"Provides a wealth of information that frames specific historical, biographical, and autobiographical background for names, persons, places, and situations alluded to and invoked by the epitaphs in the Anthology. Hallwas brings to bear on the text and its history a detailed overview of previous scholarship, and a knowledge of Illinois history in particular, that will be invaluable for anyone not only writing on Masters, but working in American studies generally."-John Hollander, New Republic "The single most widely read book of American poetry."-James Hurt, Illinois Authors "Hallwas's reading of Spoon River is undoubtedly the best and the one the poet intended...This presentation will reinstate [Spoon River Anthology] as one of the central works of the modern canon...The painstaking, critical and devoted introduction is indispensable for an understanding of this seminal work of poetry."-Karl Shapiro, Chicago Tribune "The finest offering of Spoon River Anthology to date ...should be in all academic and public libraries."--Library Journal Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) was, along with Carl Sandburg and Vachel Lindsay, once of the three important poets of the Chicago Renaissance. John E. Hallwas, a professor of English at Western Illinois University, has written or edited more than a dozen books related to Illinois history and literature, including Studies in Illinois Poetry.