Poet's Work, Poet's Play: Essays on the Practice and the Art

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Daniel Tobin, Pimone Triplett
University of Michigan Press, 2008 - Reference - 303 pages

A follow-up to the highly praised Poets Teaching Poets, Daniel Tobin and Pimone Triplett's Poet's Work, Poet's Play gathers together essays by some of the most important voices in contemporary poetry: Carl Dennis, Stephen Dobyns, Tony Hoagland, Heather McHugh, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Eleanor Wilner, Dean Young, and the late Larry Levis and Agha Shahid Ali.

Lively, accessible, and erudite, the pieces range from discussions on syntax and the syllable to an exploration of the complexities of canon formation under the shadow of imperialism, race, and history. Exploring the work of John Donne, William Butler Yeats, Robert Frost, Philip Larkin, Charles Olsen, Ezra Pound, Anne Carson, Robert Herrick, Harryette Mullen, and many others, Poet's Work, Poet's Play---like its predecessor volume---will be an invaluable tool for teachers, students, and poets at every level.

"Much more than a set of essays on poetic craft or aesthetic understandings, this collection takes on two of the most prevalent anxieties about writing poetry in our time: the place of subjectivity in poetry, and how to make a significant shape in language while both affirming and interrogating the poetic I's authority. This is a book for anyone who wants to write better poems, who wants to read with greater passion, and who believes that poetry is an independent category of human consciousness that can be as capaciousness as the world, and as nuanced."
---Tom Sleigh, author of Space Walk and Far Side of the Earth

"Gathering together essays by unquestionably important poets, Poet's Work, Poet's Play has immense pedagogical value in the way it demonstrates how to discover in poetry resources of language and structure often overlooked in first, and ensuing, readings of complex texts."
---Laurence Goldstein, Professor of English, University of Michigan, and Editor, Michigan Quarterly Review

"A valuable document illuminating critical aspects of the contemporary American poetry scene."
---John Koethe, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and author of Sally's Hair: Poems


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PART ONE Ratios of Flight
Marianne Boruch Heavy Lifting
Laura Kasciske The Transcendent Poem
Pimone Triplett The MultiHomelanded Sublime
PART TWO Various Ingenuities
Larry Levis Mock the Mockers after That
Alan Williamson Cynicism
Daniel Tobin Ancient Salt American Grains
PART THREE Elements Visible
Syntax Part II
Carl Dennis The Temporal Lyric
Poets Use of the First Person
Heather McHugh Poise and Suspense
James Longenbach Purity Restraint Stillness

Dean Young Surrealism 101
Agha Shahid Ali A Darkly Defense of Dead White Males
Tony Hoagland Fear of Narrative and the Skittery Poem

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