The Best American Poetry 1996

David Lehman, Author, Adrienne Cecile Rich, Editor, David Lehman, Editor Scribner Book Company $21.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-684-81451-3
Rich has amassed a far-flung group to represent her view of America. These poets were born in Jamaica, China, Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Hawaii and the mainland. There are professors and prisoners, a medical student and a jazz critic. Rich embraces both the bilingual and the long poem, but what is truly startling is how little these poets say of joy and how much of suffering. It is a heavy read. Alicia Ostriker writes of the Holocaust, Wang Ping of the deaths of Chinese stowaways, Gary Soto of the destitute. There are three poets born after 1975, testing human experience and response: Deborah Stein, Quentin Rowan and Natasha Le Bel (""my born body new and/ gravid with musical sensuality""). And four poets who passed away last year haunt the anthology with meditations on death: William Dickey, Jane Kenyon, James Merrill and Jean Starr (""I have felt each living link begin to wither""). David Lehman is the series editor. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/16/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-684-81455-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1957-0
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