Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, The Best American Poetry is the one indispensable volume for readers eager to follow what's new in poetry today. Sales continue to grow and plaudits keep coming in for this "high-voltage testament to the vitality of American poetry" (Booklist). Selected by prizewinning guest editor James Tate, the seventy-five best poems of the year were chosen from more than three dozen magazines and range from the comic to the cosmic, from the contemplative to the sublime. In addition to showcasing our leading bards -- such as John Ashbery, Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, and Mark Strand -- the collection marks an auspicious debut for eye-opening younger poets. With comments from the poets themselves offering insights into their work, The Best American Poetry 1997 delivers the startling and imaginative writing that more and more people have come to expect from this prestigious series.
"The daily routine of our lives can be good and even wonderful, but there is still a hunger in us for the mystery of the deep waters, and poetry can fulfill that hunger." So writes James Tate, editor of the 1997 edition of Best American Poetry. The poems that follow his essay bear out the claim. Including work by Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, Mark Strand, and other first-rate poets, the 1997 collection again delights the reader with the variety and quality of poetry now being written. Here is a taste, from Mark Strand's contribution, "Morning, Noon and Night": "Whatever the starcharts told us to watch for or the maps / Said we would find, nothing prepared us for what we discovered. / We toiled in the shadowless depths of noon, / While an alien wind slept in the branches, and dead leaves / Turned to dust in the streets." This series consistently produces collections that are essential reading for poetry lovers.