Like his college roommate Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen took both poetry and Zen seriously. He became friends with Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Michael McClure, and played a key role in the explosive poetic revolution of the '50s and '60s. Celebrated for his wisdom and good humor, Whalen transformed the poem for a generation. His writing, taken as a whole, forms a monumental stream of consciousness (or, as Whalen calls it, "continuous nerve movie") of a wild, deeply read, and fiercely independent American—one who refuses to belong, who celebrates and glorifies the small beauties to be found everywhere he looks. This long-awaited Selected Poems is a welcome opportunity to hear his influential voice again.
A new collection from a poet who “writes with scrupulous and merciful passion about every kind of relatedness—family, place, politics, and wildlife” (W. S. Piero) In her fifth book of poems, Stairway to Heaven, Alison Hawthorne Deming explores dimensions of grief and renewal after losing her brother and mother. Grounded in her communion with nature and place, she finds even in Death Valley, that most stark of landscapes, a spirit of inventiveness that animates the ground we walk on. From the cave art of Chauvet to the futuristic habitat of Biosphere 2, that inventiveness becomes consolation for losses in family and nature, a means to build again a sense of self and world in the face of devastating loss. From the Trade Paperback edition.
New work from a poet who "seems to be getting stronger with each collection" (David Yezzi, The New Criterion) William Logan is widely admired as one of our foremost masters of free verse as well as formal poetry; his classical verve conjures up the past within the present and the foreshadowings of the present within the past. In their sculptural turns, their pleasure in the glimmerings of the sublime while rummaging around in the particular, the poems in Rift of Light, Logan's eleventh collection, are a master class of powerful feeling embedded in language. Ranging from Martin Luther to an abandoned crow, from a midwife toad to a small-town janitor, from actress Louise Brooks to Dürer's stag beetle, Logan shows an encyclopedic attention to the passing world. Dry, witty, skeptical, these dark and acidic poems prove a constant and informing delight.
Representing more than two decades of work, this collection of musically charged poetry features selections from each of her first five collections, as well as original poems created specifically for this volume. Original.
When Carolyn Forché chose Barbara Cully's first book, The New Intimacy, for the National Poetry Series, she wrote, "Cully is a poet reading the world for the brutality of its inequities, aware of the flattening compression of historical memory and the dissolution of the body." This new book offers a critique of the "heroic" that results in elegy and wisely offers no resolution. These poems point to the forms of faith as both genius and as the fount of much of the world's anguish. Such writing proceeds from the recognition of the end of irony; in it elegy has become, finally, all.
Paris-based Alice Notley has earned a reputation as one of the most challenging and engaging poets at work today; her most recent collection, Mysteries of Small Houses, was a finalist for both the Pullitzer Prize in poetry and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 1998. Notley's newest work takes as its starting point the poet's conviction of the necessity of maintaining a state of disobedience against everything, from politics to poetics to feminism. Structured as a long series of interconnected poems, in which one of the main elements is an ongoing fantasy dialogue with a seedy detective, Disobediencesets out to explore the visible, the despised daily, as well as the unconscious; it also deals with life as a woman in France, turning fifty, and living as a poet and thus being seemingly despised or ignored. Vividly erecting structures of image and feeling that accumulated during this time, these poems reflect the wisdom, passion, loneliness, and strength of a poet's attempt at not believing, and telling the truth as it comes up.