Michael Schmidt’s anthology includes the work of more than a hundred poets from every part of the English-speaking world. What links their diverse voices is a common language: each poem, in its own way, adds to the resources of the medium and makes it new.
The poems in this book are allowed to slip free of their moorings in the biography and history of the last century to create new spaces and times. They have been chosen because they are exceptional, profound and unique in what they do to language, regardless of their subject matter or the orientation of the poet. It is a powerful reminder that in the twentieth century poems did what they have never done before, and it provides us with a unique insight into the forces that will shape the poetry of the twenty-first century.
Recommend this book
Add your recommendation
Only registered users can recommend books. Please use the buttons below to either create a new account, or sign-in to an existing account.
A valuable and brave book... reliably thoughtful and properly controversial. Furthermore, its devotion is always to poetry, not to personality -
Readers who delight in the sheer diversity of 20th century poetry in English are richly catered for - Spectator
Michael Schmidt is eminently well-suited to take the measure of the changes and vicissitudes that brought poetry to its current modern character - Independent on Sunday
Schmidt is no despiser of popular taste for all his declared modernism, his agenda is elastic and inclusive... I can imagine teaching out of this rich, warm, generous collection for years, without getting bored, limited, or enraged with its editor - Times Educational Supplement
It is hard to see who could have done the job better than Schmidt - Times Literary Supplement
Schmidt gives us a chance to settle down with poets we wish we had known better - Daily Telegraph
A satisfying selection that reminds us that Lawrence didn't just write about animals, Betjeman wasn't always jolly, and Plath is more interesting for her collapsed perspectives than for her self-exposure - New Statesman
The selections from the greats are generous and well chosen - Guardian
About the Author
Michael Schmidt is a poet, critic, and translator. He edits the leading poetry journal PN Review, is the editorial director of the Carcanet Press and director, the Writing Programme at Manchester Metropolitan University and a Professor of Poetry at the University of Glasgow. He was born in Mexico in 1947, and educated at Harvard and Oxford. His Lives of the Poets, a survey of English poetry from the fourteenth century to the present day, 'distinguished him as among the most vigilant of critics' (The Times).