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The Best American Poetry 1997 (Best American Poetry)

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Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, The Best American Poetry is the one indispensable volume for readers eager to follow what's new in poetry today. Sales continue to grow and plaudits keep coming in for this "high-voltage testament to the vitality of American poetry" (Booklist). Selected by prizewinning guest editor James Tate, the seventy-five best poems of the year w Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, The Best American Poetry is the one indispensable volume for readers eager to follow what's new in poetry today. Sales continue to grow and plaudits keep coming in for this "high-voltage testament to the vitality of American poetry" (Booklist). Selected by prizewinning guest editor James Tate, the seventy-five best poems of the year were chosen from more than three dozen magazines and range from the comic to the cosmic, from the contemplative to the sublime. In addition to showcasing our leading bards -- such as John Ashbery, Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, and Mark Strand -- the collection marks an auspicious debut for eye-opening younger poets. With comments from the poets themselves offering insights into their work, The Best American Poetry 1997 delivers the startling and imaginative writing that more and more people have come to expect from this prestigious series.


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Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, The Best American Poetry is the one indispensable volume for readers eager to follow what's new in poetry today. Sales continue to grow and plaudits keep coming in for this "high-voltage testament to the vitality of American poetry" (Booklist). Selected by prizewinning guest editor James Tate, the seventy-five best poems of the year w Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, The Best American Poetry is the one indispensable volume for readers eager to follow what's new in poetry today. Sales continue to grow and plaudits keep coming in for this "high-voltage testament to the vitality of American poetry" (Booklist). Selected by prizewinning guest editor James Tate, the seventy-five best poems of the year were chosen from more than three dozen magazines and range from the comic to the cosmic, from the contemplative to the sublime. In addition to showcasing our leading bards -- such as John Ashbery, Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, and Mark Strand -- the collection marks an auspicious debut for eye-opening younger poets. With comments from the poets themselves offering insights into their work, The Best American Poetry 1997 delivers the startling and imaginative writing that more and more people have come to expect from this prestigious series.

54 review for The Best American Poetry 1997 (Best American Poetry)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

    This was the best Best American Poetry volume I have read. While I did not enjoy every poem, there was no poem in this collection that I truly disliked, only ones that didn't quite do it for me. This made the reading experience unusually good, as I did not have to slog through bad poems to reach the really good ones. There were some poems I had already read--"No Sorry" by Catherine Bowman and "Return to Harmony 3" by Agha Shahid Ali were both featured in Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to t This was the best Best American Poetry volume I have read. While I did not enjoy every poem, there was no poem in this collection that I truly disliked, only ones that didn't quite do it for me. This made the reading experience unusually good, as I did not have to slog through bad poems to reach the really good ones. There were some poems I had already read--"No Sorry" by Catherine Bowman and "Return to Harmony 3" by Agha Shahid Ali were both featured in Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present--but the vast majority were both enjoyable and new. There were some names I am familiar with. John Ashberry and Robert Hass have appeared in all three Best American Poetry collections I have read, and Charles Simic has appeared in at least two. I need to just find a Simic collection; I nearly universally love his pieces and this one, "The Something", is no exception. There are some new names as well, I am not familiar with L.S. Asekoff, but I thought his "Rounding the Horn" was one of the very best pieces in the book. My favorite pieces (excluding those mentioned above) were "Disjecta Membra" by Charles Wright, "Evening's End" by Leon Stokesbury, "Fiddleheads" by Maureen Seaton, "Topophilia" by Mary Ruefle, and "Anastasia and Sandman" by Larry Levis. I wasn't a big fan of "Camoflage" by Marianne Boruch or Joseph Brodsky's "Love Song", but even the weak pieces were on the string side. All in all, this was an exceptional anthology of contemporary poetry.

  2. 4 out of 5

    B.

    Overall, I would give this collection a B average (technically an 86.9% avg.) as far as the quality of the poems contained. I know that attempting to quantify poetic effect/value is a ridiculous gesture, but I am simply a ridiculous person. Of course, this is purely based off of my own tastes and will not necessarily reflect your average satisfaction rate. I started a mission last month to read the last few entries in the Best American Poetry series so that I can begin to get a better sense of A) Overall, I would give this collection a B average (technically an 86.9% avg.) as far as the quality of the poems contained. I know that attempting to quantify poetic effect/value is a ridiculous gesture, but I am simply a ridiculous person. Of course, this is purely based off of my own tastes and will not necessarily reflect your average satisfaction rate. I started a mission last month to read the last few entries in the Best American Poetry series so that I can begin to get a better sense of A) what my taste in poetry is, and B) my own poetic voice. I am finding so far that I am all over the map and impressionable in both areas (I am only an amateur poet at this point, if that). I intended on reading the BAP series in reverse chronological order (I started with 2016, then 2015...), but I decided to break the trend after I became enamored with James Tate's poetry. I figured that if I enjoyed the poet selecting the poems, that there would be a greater chance that I would rate a collection with a solid B+ or even A- average. Alas, poetry is poetry. Although I ended up with a B average once more, I still found it interesting to find poems throughout the collection that reflected Tate's own. His tendency towards surrealism and his ability to outpour unexpected emotion is present in this collection. Masterpieces (10) "Love Song" by Joseph Brodsky "Lines Lost Among the Trees" by Billy Collins "The Death of John Berryman" by William Dickey "The Porcelain Couple" by Donald Hall "Her Body" by Daniel Halpern "Making It Stick" by Lawson Fusao Inada "Vermin" by William Matthews "Valediction" by Clare Rossini "Topophilia" by Mary Ruefle "The Plan" by Jack Turner Masterful (8) "Back in the World" by Ai "The Problem of Anxiety" by John Ashbery "Atomic Bride" by Thomas Sayers Ellis "The Bright Light of Responsibility" by Jennifer L. Knox "Shadow" by Josip Novakovich "Mostly Mick Jagger" by Catie Rosemurgy "Italian Eclogues" by Derek Walcott "Shadow Grammar" by Terrence Winch Masters Candidates (10) "The Exaggeration of Despair" by Sherman Alexie "You Know What I'm Saying" by Irving Feldman "Is About" by Allen Ginsberg "The Litany" by Dana Gioia "After Fighting for Hours" by Kate Gleason "The Poem That Was Once Called "Desperate" But Is Now Striving to Become the Perfect Love Poem" by Richard Jackson "Dust Storm" by Gray Jacobik "A Bill, Posted" by Philip Kobylarz "Empress of Sighs" by Beth Lisick "Recruiting Poster" by Hillel Schwarz Overall, I would absolutely to highly recommend approx. 38.3% of the poems contained in this volume. Out of the three that I've read

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Solid 3.5 stars. As with most poetry anthologies, a handful of the poems had great impact and reminded me why I love poetry (about 10%), a handful of the poems didn't connect with me whatsoever (15%), and the rest are pretty decent poems that are not life-changing but that's okay (75%). The Best American Poetry series is a good springboard; If you see an author you like, go look up one of their books. If you get a sense you'll enjoy one of the publications that publish the poems you like, go look Solid 3.5 stars. As with most poetry anthologies, a handful of the poems had great impact and reminded me why I love poetry (about 10%), a handful of the poems didn't connect with me whatsoever (15%), and the rest are pretty decent poems that are not life-changing but that's okay (75%). The Best American Poetry series is a good springboard; If you see an author you like, go look up one of their books. If you get a sense you'll enjoy one of the publications that publish the poems you like, go look up the publication. And the poem notes from each of the authors are great, especially when they cause you to flip back and read the poem with deepened understanding. I am curious about the authors who didn't contribute notes for the end of the book. Were they too busy to send the editor a few, quick thoughts? Did they strongly feel the poem stood on its own or were they just lazy? I get more curious the more I think about it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    SmarterLilac

    A sturdy, dense collection of serious but ultimately satisfying poems. Much more substantive than some of the other volumes in this series, and a pitch-perfect portrayal of the mood of the year it memorializes. As always, this edition is valuable not just for the poems themselves, but for the fascinating notes from the poets about their works. I was especially interested in how the contributors' notes in this one corrected some misconceptions I'd had about the lives of my favorite authors (Jane K A sturdy, dense collection of serious but ultimately satisfying poems. Much more substantive than some of the other volumes in this series, and a pitch-perfect portrayal of the mood of the year it memorializes. As always, this edition is valuable not just for the poems themselves, but for the fascinating notes from the poets about their works. I was especially interested in how the contributors' notes in this one corrected some misconceptions I'd had about the lives of my favorite authors (Jane Kenyon had leukemia, and Allen Ginsberg died of a heart attack, two things I didn't know before). Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    TC

    i've read all of the best american poetry volumes, but this is the best. i've read all of the best american poetry volumes, but this is the best.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jackson Holbert

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  8. 4 out of 5

    Barton Smock

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gary Shea

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Yarbrough

  11. 4 out of 5

    Corie Johnson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  14. 5 out of 5

    Breene

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Stewart

  16. 5 out of 5

    James Grinwis

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  18. 5 out of 5

    BillyBlog

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jazz

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  21. 5 out of 5

    Reema alRadwan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Denver

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Faith

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becca

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Werner

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Sorrell

  28. 5 out of 5

    John

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jill Niebuhr

  30. 5 out of 5

    Edmond

  31. 4 out of 5

    Halsted Bernard

  32. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  33. 4 out of 5

    Sara Lamers Messink

  34. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

  36. 4 out of 5

    Simeon Berry

  37. 4 out of 5

    June

  38. 5 out of 5

    Alex White

  39. 5 out of 5

    Noah

  40. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  41. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  42. 4 out of 5

    C

  43. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

  44. 4 out of 5

    Doug

  45. 5 out of 5

    Tommy

  46. 4 out of 5

    MBP

  47. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  48. 4 out of 5

    Allison Kaye

  49. 4 out of 5

    Spence

  50. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Healy

  51. 4 out of 5

    Cornelio

  52. 5 out of 5

    Acolyte

  53. 4 out of 5

    Aramis

  54. 5 out of 5

    Derrick

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