Cover image for New and selected poems, 1974-2004
New and selected poems, 1974-2004
Dennis, Carl.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections
Publication Information:
New York : Penguin Poets, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiv, 255 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3554.E535 N48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS3554.E535 N48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS3554.E535 N48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



The New York Times has called Carl Dennis's poetry "wise, original, and deeply moving." A poet with a growing audience of admirers, Dennis writes in a clear, classically simple language that is both personal and universal. Making use of a rich variety of genres--advice, meditation, elegy, and prophecy--his poems take unexpected turns as they explore their subjects, catching the reader off balance in a way that is liberating. This new anthology gathers the best of his eight previous books along with a generous sampling of new poems.

Author Notes

Carl Dennis is the author of nine books of poetry, including Practical Gods , winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, in 2000 he was awarded the Ruth Lilly Prize from Poetry Magazine and the Modern Poetry Association for his contribution to American poetry. He teaches in the English Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and is a sometime member of the faculty of the MFA program in creative writing at Warren Wilson College.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Having published eight volumes of poetry and won not only the Ruth Lilly Prize but also a 2002 Pulitzer, Dennis has more than proven his staying power as a writer, as well as the steady appeal of his honest, accessible, and heartfelt poems. Beginning with his newest poems and jumping to the chronologically arranged selected poems from 1974 on, this collection shows that although Dennis' subject matter has digressed, his poetic voice and his writerly intention seem to have remained the same. Dennis writes in such an open way, considers such normal human feelings as love, loss, or regret, and asks such pertinent questions as Is there a god? that readers cannot help but be pulled in--feeling, asking, discovering, and experiencing right along with the poet. This is a solid, pertinent book and a fine addition to any contemporary poetry collection. --Janet St. John Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Coming off the 2002 Pulitzer for Practical Gods, Dennis's eighth book of verse highlights a career's worth of modesty of style, which seeks to make sincerity, goodness, and humility aesthetically interesting, partly through sinuous syntax, and partly through the wisdom it offers. That style finds tests and triumphs in this selection from three decades of work, to which a sheaf of fine new poems is added: one defines death as "The point when friends stop phoning us for our opinions,/ Or to tell us what they always intended to say." "Books likely to last," another new poem confesses, "Can only acknowledge that nothing lasts but wishes." Such acknowledgments give Dennis his bread-and-butter, and have done so since his earliest books: one 1970s poem offers "Useful Advice," another hints at "the truth/ About the shortage of teachers everywhere." ("Aunt Celia, 1961," on the other hand, promises "A life without remorse, that's something/ I'm willing to predict for a generous/ Brave young man like you.") Dennis's goals place him near (and should attract fans of) Robert Pinsky and Robert Hass. His various characters sometimes sound too much alike, and his insistence on reason and humility may narrow his tonal range; nevertheless, this retrospective shows Dennis at his best. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved