Synopses & Reviews
"An important and elegant history of American poetry -- how it has been written, received, and read over the course of the century. It is a fascinating survey of the shifting tides in this country's literary tastes". -- J. d. McClatchy
"Like most editors the Yale series has had, Auden had no sooner taken the job than he began to worry about the amount of work involved.... He complained vigorously about the introduction requirement he had agreed to only a week before: 'Personally, I am very much against the critical estimate business and would like to see the policy changed. These introductions always sound awful, and the whole idea that a new poet should be introduced by an older one as if he were a debutante or a new face cream, deplorable and false.' The Press held its ground, though. If Benet and MacLeish could do it, so could the new editor. And so, over his objections, Auden was brought to doa task he would accomplish spectacularly well". -- from the IntroductionIn 1919 Yale University Press inaugurated the Yale Series of Younger Poets, designed to "afford a public medium for the work of young men and women who have not vet secured a wide public recognition". This anthology of the longest-running poetry series in the United States tells the story of American poetry in this century. At first a forum for a conservative taste in parochial college verse, the Younger Poets Series soon opened up to unconventional but profound young talents from across the country -- such as James Agee, Muriel Rukeyser, Margaret Walker, William Meredith, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery John Hollander, James Tate, Carolyn Forche, and Robert Hass. This anthology includes poems from the first book by each ofthe 92 winners of the annual Younger Poets contest.
The selections are accompanied by an introduction by George Bradley, the 1986 winner of the contest. Bradley charts the course of the series under the aegis of such contest judges as Stephen Vincent Benet, W. H. Auden, and James Merrill, lacing his narrative with anecdotes about the judges and winners. He also establishes the series' vital role in the development of American poetry and American publishing. The anthology is divided into two sections: "The Early Years", which briefly presents the first 31 winners of the contest, and "The Modern Series", which gives ample room to display the early work of some of America's finest poets. All poets are introduced by a biographical headnote, and in the second section Bradley has added a brief commentary directing the reader to the salient features of each poet's work.
Originally a forum for a conservative taste in parochial college verse, the Younger Poets Series soon opened up to unconventional but profound young talents from across the country, including James Agee, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and James Tate. This anthology includes poems from the first book by each of the 92 winners of the annual Younger Poets contest. Illustrations.