Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics

Published by: The University of Akron Press

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Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics

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A Face to Meet the Faces

An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry

edited by Stacey Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz

The literary tradition of persona, of writing poems in voices or from perspectives other than the poet's own, is ancient in origin and contemporary in practice. The embodiment of different voices is not only a dramatic and creative moment, but also a moment of true empathy, as the author moves beyond his or her own margins to fully inhabit the character, personality, and mindset of another human being. While there are a great number of poems written in persona, both historically as well as in the modern poetic landscape, there are no anthologies currently in existence that collect and celebrate the diverse writers who work in this mode today-or the divergent voices and characters they create. Stacey Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz have selected a superb collection of approximately 200 persona poems. These poems embody characters from popular culture, history, the Bible, literature, mythology, newspaper clippings, legends, fairy tales, and comic books, to name just a few, and their diversity is reflective of the wide range of authors working in this genre. The anthology will also contain brief explanatory notes written by the poets to help historicize and contextualize their characters and personae.

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The Poet Resigns

Essays on Poetry in a Difficult Time

by Robert Archambeau

What are we really wishing for when we want poetry to have the prominence it had in the past? Why do American poets overwhelmingly identify with the political left? How do poems communicate? Is there an essential link between formal experimentation and political radicalism? What happens when poetic outsiders become academic insiders? Just what makes a poem a poem? If a poet gives up on her art, what reasons could she find for coming back to poetry? These are the large questions animating the essays of The Poet Resigns: Essays on Poetry in a Difficult Time, a book that sets out to survey not only the state of contemporary poetry, but also the poet's relationship to politics, society, and literary criticism. In addition to pursuing these topics, The Poet Resigns peers into the role of the critic and the manifesto, the nature of wit, the poetics of play, and the persistence of modernism, while providing detailed readings of poets as diverse as Harryette Mullen and Yvor Winters, George Oppen and Robert Pinsky, Pablo Neruda and C.S. Giscombe. Behind it all is a sense of poetry not just as an academic area of study, but also as a lived experience and a way of understanding. Few books of poetry criticism show such range - yet the core questions remain clear: what is this thing we love and call 'poetry,' and what is its consequence in the world?

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