Synopses & Reviews
Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz formed one of the great constellations of talent in American literature. In the decades after World War II, they changed American poetry forever by putting themselves at risk in their poems in a new and provocative way. Their daring work helped to inspire the popular style of poetry now known as "confessional." But partly as a result of their openness, they have become better known for their tumultuous lives--afflicted by mental illness, alcoholism, and suicide--than for their work. This book reclaims their achievement by offering critical "biographies of the poetry"--tracing the development of each poet's work, exploring their major themes and techniques, and examining how they transformed life into art. An ideal introduction for readers coming to these major American poets for the first time, it will also help veteran readers to appreciate their work in a new light.
"One of the most promising young poet-critics in America" () examines a revolutionary generation of poets.
About the Author
Adam Kirsch is the author of two collections of poems and several books of poetry criticism. A senior editor at the New Republic and a columnist for Tablet, he also writes for The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.