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Toward the Open Field
Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950
Melissa Kwasny, ed.



Wesleyan Poetry Series

Wesleyan
2004 • 368 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry Criticism / Literary Collections - American

$29.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6607-2
$70.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6606-5

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)



Poet and novelist Melissa Kwasny brings together prose pieces—essays, letters, declarations, defenses, manifestos, and apologia—by many influential European and American poets. The anthology... [continued in Reviews below]”—Poets & Writers

The historical writings that helped shape our current understandings of poetry.

Toward the Open Field brings together many of the great prose pieces—essays, letters, declarations, defenses, manifestos, and apologia—by the most influential European and American poets from the Romantics to the Symbolists, Surrealists, and Moderns. Hitherto uncollected and all in English, the work in this anthology follows the changing notions of what a poem is, what a poet is, and why we read a poem, tracing the development of stylistic and ideological strategies that have spawned our current, conflicting understandings of verse.

The book begins with Wordsworth’s 1802 “Preface” to the Lyrical Ballads and proceeds through 150 years of English language tradition, including the European poetries which greatly influenced it. These prose works allow the reader to share one of the great extended conversations by poets about poetry during a dynamic period of literary experimentation.

Includes work by Charles Baudelaire, André Breton, Aimé Césaire, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Langston Hughes, John Keats, Federico Garcia Lorca, Mina Loy, Stéphane Mallarmé, Marianne Moore, Charles Olson, Ezra Pound, Arthur Rimbaud, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Paul Valéry, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, William Wordsworth and Louis Zukofsky.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Poet and novelist Melissa Kwasny brings together prose pieces—essays, letters, declarations, defenses, manifestos, and apologia—by many influential European and American poets. The anthology pieces follows changing notions of what a poem is, what a poet is, why we read a poem, and the development of stylistic and ideological strategies in verse.” Poets & Writers

“We know what happened when the Shelleys met by candlelight one summer to tell stories, and now imagine wind has blown the doors open again to welcome twenty-five immortals to Villa Diodati, poets who will guide us through corridors, from romanticism to modernism, to leave us in the basement where cultures of postmodernism grow. A marvelous congery of voices.” —Sandra Alcosser, author of Except by Nature

“Finally, everything I have up to now been forced to Fac Pac, put on reserve for my poetry workshops, or resign myself to merely quoting from is here in one place!”—Patricia Goedicke, Professor of English and Creative Writing, University of Montana



MELISSA KWASNY is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Nine Senses and Reading Novalis in Montana, as well as co-editor with M.L. Smoker of I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights.

Click here for author's website.


Sat, 15 Apr 2017 15:29:48 -0500