumously published verse. John Ashbery's splendid 'In Dearest, Deepest Winter' shows him attending to life after 9/11; Lyn Hejinian's contribution (excerpted from a book-length poem) attends to the vagaries of the inner life. Selections from less well-known writers favor clarity, technique, and humor, or at least wry irony: Victoria Chang describes 'Seven Changs' who share her name; Marlys West's 'Ballad of the Subcontractor' describes 'the workers who deserted' her building, and the debate champion who irritated her in high school, 'like a star quarterback but/ Smaller, brighter.' Stacey Harwood assembles a clever prose poem out of nine (fake) 'Contributors' Notes.' The light touch, formal intricacy and attention to whimsy that have helped earn Muldoon international fame are all in evidence here; it makes for a cohesive collection, open to all the usual arguments about what's really 'best' also always part of the fun. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Each year, a vivid snapshot of what a distinguished poet finds exciting, fresh and memorable: and over the years, as good a comprehensive overview of contemporary poetry as there can be."
-- Robert Pinsky
About the Author
David Lehman, series editor of The Best American Poetry, is also the editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry. His books of poetry include New and Selected Poems, When a Woman Loves a Man, and The Daily Mirror. He teaches in the New School graduate writing program and lives in New York City and Ithaca, New York.Paul Muldoon is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Moy Sand and Gravel, Hay, and The Annals of Chile, among other noteworthy poetry collections. A former Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, he is currently Howard G. B. Clark '21 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.