"In his personal anonymity, his strict individuated manner, his defense of the earth, and his heartache at time's passing, Merwin has become instantly recognizable on the page; he has made for himself that most difficult of creations, an accomplished style"--Helen Vendler, The New York Review of Books.
W. S. Merwin is a defining writer for our age, a poet who, over the course of sixty years and more than forty books, has created a body of work of enormous range, ambition, and complexity. He has served as the United States Poet Laureate and is the recipient of almost every major American award for poetry, including the 2005 National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes, first in 1971 and again in 2009.
In this volume, for the first time, fifteen poets and critics gather to discuss the last quarter century of his work, beginning with The Rain in the Trees, a collection of poems that marks a turning point in Merwin's career. At times personal and at times scholarly, these essays place the poet's recent work in the context of a lifetime of writing, and help us to understand how this seminal literary figure fits into the ongoing conversation of American poetry.