Robert Lowell: Collected Poems
Edited by Frank Bidart and David Gewanter
Farrar Straus and Giroux
In preparing this definitive, monumental collection, Bidart and Gewanter looked at every published version of every poem written by that "audacious maker," Robert Lowell '40. Published last year, the book not only brings Lowell back to center stage as an essential figure in twentieth-century American poetry, it also calls attention to the process by which he made his art--writing, yes, but also and always rethinking, reimagining, and rewriting. The poems themselves make Collected Poems an important, rewarding book for lovers of Lowell and of poetry. The editors' contributions, including an introduction, appendices, extensive notes, a glossary, a chronology, and a bibliography, also make the book immensely valuable to students and scholars of poetry.
The Best of the Kenyon Review
Edited by David Lynn '76
The Kenyon Review is recognized, of course, as a leading journal of contemporary literature and literary thought, regularly giving us works that meet the standards of "surprise and delight" as well as "mastery of the craft," as editor David Lynn puts it in his introduction to this anthology. The anthology reminds the world what even some in the Kenyon community may have forgotten--that the Review is also a treasure-house of literary history, whose archives overflow with poems, stories, and essays by great writers dating back to the journal's founding in 1939. If this book is but a "snapshot," as Lynn writes, it is a rich, many-textured one. Best of all, it is just the first of three anthologies to be issued by the Review.
Baseball's Greatest Season: 1924
By Reed Browning
University of Massachusetts Press
Kenyon students and colleagues have long admired history professor Reed Browning for his teaching and his scholarship. The world outside academia probably knows him best as a baseball writer, the author of an award-winning biography of Cy Young in 2000. This new book examines "the most exciting season that major league baseball has ever managed to stage." One of Browning's great virtues is that he narrates and analyzes on several levels. He is an enthusiast, steeped in the details of unfolding games, the unfolding season, and the personalities that animate it all. But he is also an astute historian, offering insights into the business of baseball, the subculture of the players, the nature of the game at this moment in its development, and its role in American life.
Yoga for Men: Postures for Healthy, Stress-Free Living
By Thomas Claire '73
New Page Books
Claire, a yoga practitioner for more than thirty years, gives us a book that beginners as well as devotees will find valuable. Yoga for Men is well organized, clearly written, usefully illustrated, and above all full of information. Claire, also the author of Bodywork: What Type of Massage to Get--and How to Make the Most of It (1995), not only covers a wide range of practices, he also provides historical background and lists numerous resources for further consultation, including books, videotapes, and organizations. "Yoga's great gift," Claire writes, "is presenting us with the opportunity of uniting body and mind as we delve ever deeper into the mystery of who we are." A worthy enterprise indeed, and one for which this book is a worthy companion.
A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry
Edited by Ann Hostetler '76
University of Iowa Press
This gem of an anthology offers not only a group of wonderful individual poems but a fascinating window on a culture that is changing and, in the process, eroding stereotypes. Hostetler, who teaches English and creative writing at Goshen College and who has a Mennonite background herself, provides a fine introduction and biographical sketches of the twenty-four poets whose work she includes here. (She has five of her own poems in the book.) Although Mennonites traditionally have lived "in the world but not of it," isolated from the mainstream arts and more comfortable with communal rather than individual expression, these poems explore vividly contemporary, highly individual territory. That many of the poems are not "recognizably" Mennonite to the average reader only supports one of Hostetler's contentions: that this evolving, complex culture (with Swiss, Russian, and Canadian as well as American strands) produces not a "distinctively Mennonite" voice but a "diverse spectrum of sensibility informed by Mennonite experience."
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