A definitive literary portrait of contrasting visions and styles covers the key issues important to the African-American experience, including poetry on slavery, the South; protest and resistance, music and religion, spirituality, sexuality and love, and the idea of Africa.
The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry gives readers a cutting-edge introduction to the kaleidoscopic world of American poetry over the last century. Offering a comprehensive approach to the debates that have defined the study of American verse the twenty-five original essays contained herein take up a wide array of topics: the influence of jazz on the Beats and beyond; European and surrealist influences on style; poetics of the disenfranchised; religion and the national epic; antiwar and dissent poetry; the AIDS epidemic; digital innovations; transnationalism; hip hop; and more. Alongside these topics, major interpretive perspectives such as Marxist, psychoanalytic, disability, queer, and ecocritcal are incorporated. Throughout, the names that have shaped American poetry in the period - Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Sterling Brown, Hart Crane, William Carlos Williams, Posey, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, RaeArmantrout, Larry Eigner, and others - serve as touchstones along the tour of the poetic landscape.
The 2018 edition of the Best American Poetry—“a ‘best’ anthology that really lives up to its title” (Chicago Tribune)—collects the most significant poems of the year, chosen by Poet Laureate of California Dana Gioia. The guest editor for 2018, Dana Gioia, has an unconventional poetic background. Gioia has published five volumes of poetry, served as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and currently sits as the Poet Laureate of California, but he is also a graduate of Stanford Business School and was once a Vice President at General Foods. He has studied opera and is a published librettist, in addition to his prolific work in critical essay writing and editing literary anthologies. Having lived several lives, Gioia brings an insightful, varied, eclectic eye to this year’s Best American Poetry. With his classic essay “Can Poetry Matter?”, originally run in The Atlantic in 1991, Gioia considered whether there is a place for poetry to be a part of modern American mainstream culture. Decades later, the debate continues, but Best American Poetry 2018 stands as evidence that poetry is very much present, relevant, and finding new readers.