cover image Unauthorized Voices: Essays on Poets and Poetry, 1987-2009

Unauthorized Voices: Essays on Poets and Poetry, 1987-2009

Marilyn Hacker. Univ. of Michigan, $29.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-0-472-05115-1

Comprised of reprinted and revised essays on established luminaries as well as voices less familiar to Anglophone readers, the latest in this series presents over two decades of Hacker's engagement with American poetry and French literature in translation, linked by related topics. Whether writing on feminist poets, contemporary French and Irish writers such as Claire Malroux, Guy Goffette, and Seamus Heaney, or on specific collections, like Alicia Ostriker's The Crack in Everything, Hacker approaches her subjects as a "transatlantic American," as a consummate reader, and as a critic with refreshingly unfettered insights. These provocative reflections champion work that is largely devoid of pretension and self-referential maneuvering as much as they argue against politics within the publishing community, which the author claims often prevent voices from extending beyond their own regional borders. Never dry and often charged with wit, Hacker's (Essays on Departure) writing reveals a fluent, demanding intellect that urges readers to venture beyond the mainstream. Although the alternatives offered are largely centered on the Western hemisphere, this collection maps the pleasures to be found when poetry is sought apart from the academy, to make for a book that appeals to poets and curious readers alike. (Oct.)