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     Volume 6 Issue 6 | February 16, 2007 |

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Collected Poems

The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley 1975-2005
Robert Creeley
University of California Press; October 2006

This stellar collection showcases thirty years of work by one of the most significant American poets of the twentieth century, bringing together verse that originally appeared in eight acclaimed books of poetry ranging from Hello: A Journal (1978) to Life and Death (1998) and If I Were Writing This (2003). Robert Creeley, who oversaw the publication of this volume before his death in 2005, helped define an emerging counter-tradition to the prevailing literary establishment--a postwar poetry originating with Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky and expanding through the lives and works of Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, and others. The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005, essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century American poetry, will stand together with The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975, published in a new edition by University of California Press in 2006, as the definitive Robert Creeley for today and for the future.

W. H. Auden: Collected Poems

Edward Mendelson (editor)
Random House Publishing Group; February 2007

Auden is a subtle master of formal verse and free verse. His formal pieces read with the ease of free verse, and his free verse is as musical as formal poetry. Auden is also refreshingly humorous at times and there is a sense of humor in his work that is very enjoyable. This collection presents all the poems that Auden wished to preserve, in the texts that received his final approval. It includes the full contents of his previous collected editions along with all the later volumes of his shorter poems.

The Best American Poetry 2006

David Lehman (editor)
Simon & Schuster Trade; September 2006

In the 19th installment of this annual series, former poet laureate Collins (The Trouble with Poetry, 2005), one of America's most popular poets ever, has culled the typical handful of big names and some surprising new voices from more than 50 American literary publications. Collins's predilections for accessibility, humour and tidy forms are evident, but there are also surprises. Usual suspects former Best American editors Ashbery (who surprises with a poem in neatly rhymed couplets), Hass, Simic, Tate and Muldoon, as well as Mary Oliver meet rising masters like Kay Ryan ("A bird's/ worth of weight/ or one bird-weight/ of Wordsworth"), Vijay Seshadri and Franz Wright. Most interesting, however, is the chance each volume offers to see which up-and-comers make the cut. This year's roster includes edgy poems by Joy Katz, Danielle Pafunda ("my hair cramped with sexy"), Terrance Hayes, and Christian Hawkey ("O my/ beloved shovel-nosed mole"), among others. Collins's surprising and opinionated introduction in which he admits that, unlike some of series editor David Lehman's previous guest editors, "the designation 'best' doesn't bother me," and offers his definition of a good poem (often one that "starts in the factual" and displays "a tone of playful irreverence") may cause some controversy.

Compiled by Sanyat Sattar


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