The New American Poetry of Engagement

A 21st Century Anthology

$29.95

In stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist
SKU: 9780786464678 Categories: , ,

About the Book

This anthology of poetry collects 21st century American works by both established and emerging poets that deal with the public events, government policies, ecological and political threats, economic uncertainties, and large-scale violence that have largely defined the century to date. But these 138 poems by 50 poets do not simply describe, lament, or bear witness to contemporary events; they also explore the linguistic, temporal, and imaginative problems involved in doing so. In this way, the anthology offers a comprehensive look at contemporary American poetry, demonstrating that poets are moving at once toward a new engagement with public concerns and toward a focus on the problems of representation. A detailed introduction by the editors along with poetics statements by many of the poets add depth and context to a book that will appeal to anyone interested in the state and evolution of contemporary American poetry.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Ann Keniston is an associate professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Jeffrey Gray is a professor of English at Seton Hall University. He lives in South Orange, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Ann Keniston and Jeffrey Gray
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 280
Bibliographic Info: 4 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6467-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0055-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Acknowledgments      xi
Introduction: Saying What Happened in the 21st Century      1

Rae Armantrout  New 17  •  Previews 18  •  Bubble Wrap 18  •  Action Poem 19
Frank Bidart  Curse 20  •  The Soldier Who Guards the Frontier 21  •  To the Republic 22  •  Inauguration Day 23
Robert Bly  Call and Answer 23  •  Let Sympathy Pass 24  •  The Stew of DisTable of Contents
25  •  Those Being Eaten 26  •  Here the Sleepers Sleep 27
Bruce Bond  The Altars of September 28  •  Flag 29  •  Ringtone 32
Joel Brouwer  Lines from the Reports of the Investigative Committees 32
Timothy Donnelly  Partial Inventory of Airborne Debris 34  •  Dream of Arabian Hillbillies 38
Carolyn Forché  The Ghost of Heaven 41
Katie Ford  Flee 43  •  Earth 44  •  Fish Market 44  •  The Vessel Bends the Water 45
Forrest Gander  Background Check 46
Peter Gizzi  Protest Song 47
Louise Glück  October 47
Albert Goldbarth  Some Common Terms in Latin That Are Larger Than Our Lives 53
Kenneth Goldsmith  “A1” from The Day 54
Jorie Graham  Little Exercise 61  •  Praying (Attempt of June 14 ’03) 62 •  Guantánamo 64  •  Employment 66
Linda Gregerson  Sweet 68  •  Father Mercy, Mother Tongue 70  •  Still Life 72  •  The Selvage 76
Eamon Grennan  Y2K 78
Marilyn Hacker  Letter to Hayden Carruth 78  •  From Names 80  •  Ghazal: min al-hobbi m’a qatal 82
Forrest Hamer  Aftermath 83  •  What Happened 84  •  Conference  84
Robert Hass  I am Your Waiter Tonight and My Name is Dmitri 85 •  Ezra Pound’s Proposition 88  •  On Visiting the DMZ at Panmunjom: A Haibun 89  •  Some of David’s Story 89
Bob Hicok  Happy Anniversary 93  •  Full Flight 94  •  Troubled Times 96  •  In the Loop 97  •  Stop-loss 98
Brenda Hillman  From Nine Untitled Epyllions 99  •  Reportorial Poetry, Trance & Activism 102  •  In a Senate Armed Services Hearing 102  •  Request to the Berkeley City Council Concerning Strawberry Creek 105  •  In High Desert Under the Drones 107
Galway Kinnell  When the Towers Fell 107
Yusef Komunyakaa  From “Love in the Time of War” 112  •  Grenade 113  •  The Towers 113  •  Heavy Metal Soliloquy 115  •  The Warlord’s Garden 115  •  Surge 116  •  Clouds 117
Maxine Kumin  Extraordinary Rendition 118  •  On Reading The Age of Innocence in a Troubled Time 119  •  Entering Houses at Night 120  •  Still We Take Joy 120  •  Just Deserts 121
Ann Lauterbach  Victory 122  •  Hum 123  •  Echo Revision 125
Ben Lerner  Didactic Elegy 129
Timothy Liu  Ready-Mades 134  •  Vita Breva 135  •  Beauty 135  •  Elegy for Oum Kolsoum Written Across the Sky 135
John Matthias  Column I, Tablet XIII 136
J. D. McClatchy  Jihad 137
Raymond McDaniel  Assault to Abjury 139  •  Sen Jak’s Advice to the Tropically Depressed 139
Sandra McPherson  On Being Transparent: Cedar Rapids Airport 140
W. S. Merwin  To the Light of September 142  •  To the Words 143  •  To the Grass of Autumn 143  •  To Ashes 144  •  To the Coming Winter 145
Philip Metres  From “Hung Lyres” 146  •  Asymmetries 146  •  Testimony 147  •  Compline 148  •  From “Homefront/Removes” 149
Naomi Shihab Nye  Dictionary in the Dark 149  •  Interview, Saudi Arabia 150  •  I Never Realized They Had Aspirations Like Ours 150
Geoffrey O’Brien  A History 151
Sharon Olds  September, 2001 153
Robert Pinsky  Poem of Disconnected Parts 154  •  The Forgetting 156 The Anniversary 157
Kevin Prufer  National Anthem 159  •  Dead Soldier 160  •  Those Who Could Not Flee 161  •  Recent History 163  •  God Bless Our Troops 164
Claudia Rankine  From Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric: “Cornel West makes the point” 165 • “Timothy McVeigh died at 7:14 a.m.” 166
Donald Revell  Given Days 167  •  Vietnam Epic Treatment 172  •  Election Year 174
Frederick Seidel  God Exploding 174  •  The Black-Eyed Virgins 175  •  Eurostar 176  •  Song: “The Swollen River Overthrows Its Banks” 176  •  The Bush Administration 177
Hugh Seidman  Found Poem: Microloans 179  •  Thinking of Baghdad 180
Lisa Sewell  The Anatomy of Melancholy 181
Susan Stewart  When I’m crying, I’m not speaking 183  •  When I’m speaking, I’m not crying 184  •  Elegy Against the Massacre at the Amish School in West Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Autumn 2006 184
David Wagoner  In Rubble 187
C. K. Williams  War 188  •  Fear 189  •  The Future 191•  Cassandra, Iraq 192  •  Lies 193
Eleanor Wilner  Found in the Free Library 193  •  In a Time of War194  •  Back Then, We Called It “The War” 195  •  The Show Must Go On 197  •  Rendition, with Flag 198  •  Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) 199
C. D. Wright  From Rising, Falling, Hovering: “He slept with the dead then” 200  •  “One bright night” 200  •  “I was just thinking” 201
Robert Wrigley  Exxon 202
The Poets: Profiles and Statements 205
Index 259

Book Reviews & Awards

“Highly recommended”—Choice; “This superb anthology of “engaged” poems, framed by the editors’ seminal introduction, will help define the age. Challenging the easy opposition of political and personal, the collection includes all sorts of astounding, unsettling poems by poets ranging from Rae Armantrout to Frank Bidart, Galway Kinnell, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Claudia Rankine. This is the Hour of Lead, but the poems shimmer.”—Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside; “Ann Keniston and Jeffrey Gray have provided us with what may be the definitive representation of the 21st century’s troubled first decade. This brilliant anthology insists on the importance of public poetry…a tradition revived after 9/11 and reinforced by subsequent economic, political and natural disasters. From differing aesthetic positions, the poets collected in The New American Poetry of Engagement witness the unimaginable, say the unspeakable.”—Michael Davidson, University of California, San Diego.