April started being recognized as Poetry Month in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets in order to encourage the reading and publication of American poetry, as well as supporting poets’ and their legacy. Over the last 20 years, National Poetry Month has become one of the largest literary celebrations in the world! To show our appreciation for poetry this month, we have compiled a bibliography of both print and electronic books in or collection related to an expansive variety of poetry and poets. Continue reading for an overview of our featured poetry books.
By Paul Hoover
DC Call Number – 811.5408 P846
Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology is an incredible publication for those interested in the most contemporary poetry. The first edition was originally published in 1994, but now two decades later, the newest edition has been revised and extended, developing what postmodernism means in the 21st century. This edition features 114 poets, 557 poems, and 15 essays, addressing current movements in the field of poetry, while also recognizing those who were the foundation of postmodernism, making it an essential collection for a new generation of poets.
By A. Adoff
DC Call Number – 811.5408 AD71P
Arnold Adoff wrote The Poetry of Black America to honor the Americans’ who struggled throughout the 20th century due to racism, as well as to empower the preceding generations of the 21st century, calling the book “a weapon of power and love” and directing it to be used to “stand free and take control.” It is a comprehensive collection of Black American Poetry that correlates 20th century experiences with those of historical context, while celebrating and remembering culture, diversity, struggle, and empowerment in relation to the present.
By Paul Alexander
DC Call Number – 811.54 P696A
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) is a celebrated female poet and writer who lived a very troubled life. She is notoriously recognized for her collections of poetry which she published in her books The Colossus and Ariel before she tragically committed suicide at the age of thirty. Eventually, became the first person ever to receive a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1982. The book Rough Magic acknowledges her confessionalist “I” style of poetry, predominantly dealing with the subjects of death, trauma, and depression, as well as also exploring and identifying the influential events of Plath’s life, including but not limited to, her failed marriage to the English poet Ted Hughes, chronic depression, and tragic suicide in 1963.
By Stephen Cushman
DC Call Number – 811.09 C959F
A fiction of Form in American Poetry is an insightful study that analyzes and appraises the uniquely American characteristics of our language. The book gives an examination of poetry from a diverse combination of authors throughout the American Renaissance, and investigates the relationship between their poetic forms and American culture. Ultimately, Cushman focuses on building associations between the forms of famous poets, such as Emily Dickinson and Ezra Pound, with their perception of “Americanness.”
Become a part of the celebration! Download the free poetry app offered by the poetry foundation on your Android or iPhone. Just search “Poetry from the Poetry Foundation” in the iTunes app store or android market, and enjoy reading a new poem every day!
Don’t forget to also celebrate Poem in your Pocket Day on April 27th, 2017 this year by choosing a poem to carry with you all day and sharing it with others in school, at the library, or on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.