Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning poet David Wagoner and renowned editor David Lehman present the twenty-second edition of the Best American Poetry
series—"a ‘best’ anthology that really lives up to its title" (Chicago Tribune
Eagerly anticipated by scholars, students, readers, and poets alike, Scribner’s Best American Poetry series has achieved brand-name status in the literary world, serving as a yearly guide to who’s who in American poetry. Known for his marvelous narrative skill and humane wit, David Wagoner is one of the few poets of his generation to win the universal admiration of his peers. Working in conjunction with series editor David Lehman, Wagoner brings his refreshing eye to this year’s anthology. With new work by established poets, such as Billy Collins, Denise Duhamel, Mark Doty, and Bob Hicok, The Best American Poetry 2009 also features some of tomorrow’s leading luminaries. Readers of all ages and backgrounds will treasure this illuminating collection of modern American verse.
With its high-profile editorship and its generous embrace of American poetry in all its exuberant variety, the Best American Poetry series continues to be, as Robert Pinsky says, "as good a comprehensive overview of contemporary poetry as there can be."
"From the moment series editor David Lehman invokes the myth of Jacob wrestling the Angel in his introduction, the gloves are off in this year's installment of this popular annual anthology. Lehman devotes much of his introduction to throwing jabs at longtime sparring partner and professional poetry grump William Logan, whom Lehman calls 'wounded' and 'thin skinned.' Guest editor Wagoner chooses to abstain from the scuffle, but there's no denying the aesthetic character amassed by the poems he's selected: American poets not only want to talk about their country this year, they want to talk violence in (and toward) their country. 'They came to blow up America,' writes John Ashbery, followed hard on his heels by Mark Bibbins, who warns our fifth state, 'Connecticut! we're sawing you in half.' Denise Duhamel envisions 'How It Will End' ('We look around, but no one is watching us') and Rob Cook, in his bold and incantatory 'Song of America,' tells us, 'I'm raising my child to drown and drop dead and to carry buildings on his back.' It appears our poets are at last ready to confront the hysteria and violence of the past eight years, and who can say there's a better year than 2009 to begin. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
David Wagoner writes about regular lives with plain grace and transcendent humanity, and the seventy-five poems he has chosen for the 2009 edition of The Best American Poetry grapple with life, celebrate freedom, and teem with imaginative energy. With engaging notes from the poets, Wagoner's superb introductory essay, series editor David Lehman's astute foreword about the current state of poetry and criticism, and cover art from the beloved poet John Ashbery, The Best American Poetry 2009 is a memorable and delightful addition to a series dedicated to showcasing the work of poets at their best.
Award-winning poet Wagoner and renowned editor Lehman present the 22nd edition of the Best American Poetry series--a best' anthology that really lives up to its title ("Chicago Tribune").
About the Author
Born in Ohio, raised in Indiana, David Wagoner moved to Seattle and became one of the most distinctive voices of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his many poetry collections, most recently A Map of the Night (2008), he has written ten novels, including The Escape Artist (1965), which Francis Ford Coppola adapted into a movie. A former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Wagoner edited Poetry Northwest from 1966 until its last issue in 2002. He is an emeritus professor at the University of Washington and lives in Bothell, Washington.
David Lehman is the series editor of The Best American Poetry. He is the editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry and the author of seven books of poetry, including When a Woman Loves a Man. He teaches in the graduate writing program of the New School and lives in New York City.