The Life of Poetry: Poets on Their Art and Craft

Critical writings by contemporary poets that illuminate the life of poetry not only on the page but in the imaginations, hearts, and spirits of today's working poets. Poet-critics, including Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Stevens, and Auden, have produced some of the most eminent and engaged writing on the genre. A distinguishing characteristic of such writing is that poets are generally conducting, as Eliot says, "a private poetry workshop with the poets they most admire." Thus a poet's critical writing reflects his or her own poetics and imaginative concerns, and at the same time sheds light on what that poet has written or hopes to write.

The series aims to include both intellectually ambitious and practically brilliant work by poets on their art and craft, work that helps readers to apprehend the mystery of the art of poetry as much as it helps writers to understand the mechanics of the craft. Books in the series might explore the elements of prosody, investigage the technical components of a particular poetic genius, communicate a personal ars poetica, or attempt to express the alchemy that makes poetry poetry, or as Donald Hall put it, "the unsayable said." Series authors will put forth aesthetic beliefs and articulate literary visions in ways that contribute significantly to the distinguished tradition of poets writing on poetry.

Books in this series

A Difficult Grace
On Poets, Poetry, and Writing
Michael Ryan

The Flexible Lyric
Ellen Bryant Voigt

God and the Imagination
On Poets, Poetry, and the Ineffable
Paul Mariani

The Muse in the Machine
Essays on Poetry and the Anatomy of the Body Politic
T. R. Hummer

Poetry as Persuasion
Carl Dennis

Poetry as Survival
Gregory Orr

A Poetry of Two Minds
Sherod Santos