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Poetry After 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets

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The first book ever published by Melville House, contains poems by forty-five of some of the most important poets of the day, as well as some of the literary world’s most dynamic young voices, all writing in New York City in the year immediately following the World Trade Center attacks. After 9/11 poetry was everywhere—on telephone poles, on warehouse walls, in the bus shel The first book ever published by Melville House, contains poems by forty-five of some of the most important poets of the day, as well as some of the literary world’s most dynamic young voices, all writing in New York City in the year immediately following the World Trade Center attacks. After 9/11 poetry was everywhere—on telephone poles, on warehouse walls, in the bus shelters. People spontaneously turned to poetry to understand and cope with the tragedy of the attack. Full of humor, love, rage and fear, this diverse collection of poems attests to the power of poetry to express and to heal the human spirit. Featuring poems by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn; Best American Poetry series editor David Lehman; National Book Award winner and New York State Poet Jean Valentine; the 'rstever Nuyorican Slam-Poetry champ; poets laureate of Brooklyn and Queens; and a poem and introduction by National Book Award finalist Alicia Ostriker.


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The first book ever published by Melville House, contains poems by forty-five of some of the most important poets of the day, as well as some of the literary world’s most dynamic young voices, all writing in New York City in the year immediately following the World Trade Center attacks. After 9/11 poetry was everywhere—on telephone poles, on warehouse walls, in the bus shel The first book ever published by Melville House, contains poems by forty-five of some of the most important poets of the day, as well as some of the literary world’s most dynamic young voices, all writing in New York City in the year immediately following the World Trade Center attacks. After 9/11 poetry was everywhere—on telephone poles, on warehouse walls, in the bus shelters. People spontaneously turned to poetry to understand and cope with the tragedy of the attack. Full of humor, love, rage and fear, this diverse collection of poems attests to the power of poetry to express and to heal the human spirit. Featuring poems by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn; Best American Poetry series editor David Lehman; National Book Award winner and New York State Poet Jean Valentine; the 'rstever Nuyorican Slam-Poetry champ; poets laureate of Brooklyn and Queens; and a poem and introduction by National Book Award finalist Alicia Ostriker.

30 review for Poetry After 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets

  1. 5 out of 5

    Philip Costea

    Never forget. And these poets help.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    "We saw it and can't stop watching: as if the plane entered the eye and it was the mind that began burning with such a stubborn flame. We saw the bodies jump and couldn't break their fall-- now they wait so gracefully in midair, holding hands." --from "October Marriage" by D. Nurkse "We saw it and can't stop watching: as if the plane entered the eye and it was the mind that began burning with such a stubborn flame. We saw the bodies jump and couldn't break their fall-- now they wait so gracefully in midair, holding hands." --from "October Marriage" by D. Nurkse

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Miranda Besson, "Flight" (6) -- Haunting. Bill Kushner, "Civilization" (12-13) -- "You talk to me, I listen. / I talk to you, you listen. Is this like civilization or / what?" Shelley Stenhouse, "Circling"(18) -- "We'll never go back. It's so strange to be caught / in history [...] I don't want to die. / I hope God is circling up there with those planes." Carter Ratcliff, "So Gallantly Streaming: To the Poet" (21-22) -- "I had become your name." Eliot Katz, "The Weather Seems Different" (27-28) -- " Miranda Besson, "Flight" (6) -- Haunting. Bill Kushner, "Civilization" (12-13) -- "You talk to me, I listen. / I talk to you, you listen. Is this like civilization or / what?" Shelley Stenhouse, "Circling"(18) -- "We'll never go back. It's so strange to be caught / in history [...] I don't want to die. / I hope God is circling up there with those planes." Carter Ratcliff, "So Gallantly Streaming: To the Poet" (21-22) -- "I had become your name." Eliot Katz, "The Weather Seems Different" (27-28) -- "My love, you know that death is both a separation / and a permanent glue." Vicki Hudspith, "Nodding Cranes" (32-33) -- "And if all the pieces are swept away / How will I measure / What I know" Colette Inez, "September Morning" (35) -- Perhaps the only thing to say is: majestic. ("Soon the queen of fire / and the king of ashes danced. / Towers fell.") Hugh Seidman, "New York" (40-41) -- "(terrible hubris, / terrible debris)." Extraordinarily honest. Frank Lima, "Good Morning America" (43-44) -- "the lost footprints and the future of dreaming." Curious poem. Anne-Marie Levine, "Four November 9ths" (53-54) -- A thoughtful poem about the memories that dates keep for us. Nancy Mercado, "Going to Work" (55) -- What losing monumental monuments really means after. Eileen Myles, "Flowers" (61-63) -- "Hundreds / of flowers / outside as / the world / continues / it's impossible / turning. We / miss you." George Murray, "The Statue" (84-85) -- How to we rebuild, and how to we remember, celebrate, immortalize? "Guilt has unexpectedly become tangible, / is falling from its bearers / in tears of marble and limestone--" Alicia Ostriker, "The Window, At the Moment of Flame" (86) -- "all this while I have been shopping, I have / been let us say free / and do they hate me for it / do they hate me" David Lehman, "9/14/01" (89) -- I want to recite this whole poem over and over again. Rachel Hadas, "Tangerine Orchids" (91-92) -- "These flowers unlock a heart I hadn't known / was locked; mend what I didn't knwo was broken. / That much was broken I did now. But me?" Captures the tension of feeling like our lives were a part of this tragedy and the guilt of not having suffered, fallen, wept. Rachel Hadas, "Sunday Afternoon" (93-94) -- Cataloging the leavings. Nikki Moustaki, "How to Write a Poem after September 11th" (95-96) -- "First: Don't use the word souls." Explicitly and unabashedly Adorno-esque. God, this poem is beautiful. Tim Suermondt, "Missing Supper" (103) -- "Don't grieve too long / over the ones who will never / be with us for another meal [...] They've saved us a place at their table"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Morales

    I picked this book not because it looked interesting. I picked this book to read because I found its topic interesting. Ever since I learned the right details about 9/11, I would renew my curiosity every year. I would sit and look up ever source I could find delivering news, updates, and photos of the two WTC buildings that fell. I also chose this book because I like to write poetry, so I read it to gain inspiration. This book has a list of poems written by people who experienced the feeling of I picked this book not because it looked interesting. I picked this book to read because I found its topic interesting. Ever since I learned the right details about 9/11, I would renew my curiosity every year. I would sit and look up ever source I could find delivering news, updates, and photos of the two WTC buildings that fell. I also chose this book because I like to write poetry, so I read it to gain inspiration. This book has a list of poems written by people who experienced the feeling of 9/11. If you want a poem to explain to you the during and after of 9/11, I would read," When the Skyline Crumbles" by Eliot Katz. I like this poem because Katz uses visual words where you can actually feel the event just unfolding. I like her use of figurative language by saying,"...with 50,000 individual heartbeats working in Twin Bodies." This line appeals to me because I like to imagine that there are actually and only 50,000 individual heartbeats. I love how instead of "Twin Towers," the poet writes "Twin Bodies." This just renews the impact of 9/11 in my imagination. It was a well written poem in my opinion. This book is a book to read if you like the use of figurative language, reliving the events and impact of 9/11, or if you love to read/write poetry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    QS

    This is an interesting enough anthology, but I'm not sure what to say about it. The poetry isn't exclusively about 9/11 or its aftermath, and I'm honestly not certain how I feel about that. One one hand, it's nice to see that life does, indeed, go on; on the other hand, I feel that in such a small anthology, it should include poems about the tragic event mentioned in the title. At least the poems all ranged from good to great, so I was never disappointed by the actual content. In the end, I wave This is an interesting enough anthology, but I'm not sure what to say about it. The poetry isn't exclusively about 9/11 or its aftermath, and I'm honestly not certain how I feel about that. One one hand, it's nice to see that life does, indeed, go on; on the other hand, I feel that in such a small anthology, it should include poems about the tragic event mentioned in the title. At least the poems all ranged from good to great, so I was never disappointed by the actual content. In the end, I wavered between giving this three and four stars because of my uncertainty on the selection, but the four stars won out because the content deserved it. And as always, here's my favorites of the bunch (in the order they're found in the book): 1. "The World Trade Center" by David Lehman 2. "Grudges" by Stephen Dunn 3. "Slowing Down For Death" by Hal Sirowitz 4. "The Land of the Shi by Molly Peacock 5. "The Window, at the Moment of Flame" by Alicia Ostriker 6. "9/15/01" by David Lehman 7. "Sunday Afternoon" by Rachel Hadas 8. "Aubade 2" by Geoffrey O'Brien 9. "Squad I" by Tim Suermondt 10. "Missing Supper" by Tim Suermondt

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maria Paiz

    Touching poetry that reflects the anguish and sorrow felt by New Yorkers after that traumatic and sobering day. This is a clear example of art reflecting society, made particularly poignant through the words of accomplished poets. So many beautiful words! "Even if we've scraped the sky, we can be rubble", wrote Stephen Dunn, reminding us that even in a society that has reached all limits of power and success, there is a risk of tumbling to nothing. Eliot Katz's words to a departed loved one move Touching poetry that reflects the anguish and sorrow felt by New Yorkers after that traumatic and sobering day. This is a clear example of art reflecting society, made particularly poignant through the words of accomplished poets. So many beautiful words! "Even if we've scraped the sky, we can be rubble", wrote Stephen Dunn, reminding us that even in a society that has reached all limits of power and success, there is a risk of tumbling to nothing. Eliot Katz's words to a departed loved one moved me deeply: "My love, you know that death is both a separation and a permanent glue". And then Philip Schultz broke my heart with this piece: "'Hear that?' the woman cries, ripping a magazine. 'It's my heart!'" Although I am not from NY, the terrible news of 9/11 broke the world's heart. Perhaps poetry can be a form of healing: a way to express the unspeakable so the world can grieve together.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leonard

    I actually expected this collection to be more moving than it was. Many of the poems focus on tragedy and loss without being 9/11 specific. But the universal nature of human-generated violence and the frequency at which it occurs around the globe, means that mass tragedy is a shared experience, so many of these poems will, unfortunately, be relevant for some time. I especially noted the work of Hal Sirowitz, who is a special education teacher in New York, and also one of my favorite poets. He ad I actually expected this collection to be more moving than it was. Many of the poems focus on tragedy and loss without being 9/11 specific. But the universal nature of human-generated violence and the frequency at which it occurs around the globe, means that mass tragedy is a shared experience, so many of these poems will, unfortunately, be relevant for some time. I especially noted the work of Hal Sirowitz, who is a special education teacher in New York, and also one of my favorite poets. He added a touch of humor to keep the book from being too serious. I think that limiting the contents to simply the work of New York poets might have made it a weaker anthology than it otherwise would have been.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read the book Poetry After 9/11. This was an ok book. There were poems ranging from 1 sentence long to 7 pages long. They were all about darkness and death. There were a lot of sorrowful poems in there to. A lot of them put 9/11 in in perspective like comparing it to a flower that died. Parts of it almost made me cry. Many of the poems were incredibly confusing. I would recommend this book to anyone who is incredibly philosophical. I myself did not like this book to much. I do not understand I read the book Poetry After 9/11. This was an ok book. There were poems ranging from 1 sentence long to 7 pages long. They were all about darkness and death. There were a lot of sorrowful poems in there to. A lot of them put 9/11 in in perspective like comparing it to a flower that died. Parts of it almost made me cry. Many of the poems were incredibly confusing. I would recommend this book to anyone who is incredibly philosophical. I myself did not like this book to much. I do not understand why people like poetry.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Therese Broderick

    The year 2011 -- disaster after disaster. Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes. Droughts, fires, floods. Starvation. War. Reading this anthology now, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I am struck by its lasting relevance to the many kinds of tragedies which are always with us. Of all these remarkable poems, "She Would Long" by Jean Valentine haunts me the most. The last sentence of the last page: "This book represents just the tip of the iceberg." The year 2011 -- disaster after disaster. Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes. Droughts, fires, floods. Starvation. War. Reading this anthology now, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I am struck by its lasting relevance to the many kinds of tragedies which are always with us. Of all these remarkable poems, "She Would Long" by Jean Valentine haunts me the most. The last sentence of the last page: "This book represents just the tip of the iceberg."

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Pappas

    At times elegaic, at times confounding or paranoidal, these always disquieting and sometimes beautiful poems written since the September 11th, 2001 attacks by New York poets is a fascinating exploration of the intersection of art and tragedy. While some poems are amazing, others fall flat. A few linger in one's mind for days after their initial reading. At times elegaic, at times confounding or paranoidal, these always disquieting and sometimes beautiful poems written since the September 11th, 2001 attacks by New York poets is a fascinating exploration of the intersection of art and tragedy. While some poems are amazing, others fall flat. A few linger in one's mind for days after their initial reading.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melville House Publishing

    Amongst the 45 poets featured are current Pulitzer Prize for Poetry-winner Stephen Dunn, the editor of the Best American Poetry series David Lehman, National Book Award finalist Alicia Ostriker, Jean Valentine and the poets laureate of Brooklyn and Queens.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather Clitheroe

    Some exceptionally good poems - in particular, by Ross Martin and Tony Towle.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Bickford-Manson

    Interesting, sad at points and joyful at others.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Biddinger

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Grauke

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  17. 5 out of 5

    Juli

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Peter

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Taylor

  20. 5 out of 5

    cherri

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dorre

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  23. 5 out of 5

    Barney

  24. 4 out of 5

    Betty Bleen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emma-Kate Schaake

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carol Revelle

  27. 5 out of 5

    oodee

  28. 5 out of 5

    Isla McKetta

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mareike

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

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