Poetry is usually not a subject covered in this column, primarily because it seldoms moves at a bestselling pace. But with April being National Poetry Month, we decided to take a look at the current fastest seller in this category. Considering its quick reprint activity, we are guessing that the poetry book currently ringing up the most sales is Knopf's Collected Works, an 885-page, $40 book spanning James Merrill's 50-year career. Knopf launched the book with a whopping 9,000 copies and since pub date on March 3 has already gone back to press twice—for 7,000 and 7,500 copies—bringing the total in print to 23,500. First week of publication was greeted with lead reviews in both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times Book Reviews, and expanded tributes appeared in Newsweek and the New Yorker.
Volume 248 Issue 13 03/26/2001