Picnic, Lightning – Billy Collins
“Over the past decade, Billy Collins has emerged as the most beloved American poet since Robert Frost, garnering critical acclaim and broad popular appeal. Annie Proulx admits, “I have never before felt possessive about a poet, but I am fiercely glad that Billy Collins is ours.” John Updike proclaims his poems “consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides.” This special, limited edition celebrates Billy Collins’s years as U.S. Poet Laureate. Picnic, Lightning — one of the books that helped establish and secure his reputation and popularity during the 1990s — combines humor and seriousness, wit and sublimity. His poems touch on a wide range of subjects, from jazz to death, from weather to sex, but share common ground where the mind and heart can meet. Whether reading him for the first time or the fiftieth, this collector’s edition is a must-have for anyone interested in the poet the New York Times calls simply ‘the real thing.'”
“William Matthews’s ten books have gradually earned him a place on the first roster of American poets -” as water licks its steady way through stone.” ” Very little of the poetry of the past twenty years,” Henry Taylor has written in the Washington Times, ” is more intelligent and engaging than that of William Matthews . .. Admiring gratitude seems perfectly appropriate.” The New Yorker has described Matthews’s work as ” poems that revel in etymology and delight in colloquialism.” And Carol Muske, in The Nation, has added: ” If asked, I couldn’t come up with a poet more in tune with the ironies and stand-up vernacular, the jazz of the everyday, than William Matthews . . . Matthews is a wise and fine poet and a funny person. Like time and money, an unbeatable combination. ” This is a large-hearted book, a strong and worldly book, the work of five years by one of the most admired and generous of American poets. The National Book Critics Circle named it the winner of its 1995 award in poet.”
“Christina Rossetti (1830-94) is perhaps the most contradictory of the great Victorian poets. She writes of the world’s beauty, but fears that it may be deceptive, even deadly. She is a religious poet, but much of her work is driven by uncertainty. Her poems are restrained, even secretive, but they seek nothing less than the mystery of Life and Death.
This edition contains Rossetti’s strongest and most distinctive work: poetry (including ‘Goblin Market’, ‘The Prince’s Progress’, and the sonnet sequence ‘Monna Innominata’), stories (including the complete text of Maude), devotional prose (with nearly fifty entries from the ‘reading diary’ Times Flies), and personal letters. Those poems which Rossetti published, and those which she withheld from publication, are here brought together in chronological order, allowing the reader to observe her poetic trajectory. This edition also records the major revisions made by Rossetti when preparing her poems for publication. It brings together the fullest range of Rossetti’s poetry and prose in one volume, and is an indispensable introduction to this entrancing writer.”
The First Four Books of Poems – Louise Gluck
“The First Four Books of Poems collects the early work that established Louise Gluck as one of America’s most original and important poets. Honored with the Pulitzer Prize for The WildIris, Gluck was celebrated early in her career for her fierce, austerely beautiful voice. InFirstborn, The House on Marshland Wand, Descending Figure, and The Triumph of Achilles, which wonthe National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, we see the conscious progression of apoet who speaks with blade-like accuracy and stirring depth.
These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems 1955-1993 – Lawrence Ferlinghetti
“Lawrence Ferlinghetti, ‘one of our ageless radicals and truebards’, has gathered four decades of poetry in his inimitable everyman’s voice, including more than fifty pages of new work.”