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Five American Poets

Robert Hass, John Matthias, James McMichael, John Peck and Robert Pinsky

Edited by Michael Schmidt

Foreword by Clive Wilmer

Five American Poets
Categories: 21st Century, American, Anthologies
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (240 pages)
(Pub. Mar 2010)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Authors
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews

  • In 1979, Five American Poets helped to change our sense of American poetry, introducing the work of Robert Hass, John Matthias, James McMichael, John Peck and Robert Pinsky to British readers and writers. Now, in a much-changed landscape, this volume revisits that constellation of writers: what have they been up to since the 1970s; why have they become so important in energising the writing of their own country; what do they bring to us?

    They shared at Stanford University in California an apprenticeship in language as students of the poet-critic Yvor Winters. Associates since the 1960s, they never constituted a ‘movement’, but they have in common, in Clive Wilmer’s words, ‘a fundamental faith, tested to endurance by the politics of our era, that a common language implies a common society’. Five American Poets continues a conversation between these distinctive voices, from the colloquial ease of Robert Pinsky to the allusive discontinuities of John Matthias, from James McMichael’s narratives to the meditative textures created by John Peck and the sensuous immediacy of Robert Hass.

    Cover painting: Robert Hooper, Acme. Oil on canvas, 32in. x 27in. Reproduced by kind permission of the artist. Cover design

    Foreword by Michael Schmidt xi
    Introduction by Clive Wilmer xv

    Heroic Simile
    Meditation at Lagunitas
    The Yellow Bicycle
    The Origin of Cities
    The Beginning of September
    Privilege of Being
    Human Wishes
    The Apple Trees at Olema
    Misery and Splendor
    Body Through Which the Dream Flows
    The Lovers Undressing
    Things Change
    Stories in Bed
    Monday Morning, Late Summer
    Plus Which
    Santa Barbara Road
    Like Three Fair Branches from One Root Deriv’d
    Transparent Garments
    Faint Music
    Then Time
    That Music
    A Story about the Body
    Spring Drawing
    Late Spring
    Rusia en 1931
    Spring Drawing 2
    Time and Materials
    The Seventh Night

    After Years Away
    I My Bed, My Father’s Bell
    II My Father’s Bell, My Grandfather’s Books
    III My Mother’s Broom, My Father’s Bell
    Everything To Be Endured
    Not Having Read
    Francophiles, 1958
    My Mother’s Webster
    Diminished Third
    I Expectation
    II Doctor Faust
    III The Golden Calf
    A Note on Barber’s Adagio
    Four Seasons of Vladimir Dukelsky
    I Winter
    II Spring
    III Summer
    IV Autumn
    Two in New York
    I Easter 1912
    II Christmas 1929
    Two in Harar
    I Sir Richard Burton, 1854
    II Arthur Rimbaud, 1886-1888
    She Maps Iraq
    Persistent Elegy
    Walter’s House
    Tsunami: The Animals

    Pretty Blue Apron
    from Each in a Place Apart
    from Four Good Things
    The British Countryside in Pictures
    Above the Red Deep-Water Clays
    The Believed In

    Letting Up
    Wind under Sash, Val Ferret
    Leaving the Central Station
    Interleaved Lines on Jephthah and his Daughter
    Times Passing the Breakwater
    “He who called blood builder...”
    Zürich, the Stork Inn
    End of July
    White Deer Running
    Archaeus Terrae
    Reichenau Afternoon
    Woods Burial
    Getting at What Happens
    Incident near Vicenza
    Trio Threaded on Lines from the Parthian Hymns
    Barn Doorway in July
    Unfinished Announcement
    Book of the Dead? We Have no Book of the Dead
    Dawn Renga

    The Thicket
    Veni, Creator Spiritus
    In Defense of Allusion
    Eurydice and Stalin
    The Forgetting
    Poem of Disconnected Parts
    Samurai Song
    Ode to Meaning
    To Television
    The Green Piano
    Jersey Rain
    Ginza Samba
    Poem with Refrains
    House Hour
    From the Childhood of Jesus
    The Hearts
    The Want Bone
    An Old Man
    At Pleasure Bay
    The Figured Wheel
    From the Last Canto of Paradise

    Select Bibliography
    Index of Titles
    Index of First Lines

    Robert Hass
    Robert Hass was born in San Francisco in 1941 and now live in Berkeley. He is the author of five volumes of poetry. The most recent, Times and Materials, won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. ... read more
    John Matthias
    John Matthias was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1941. He has lived in California, Indiana, Suffolk, Cambridge and Scotland. He is Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, and has been Visiting Fellow in poetry at Clare Hall, Cambridge. His collections of poetry include Bucyrus, Turns, Crossing ... read more
    James McMichael
    James McMichael was born in Pasadena in 1939. He teaches at the University of California. His most recent book, Capacity, was shortlisted for the 2006 National Book Award ... read more
    John Peck
    JOHN PECK was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1941. After living for many years in Zurich, where he trained as an analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute, he is now in private practice in Vermont. He was awarded the Prix de Rome for The Broken Blockhouse Wall (Carcanet, 1979). In 1999 ... read more
    Robert Pinsky
    Robert Pinsky was born in 1940 in Long Branch, New Jersey. His poetry books include The Figured Wheel, awarded the Lenore Marshall Prize, The Inferno of Dante, which won the Howard Morton Landon Prize in translation and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Gulf Music . His prose ... read more
    Michael Schmidt
    Michael Schmidt FRSL, poet, scholar, critic and translator, was born in Mexico in 1947; he studied at Harvard and at Wadham College, Oxford, before settling in England. Among his many publications are several collections of poems and a novel, The Colonist (1981), about a boy’s childhood in Mexico. He is general ... read more
    Awards won by Michael Schmidt Winner, 2016 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem - Sasha Dugdale's 'Joy', published in PN Review 227  (PN Review 227 )
    Praise for Michael Schmidt 'Its pleasures are longer term ones: as you return to it and re-read its substantial selections, you come to appreciate how and what each contributor is working on.'

    Jane Routh, The North 66

    '...this is the joy of New Poetries VIII: time and again you discover refreshing and compelling new styles and subjects'

    Jake Morris-Campbell, The Poetry School

    '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
     'The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK's poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
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