Bringing together fifty years of exciting modernisms, The New Anthology of American Poetry, Volume 2 includes over 600 poems by sixty-five American poets writing in the period between 1900 and 1950. The most recognized poets of the era, such as William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, H. D., Gertrude Stein, Robert Frost, Marianne Moore, Hart Crane, and Langston Hughes are represented, along with many other Harlem Renaissance poets, women poets, immigrant and working-class poets, imagists, and objectivists. It is also the first modernist anthology to include poems and songs from popular culture.
Steven Gould Axelrod, Camille Roman, and Thomas Travisano continue the standard of excellence set in Volumes I and II of this extraordinary anthology. Volume III provides the most compelling and wide-ranging selection available of American poetry from 1950 to the present. Its contents are just as diverse and multifaceted as America itself and invite readers to explore the world of poetry in the larger historical context of American culture.
Nearly three hundred poems allow readers to explore canonical works by such poets as Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, and Sylvia Plath, as well as song lyrics from such popular musicians as Bob Dylan and Queen Latifah. Because contemporary American culture transcends the borders of the continental United States, the anthology also includes numerous transnational poets, from Julia de Burgos to Derek Walcott. Whether they are the works of oblique avant-gardists like John Ashbery or direct, populist poets like Allen Ginsberg, all of the selections are accompanied by extensive introductions and footnotes, making the great poetry of the period fully accessible to readers for the first time.
Volume I begins with a generous selection of Native American materials, then spans the years from the establishment of the American colonies to about 1900, a world on the brink of World War I and the modern era. Part One focuses on poetry from the very beginnings through the end of the eighteenth century. The expansion and development of a newly forged nation engendered new kinds of poetry. Part Two includes works from the early nineteenth century through the time of the Civil War. The poems in Part Three reflect the many issues affecting a nation undergoing tumultuous change: the Civil War, immigration, urbanization, industrialization, and cultural diversification.
Such well-recognized names as Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Phillis Wheatley, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Stephen Crane appear in this anthology alongside such less frequently anthologized poets as George Horton, Sarah Helen Whitman, Elizabeth Oakes-Smith, Frances Harper, Rose Terry Cooke, Helen Hunt Jackson, Adah Menken, Sarah Piatt, Ina Coolbrith, Emma Lazarus, Albery Whitman, Owl Woman (Juana Manwell) Sadakichi Hartmann, Ernest Fenollosa, James Weldon Johnson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and—virtually unknown as a poet—Abraham Lincoln. It also includes poems and songs reflecting the experiences of a variety of racial and ethnic groups.