Cover image for The new young American poets : an anthology
The new young American poets : an anthology
Prufer, Kevin.
Publication Information:
Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 243 pages ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1270 Lexile.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS615 .N46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Poetry today holds mainstream attention as never before. From community workshops to reading groups, from coffee house poetry slams to small press lit mags, from universities to web 'zines, the world of poetry has become part of our everyday lives. Demonstrating the range and vitality of the new generation of American writers, The New Young American Poets features the work of forty poets born since 1960.

Author Notes

Born in 1969, Kevin Prufer grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and is now an associate professor in the creative writing program at Central Missouri State University. His first collection of poetry, Strange Wood , won the Winthrop Poetry Series and was published in 1998. He coedits Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing .

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

David Lehman, general editor of the annual Best American Poetry, codirects a poetry reading series with photographer-poet Star Black. The venue is a second-floor Manhattan bar in which one can be heard without using a mike. Despite offering no honorarium, the series has been a big hit. Lehman and Black present one poem each by 75 readers from the first three seasons. Each poem is prefaced by a little biography and frequently postfaced by its author's most unforgettable poetry-reading experience. Reader 76, coeditor Black, indulges herself to the tune of six poems and provides in-performance photos. If the contents include no masterpieces, the range of the contributors, from icons like John Ashbery to Sarah Arvio, who has yet to publish a collection, is most impressive. Many better poems are in editor Prufer's roundup of work by 40 poets less than 40 years old. Usually, there are three to five poems per poet, enough to whet a reader's appetite for more. The sole famous name here is Sherman Alexie, and that is because of his well-received novels. Alexie is typical of many contributors in that he belongs to an ethnic or cultural minority, in his case, American Indian. Black, Latino, Asian, and gay voices resound throughout the book, and Filipino American Nick Carbo, African American Alison Joseph, and Japanese American Rick Noguchi are just three whose work is especially striking. Exceptional, too, are white ethnic Julia Kasdorf's poems piquantly reflecting her heritage as an old order Mennonite. Although there are very few regularly metered and rhymed poems on view, there are so many good poems here, sometimes extracted from less-than-wonderful first or second books, that the future of American poetry looks bright, indeed. In introducing their gay and lesbian anthology, Lassell and Georgiou paraphrase author Joan Nestle to the effect that "as a group, we gay and lesbian people are responsible for having written desire into history." Certainly desire is a concern of a great many poems in the book, and that desire is often enough worked out in the perennial gay contexts of bars, dancing, cruising, etc. At times it seems that this gay and lesbian "next wave," as the book's subtitle calls it, is just another wave of the confessional poetry of the 1950s. Much is adroitly enough written, though, so that the book fittingly complements the KGB Bar and new poets collections in giving a big, though definitely incomplete, sampling of American poetry at the twenty-first century's dawning. --Ray Olson

Table of Contents

A Foreword Looking Backwardsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Sherman Alekiep. 1
Talvikki Anselp. 4
Rick Barotp. 10
Paul Beattyp. 15
Erin Belieup. 21
Rafael Campop. 27
Nick Cabóp. 32
Joshua Cloverp. 38
Nicole Cooleyp. 41
Denise Duhamelp. 46
Thomas Savers Ellisp. 52
Suzanne Gardinierp. 60
James Harmsp. 66
Allison Josephp. 72
Julia Kasdorfp. 78
Joy Katzp. 83
Timothy Liup. 88
Khaled Mattawap. 93
Jeffrey Mcdanielp. 99
Campbell Mcgrathp. 105
Heidilynn Nilssonp. 112
Rick Noguchip. 117
Barbara J. Ortonp. 124
Alan Michael Parkerp. 129
D. A. Powellp. 137
Claudia Rankinep. 143
Matthew Rohrerp. 146
Ruth L. Schwartzp. 149
Angela Shawp. 154
Reginald Shepherdp. 160
Larissa Szporlukp. 164
Ann Townsendp. 168
Natasha Tretheweyp. 173
Karen Volkmanp. 177
Rachel Wetzsteonp. 182
Greg Williamsonp. 188
Max Winterp. 194
Sam Wittp. 198
Mark Wunderlichp. 204
Kevin Youngp. 209
Acknowledgmentsp. 217
Contributorsp. 223