The Pittsburgh Book of Contemporary American Poetry Summary

The Pittsburgh Book of Contemporary American Poetry

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

THE PITTSBURGH BOOK OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY commemorates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pitt Poetry Series, one of the most prominent and longrunning poetry publishing ventures in the United States. The editors selected generous samples from the work of forty-five poets, twenty-one men and twenty-four women, from Pitt Poetry titles currently in print. This gathering offers an enjoyable cross-section of some of the best contemporary American poetry. The work covers a vast range of styles and content. Many of the poets write in well-crafted free verse; others, such as Peter Meinke, choose traditional forms like the sonnet. All show a mastery of contemporary American diction. The poems speak in voices that are rich with experience.

The poets in this volume inhabit many worlds and represent all colors, classes, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. One finds, for example, work by Nicaraguan poet Claribel Alegria and Chicano poets Gary Soto and Lorna Dee Cervantes. The book includes poems by two daughters of West Virginia, Maggie Anderson and Irene McKinney, as well as work by Swedish-born Siv Cedering and Julia Kasdorf writing about her Amish ancestry. The late Etheridge Knight came from rural Mississippi; Stuart Dybeck remembers his native southside Chicago. Leonard Nathan considers how loneliness becomes violence between women and men; while Robin Becker admires the body of her lover in her bath. This collection will give many readers many pleasures.