Shopping Cart Link

Wesleyan University Press

Sign up for our newsletter

Bookmark and Share
Cart link
Paperback add to cart

For Educators
View cart
Add exam ebook
Cover image

The Wesleyan Tradition
Four Decades of American Poetry
Michael Collier, ed.

Wesleyan Poetry Series

1994 • 316 pp. 6 x 9"

$24.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-1229-1
$17.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7094-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Wesleyan’s characteristic independence in scooping up unfound poets and publishing them well—and in sustainiLibrary Journalng the ongoing publication of established writers like David Ignatow and James Tate—is shown... [continued in Reviews below]”—Publishers Weekly

A compelling anthology of the best poetry of a unique press.

Since issuing its first volumes in 1959, the Wesleyan poetry program has challenged the reigning aesthetic of the time and profoundly influenced the development of American poetry. One of the country’s oldest programs, its greatest achievement has been the publication of early works by yet undiscovered poetry who have since become major awarded Pulitzer and Bollingen prizes, National Book Awards, and many other honors. At a time when other programs are being phased out, Wesleyan takes this opportunity to celebrate its distinguished history and reaffirm its commitment to poetry with publication of The Wesleyan Tradition.

Drawing from some 250 volumes, editor Michael Collier documents the wide-ranging impact of these works. In his introduction, he describes the literary and cultural context of American poetics in more recent decades, tracing the evolution of the Deep Image and Confessional movements of the 50s and 60s, and exploring the emergence of the “prose lyric” style. Although the success of the Wesleyan program has inspired its share of imitators, no other program has had such a fundamental impact. Works by the eighty-six poets included her both document and celebrate that contribution.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Wesleyan’s characteristic independence in scooping up unfound poets and publishing them well—and in sustainiLibrary Journalng the ongoing publication of established writers like David Ignatow and James Tate—is shown to advantage in this anthology . . . The quality is as high as the range is broad.”Publishers Weekly

“Having published nearly 250 books by more than 150 poets in 35 years, the Wesleyan series has gone further than any other in defining the prevailing trends and styles of postwar university-based poetry. ...Libraries concerned with building and maintaining a meaningful poetry collection are urged to enter a blank order for all the Wesleyan poetry program entries…They represent some of our more important younger poets and a few older members…[The program] is highly recommended.”Library Journal

“A valuable collection that celebrates the unceasing vitality and fluidity of American poetry”Booklist

“An absolutely fascinating and compelling anthology; it represents much of the best of the poetry that has been written in this country over the past forty years and a remarkable number of our finest poems as well. This anthology makes clear the seminal role that Wesleyan University Press has had in shaping the course, direction, and progress of poetry in America since the Fifties.” —David St. John

“A splendid work that has been splendidly edited. It shows the tremendous commitment that the Press has made to contemporary poetry over the past forty years. And it both demonstrates and reminds us of the central position that the Wesleyan Poetry Series has had in American poetry since World War II. This is a decisive anthology.”Edward Hirsch

MICHAEL COLLIER has won several awards and fellowships for his poetry, a “Discovery” / The Nation award (1981), the 1988 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Thomas J. Watson fellowship, a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and an NEA creative writing fellowship. A graduate of Connecticut College (B.A. 1976) and the University of Arizona (M.F.A. 1979), Collier has traveled widely—from London to northern Africa to Siberia and Japan—and worked at various times as a house painter and a community activist. He is an assistant professor of English and associate director of creative writing at the University of Maryland and a visiting assistant professor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He was director of the summer writers’ conference at Johns Hopkins in 1987 and coordinator of poetry programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1983-84. His first book, The Clasp and Other Poems, was published by Wesleyan in 1986.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:08:02 -0500