A Concise Companion to Twentieth-Century American Poetry
June 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
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Albert Gelpi, Stanford University
If I had to recommend a single book on the culture of twentieth-American poetry to students or colleagues, I would choose Stephen Fredman's Concise Companion. Fredman wisely decided to treat the entire century as a whole rather than adopting the usual Modernist/Postmodernist division or treating decades and poets separately. From the opening "Wars I Have Seen" to the final treatment of philosophy and theory in U.S. poetry, Fredman's contributors carefully examine the intersecting worlds of our poetry-- the New York art world, the impact of various diasporas, and the curious intersections with politics, gender, and religion. Yet the poetry itself always comes first, and no reader can fail to profit from these clearly written, concise, and truly expert chapters.
Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University