Archive | July, 2002

Designed for a Lifetime of Becoming: The Poetic Debut of Adam Kirsch

As Reviewed By: Sunil Iyengar The Thousand Wells by Adam Kirsch. Ivan R. Dee, 2002. $18.95. “It is very likely that the really vital poetry of the next generation will be not about God at all–the poets who currently treat that theme often descend into banality or obscurity–but about other profound and secular themes: love, […]

Posted in Featured, ReviewsComments (0)

Mother’s Milk: Ernest Hilbert Reviews Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins

Today, editors at large houses will sometimes take on books of poetry as auxiliary or personal projects. Some, like Adrienne Rich, with W.W. Norton, produce a regular profit. Usually, however, it is the case that poetry lists are show horses. One would never yoke them to draw plow through field. In other words, they are kept. They must be subsidized. If not, publishers look immediately to them when mulling over poor annual returns. A recent example is Oxford University Press, which made the controversial decision to unload its poetry list for financial reasons. Not only did the list fail to make a profit, it was a white elephant. The ensuing clamor produced certain facts both instructional and a little obscene to the public. Jon Stallworthy, the very image of a literary gentleman, pointed out during the fray that such poets as Gerard Manley Hopkins failed to sire a great deal of profit for many years but are now canonical (thus very profitable to the farsighted editor). On the other hand, it became public knowledge that some of the poets on the Oxford Poets series had sold fewer than ten copies of their books. This was embarrassing for all involved.

Posted in Featured, ReviewsComments (0)