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Poetry in America

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Poetry in America offers extravagantly formed lyric and narrative poems that function like works of social realism for our times: hard times, wartime, divorce, times of downturn and dissipated resources. Where, in such times, can poetry emerge, the book asks—and answers—again and again. Largely set in rural places and small towns, these poems are politically committed but Poetry in America offers extravagantly formed lyric and narrative poems that function like works of social realism for our times: hard times, wartime, divorce, times of downturn and dissipated resources. Where, in such times, can poetry emerge, the book asks—and answers—again and again. Largely set in rural places and small towns, these poems are politically committed but deeply sensuous, emotionally complex and compassionate. They take up the everyday in meaningful ways, and deliver it with blunt force, yet not without hope or bright humor.  


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Poetry in America offers extravagantly formed lyric and narrative poems that function like works of social realism for our times: hard times, wartime, divorce, times of downturn and dissipated resources. Where, in such times, can poetry emerge, the book asks—and answers—again and again. Largely set in rural places and small towns, these poems are politically committed but Poetry in America offers extravagantly formed lyric and narrative poems that function like works of social realism for our times: hard times, wartime, divorce, times of downturn and dissipated resources. Where, in such times, can poetry emerge, the book asks—and answers—again and again. Largely set in rural places and small towns, these poems are politically committed but deeply sensuous, emotionally complex and compassionate. They take up the everyday in meaningful ways, and deliver it with blunt force, yet not without hope or bright humor.  

30 review for Poetry in America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zuska

    Every poem in this volume is a winner. Beautifully crafted poems that should speak to anyone but that will also resonate in a special way with those who have lived in Pennsylvania, especially in the central/western parts of the state. I think I bought this book on a whim, browsing the poetry bookshelf in a B&N or possibly a Borders years ago. So glad to own it. So glad to have spent time with it again this evening.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dearwassily

    “If you want to become a poet, be a warrior trained to crave neither praise nor love.” (“Yehuda Amichai in Late November”)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I just finished this vibrant collection with a sad sigh, wishing it didn't have to be over. Julia Spicher Kasdorf if my favorite poet of all time, and this long-awaited collection does not disappoint. It contains everything we've always loved about Julia's subject matter: childhood memories that are both traumatic and redemptive, a deep sense of place/home, and vivid imagery juxtaposed with seemingly unrelated vivid imagery with a seamlessness I'm in awe of. Add to that a keen sense of current e I just finished this vibrant collection with a sad sigh, wishing it didn't have to be over. Julia Spicher Kasdorf if my favorite poet of all time, and this long-awaited collection does not disappoint. It contains everything we've always loved about Julia's subject matter: childhood memories that are both traumatic and redemptive, a deep sense of place/home, and vivid imagery juxtaposed with seemingly unrelated vivid imagery with a seamlessness I'm in awe of. Add to that a keen sense of current events (particularly the U.S.'s emotional detachment from the Iraq War) and some gorgeous commentary on parenting, the ending of relationships, and the writing process, and you have an absolutely brilliant collection. There are so many gorgeous poems in this collection, but the two that take my breath away are "Bat Boy, Break a Leg" and "Poetry in America." The ending of "Bat Boy, Break a Leg" is so well-earned, monosyllabic, and starkly beautiful (but you really need to read the full poem to get the full effect): "He touched my cheek. I opened the screen. He flew in his time. We did no harm."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    The long-awaited collection to follow EVE'S STRIPTEASE and SLEEPING PREACHER. It's an incredibly solid collection full of many-threaded narratives that bring together parenting, kick-boxing, teaching, Menno history, America's strange deadness concerning poetry (and America's live wires which are the people for whom poetry is life & bread). And so many unsentimental poems about being a mother, about giving birth, "which was as striking as death and common as dirt." I love "Bat Boy, Break a Leg," s The long-awaited collection to follow EVE'S STRIPTEASE and SLEEPING PREACHER. It's an incredibly solid collection full of many-threaded narratives that bring together parenting, kick-boxing, teaching, Menno history, America's strange deadness concerning poetry (and America's live wires which are the people for whom poetry is life & bread). And so many unsentimental poems about being a mother, about giving birth, "which was as striking as death and common as dirt." I love "Bat Boy, Break a Leg," speaking to vulnerability in teaching, to the beauty of bats, to the way moments break in on one another: "Pale boy dressed in black,/ maybe the best that can be said for any of us is that/ once we were angelic enough to sleep with strangers."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    These poems were beautiful. After I finished reading one, I had to go back and start over before moving on. Her poems deal with a lot; parenthood, childhood memories, family history, and the US-Iraq relationship in Post-911 America. There's beautiful imagery and repetition of sound that sucks you in and doesn't let go. Favorites of mine are: Bat Boy, Break a Leg The Baby Screaming in the Back Seat Swallows Over Bellefonte I'm definitely checking out more of her works. THIS is what I wish we were These poems were beautiful. After I finished reading one, I had to go back and start over before moving on. Her poems deal with a lot; parenthood, childhood memories, family history, and the US-Iraq relationship in Post-911 America. There's beautiful imagery and repetition of sound that sucks you in and doesn't let go. Favorites of mine are: Bat Boy, Break a Leg The Baby Screaming in the Back Seat Swallows Over Bellefonte I'm definitely checking out more of her works. THIS is what I wish we were taught in English class.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Lovely, careful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Holly Walter

  8. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  12. 5 out of 5

    sarah

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  14. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maria Weir

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Bartlett

  20. 4 out of 5

    Peter Oresick

  21. 5 out of 5

    Huckleberry

  22. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Zimmer

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy Lee

  24. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

  25. 5 out of 5

    Justine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Valentine

  27. 5 out of 5

    Madison Robbins

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luna Magee

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

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