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20 May 2006

Best Book of American Poetry of Last 25 Years?

After reviewing The New York Times story on the best work of U.S. fiction of the last 25 years, it made me think of what might be in the list of the best books of poetry by a U.S. writer (this would eliminate the inclusion, say, of Seamus Heaney's wonderful translation of Beowulf).

Before I offer some suggestions, I really don't think these lists are all that valuable, as they bring out the worse qualities of canon formation. Still, it is a fun exercise, and perhaps a way to get others to find books that otherwise are easily ignored.

Works I would consider, off the top of my head (I'm purposely excluding reissues, collected editions, etc.):

Hayden Carruth The Sleeping Beauty
Yusef Komunyakaa Dien Cai Dau
Lynda Hull Star Ledger
Mark Doty My Alexandria
Sharon Olds The Cold Cell
Li Young-Lee The City in which I Love You
Kenneth Koch New Addresses
Ellen Bryant Voigt The Lotus Flowers
Kevin Stein Bruised Paradise

No doubt, I am overlooking work by heavyweights like Rich, Merwin, Merrill, Ashbury, and by really good poets like Hass, Hongo, Jarman, Alexander, and Coleman, and mid-career poets like Duhamel, K. Young, D. Young, Hayes, Addonizio, and N. Tretheway, and young whippersnappers like Hopler, Fleury, Loudermilk, and Pavlic.

2 Comments:

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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