The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry - Rita Dove

Anthologies are great. If you’re a poetry aficionado, you have your favorites all in one place. If you’re a new poetry reader, you get to sample lots of styles, genres, and periods and find out what you like. For a guide to this rewarding, demanding literary art, there are few better than Rita Dove. A teacher, former Poet Laureate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Award, the Premio Capri—to name a few—Dove has compiled the new Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry (Penguin Press, $40). Arranged chronologically from Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) to Terence Hayes (born 1971), this collection gives you classics like Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” and Wallace Stevens’s “The Emperor of Ice-Cream,” as well as many lesser-known gems. T.S. Eliot is here, as are Louise Erdrich, Sandra Cisnersos, Kevin Young and Dove’s fellow former Poets Laureate, Billy Collins and Kay Ryan.

The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry By Rita Dove (Editor) Cover Image
By Rita Dove (Editor)
ISBN: 9780143106432
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - October 25th, 2011

The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry By Rita Dove (Editor) Cover Image
By Rita Dove (Editor)
ISBN: 9780143121480
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - September 24th, 2013

The Iliad - Homer, Stephen Mitchell

A work of both art and scholarship, Stephen Mitchell’s translation of The Iliad (Free Press, $35) updates Homer’s epic for the 21st century, even as it takes the work back to its roots. Written down many centuries after it was composed, the original oral version has been added to over the generations, but Mitchell has based this latest rendition on a text stripped of known later accretions. To tell this “dramatically sharper and leaner” story, Mitchell, a prolific translator of works as varied in style, language, and purpose as Gilgamesh, the Tao Te Ching, the Bible, and Rilke’s poetry, studied the flow of the Greek meter and worked to match its rhythms in English. The result is an energetic and graceful account of the long Trojan War and the passions of the warriors that drove it, with every word carefully chosen for sound as well as sense. Mitchell’s informative commentary and unobtrusive notes are invaluable to appreciating the richness of this elegant volume, the first new rendering of The Iliad in some fifteen years.

The Iliad: (The Stephen Mitchell Translation) By Homer, Stephen Mitchell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Homer, Stephen Mitchell (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781439163382
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Washington Square Press - August 14th, 2012

The Back Chamber - Donald Hall

From jump-rope songs about mortality to the light satire of “Ric’s Progress,” the tale of a modern would-be rake, Donald Hall’s 18th collection ranges wide in subject and form. Like the objects gathered in The Back Chamber (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22) of his family’s New England farmhouse, these poems are invested with love and consummate craftsmanship; they’re made to last. In his eighties now, the former U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of nearly every writing award going, has a prodigious memory; he gives us details of boyhood farm chores, names of beloved horses, radio news of the 1930s and ‘40s, train rides. In moving, tightly compressed elegies he remembers lost friends, family, and fellow writers. But he lives in the present as much as in the past, and here also are new loves, recent travels, the sustaining enthusiasms of watching baseball and writing poetry. Always aware of passing time, Hall is still the one in charge, pruning “dead limbs for next year’s sake.”