Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Baron Wormser (WURM-sur) has written essays and book reviews for various literary magazines. Two important book reviews, extensive analyses of the works of Polish poets Adam Zagajewski and Czesaw Miosz, reveal Wormser’s extraordinary knowledge of Western poetry, history, and culture. He has published essays concerning William Blake, the spirit of poetry in a democracy, and the necessity of religious poetry in our time. In 2000, he melded his vast wisdom about poetry with his love of teaching into a book, written with David Cappella, titled Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves. His memoir of his years in rural Maine, The Road Washes Out in Spring: A Poet’s Memoir of Living Off The Grid, appeared in 2006. Wormser published The Poetry Life: Ten Stories (2008), a book of ten short fictional narratives about poets from Blake in the eighteenth century to Sylvia Plath and Joe Bolton in the late twentieth century and how their work figured in the lives of imagined characters. The range of poets addressed—from formalists such as Weldon Kees to Beat poets such as Gregory Corso—helps Wormser imagine the significance of poetry in people’s personal triumphs and struggles. The Poetry Life is vital for understanding Wormser’s vision of what poetry is and can be.