What Persists: Selected Essays on Poetry from The Georgia Review, 1988-2014

What Persists: Selected Essays on Poetry from The Georgia Review, 1988-2014

ISBN: 0820349313 | 2016 | EPUB | 376 Pages | 4.44 MB

What Persists contains eighteen of the nearly fifty essays on poetry that Judith Kitchen published in The Georgia Review over a twenty-five-year span. Coming at the genre from every possible angle, this celebrated critic discusses work by older and younger poets, most American but some foreign, and many of whom were not yet part of the contemporary canon. Her essays reveal a cultural history from the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, through 9/11 and the Iraq War, and move into today?s political climate. They chronicle personal interests while they also make note of what was happening in contemporary poetry by revealing overall changes of taste, both in content and in the use of craft. Over time, they fashion a comprehensive overview of the contemporary literary scene.

At its best, What Persists shows what a wide range of poetry is being writtenby women, men, poets who celebrate their ethnicity, poets who show a fierce individualism, poets whose careers have soared, promising poets whose work has all but disappeared.

"Judith Kitchen refused to suffer the trendy, the power-mongered, the almost-poem, and the cant (and simply the can't) that permeate the poetry world. Of her own criticism she said at one point, 'Does this make me sound like [a] curmudgeon? Partly . . . but it also makes me . . . the reader in search of something subtle, even magical.' For twenty-six years-for a generation-Judith introduced us to, and defended, and parsed, that magic, teaching us to see it for ourselves and holding its practitioners to the highest standards. Her essays are supple, richly textured (and often movingly autobiographical) prose; her critical heart is equally generous and demanding; her mind is quirky, opinionated, candid, and honeycombed with the love and lore of the art she chose to showcase. Seemingly without trying (but of course that was part of her magic) she became my generation's most eloquent and necessary exponent of American poetry." (Albert Goldbarth)

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