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Suggested Reading - Anthologies
and Other Suggestions

Following is a list of books on poetry, writing techniques, formal styles, poetry collections and more recommended by some of the over 6,000 members of everypoet.com's Poetry Free-for-all. If you have a particular favorite you would like to suggest that is not already on this list, please do so here.

General Works | Meter, Rhyme & Poetic Form | Anthologies & Other | Reference Works

Anthologies  

A Book of Luminous Things : An International Anthology of Poetry
by Czeslaw Milosz (Editor)

A lovely anthology containing work from 20th century international poets, including work from China, Eastern Europe, France, and United States. The selected poems are strong and accessible, and Milosz's commentary is neither verbose nor dry, working as a valuable complement to the work instead of as an intrusion. (Rachel a.k.a. TheBroad)

A Book of Luminous Things : An International Anthology of Poetry

The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry edited by Richard Ellman and Robert O'Clair

An extensive anthology containing some of the best works of poetry over the past 150 years. It includes the poets' biographies and other relevant information, a valuable glossary and recommended reading list of its own, and important annotations relating to many of the poems. I'd consider this a "best buy" for those people wanting to read more poetry but not knowing where to start. The Norton Anthology of Poetry (ISBN 0393968200) is also a good addition to your bookshelf, although this is my personal first choice. (Rachel a.k.a. TheBroad)

The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry

New Young American Poets: An Anthology edited by Kevin Prufer

Considered by many to be a well-edited collection of the "new generation" of poets, this book offers no editorial commentary on the poems, only represents a few pieces from each selected author. This is a good one to buy and have around for inspiration on creative and fresh use of language. If you are familiar with most of the poets mentioned as contributors, though, you may want to skip this book. (LauraJ)

New Young American Poets: An Anthology

Geography III by Elizabeth Bishop

This short collection is haunting and inspiring. Her work is clear and full of wonderful imagery. (LauraJ)

Geography III

Blizzard of One: Poems by Mark Strand

This book is literary home to one of my favorite poems, Five Dogs. Five Dogs was the first Strand poem I read, and it inspired me more than the volumes of confessional poetry I'd immersed myself in prior to this reading. Mark Strand has a firm grasp on what makes us human; and he approaches poetry from the same insider-on-the-outside type perspective that he uses in Five Dogs. (LauraJ)

Blizzard of One: Poems

The Limits of Art by Huntington Cairns (out of print)

Starting with the ancient Greeks and ending at WW2, it gives the text (and if necessary, a translation into English) of whatever works in European languages (including English) have been hailed by reputable critics, ancient and modern, as being The Best - so nearly all the iconic works, and much else, are there, in whole or in excerpt. (It gives the crits too, so it's also an anthology of criticism.) Compiled 50 years ago, its selection of 'moderns' may be a bit creaky. Nonetheless, it's the most enjoyable introduction to Classical and European lit I've ever seen. If you like languages, it's pure joy. If you don't like languages, this may begin to change your mind. (Dunc McReil)

 
Anthologies of Formalist Poetry  

Strong Measures: Contemporary American Poetry in Traditional Forms, ed. by Philip Dacy and David Jauss (1986)

An anthology of post-WWII poetry in form and/or meter by a broad range of poets, many not primarily thought of as formalists. (Howard Miller)

Strong Measures: Contemporary American Poetry in Traditional Forms

A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women by Annie Finch (Editor)

It's a good anthology of formal works with writers such as Marilyn Hacker, Rhina P. Espaillat (my current fav & the reason I bought the book. Trying to find her stuff is murder), Jane Kenyon and lots o' other people.

Not only is the verse good but the Appendices and the writer's own comments about writing in form are invaluable for someone trying to learn metrical verse. Appendix A describes the form for each of the writer's poems. Appendix B is sorted by form & lists each of the works which fall into that form. There's even THREE (count 'em) examples of Sapphic verse. (Andrea Brice)

A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women

Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism, ed. by Mark Jarman and David Mason

An anthology that can serve as a companion volume to Strong Measures, dealing with younger formalists, many not included in SM. (Howard Miller)

Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism
Handbooks on Prose  
Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern Making Shapely Fiction
The Story And Its Writer edited by Ann Charters  
Writing Fiction: A Guide To Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway Writing Fiction: A Guide To Narrative Craft

General Works | Meter, Rhyme & Poetic Form | Anthologies & Other | Reference Works