Under 35: New Genera

Nicholas Christopher, Editor Anchor Books $9.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-26035-0
Each poem in this diverse anthology reflects its speaker's manipulation of his/her environment, and assessment of his/her relationship to a cultural milieu. Thus, the poems share a variety of themes: love, political morality, redemption. Two of the most exciting voices are Lucie Brock-Broido, who writes compellingly of our attachment to divinity (``I will betray as a god betrays, / With tenderheartedness. I've got this mystic streak in me''), and Wayne Koestenbaum, who combines a lyrical mysticism with imperative, concrete memory (about his music teacher, he notes, ``he'd shout, `Good show!'. . . / as if his bandroom were Tangier. He led us / in a tango so tranced / it tore my life into parts''). Given the arbitrariness of the criteria for inclusion (age and nationality), it is unsurprising that some poets--Jane Oliensis, for one--are banal or pedestrian in their concepts and techniques. Christopher is the author of a novel in verse, Desperate Characters . (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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