“Street Musicians: Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery” in The Cambridge Companion to American Poets

I just wanted to announce a new publication that may be of interest: the new Cambridge Companion to American Poets, edited by Mark Richardson, features an essay of mine titled “Street Musicians: Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery.”  In general, it looks like an excellent and useful volume, spanning the gamut from Anne Bradstreet and Phyllis Wheatley to Jack Spicer, Sylvia Plath, and recent poetry.  The collection features David Reynolds on Walt Whitman, Joan Retallack on Gertrude Stein, Jonah Raskin on Allen Ginsberg, Alan Golding on the Black Mountain School, David Kirby on contemporary American poetry, and two dozen more.

Here’s the description from Cambridge:

The Cambridge Companion to American Poets brings together thirty-one essays on some fifty-four American poets, spanning nearly 400 years, from Anne Bradstreet to contemporary performance poetry. This book also examines such movements in American poetry as modernism, the Harlem (or New Negro) Renaissance, “confessional” poetry, the Black Mountain School, the New York School, the Beats, and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry. Its reputable host of contributors approach American poetry from perspectives as diverse as the poetry itself. The result is a Companion concise enough to be read with pleasure yet expansive enough to do justice to the many traditions American poets have modified, inaugurated, and made their own.

And the table of contents:

1. ‘The first shall be last’: apology and redemption in the work of the first New England poets, Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor — Charlotte Gordon
2. Phillis Wheatley — Carla Willard
3. The historical epic, women’s poetry, and early American verse — Kerry Larson
4. The first this time: Longfellow, Lowell, Holmes, Whittier — Christoph Irmscher
5. Ralph Waldo Emerson — Mark Scott
6. Edgar Allan Poe — Kevin Hayes
7. Walt Whitman — David S. Reynolds
8. Melville the poet — Robert Faggen
9. Emily Dickinson — Martha Nell Smith
10. Paul Laurence Dunbar — Joanne M. Braxton and Lauri Ramey
11. Edwin Arlington Robinson — Henry Atmore
12. Robert Frost — Mark Richardson
13. Gertrude Stein — Joan Retallack
14. Wallace Stevens — Eleanor Cook
15. William Carlos Williams — Ian Copestake
16. Ezra Pound — Alec Marsh
17. Marianne Moore — Celeste Goodridge
18. T. S. Eliot and American poetry — John Cooper
19. Hart Crane’s visionary company — Robert Bernard Haas
20. The new Negro Renaissance — Steven Tracey
21. Langston Hughes — Henry Atmore
22. Elizabeth Bishop — Susan McCabe
23. Gwendolyn Brooks — James Smethurst
24. The three voices of Robert Lowell — Steven Axelrod
25. The Black Mountain School — Alan Golding
26. Jack Spicer — Daniel Katz
27. Allen Ginsberg: irreverent, reverential, and apocalyptic American poet — Jonah Raskin
28. Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and confessional poetry — Melanie Waters
29. ‘Street musicians’: Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery — Andrew Epstein
30. Adrienne Rich: the poetry of witness — Wendy Martin and Annalisa Zox-Weaver
31. An ’empty prescription’: pleasure in contemporary American poetry — David Kirby.

You can find out more about the book here.

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