Langston Hughes: The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes 

“The ultimate book for both the dabbler and serious scholar–. [Hughes] is sumptuous and sharp, playful and sparse, grounded in an earthy music–. This book is a glorious revelation.”–Boston Globe

Spanning five decades and comprising 868 poems (nearly 300 of which have never before appeared in book form), this magnificent volume is the definitive sampling of a writer who has been called the poet laureate of African America–and perhaps our greatest popular poet since Walt Whitman. Here, for the first time, are all the poems that Langston Hughes published during his lifetime, arranged in the general order in which he wrote them and annotated by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel.
Alongside such famous works as “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and Montage of a Dream Deferred,The Collected Poemsincludes the author’s lesser-known verse for children; topical poems distributed through the Associated Negro Press; and poems such as “Goodbye Christ” that were once suppressed. Lyrical and pungent, passionate and polemical, the result is a treasure of a book, the essential collection of a poet whose words have entered our common language.

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Additional Resources:

Langston Hughes Speaking at UCLA, 1967 (video)
Meet the Past: Langston Hughes at the Kansas Public Library (video)

The Negro in American Culture: Group Discussion with Baldwin, Hughes, Hansberry, Capouya and Kazin (video)
Academy of Poets: Langston Hughes (website)

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Yukio Mishima: Five Modern No Plays 

Japanese No drama is one of the great art forms that has fascinated people throughout the world. The late Yukio Mishima, one of Japan’s outstanding post-war writers, infused new life into the form by using it for plays that preserve the style and inner spirit of No and are at the same time so modern, so direct, and intelligible that they could, as he suggested, be played on a bench in Central Park. Here are five of his No plays, stunning in their contemporary nature and relevance and finally made available again for readers to enjoy.

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Further Writings: 

Spring Snow: The Sea of Fertility (Ebook)
Sun and Steel (PDF)

Additional Resources:

BBC Documentary: The Strange Case of Yukio Mishima (Video)
YUKOKU (Patriotism) Film by Yukio Mishima (video)
Interview, with subtitles provided by YouTube CC(video)

Rainer Marie Rilke: Letters to a Young Poet 

In 1903, a student at a military academy sent some of his verses to a well-known Austrian poet, requesting an assessment of their value. The older artist, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), replied to the novice in this series of letters — an amazing archive of remarkable insights into the ideas behind Rilke’s greatest poetry. The ten letters reproduced here were written during an important stage in Rilke’s artistic development, and they contain many of the themes that later appeared in his best works. The poet himself afterwards stated that his letters contained part of his creative genius, making this volume essential reading for scholars, poetry lovers, and anyone with an interest in Rilke, German poetry, or the creative impulse.

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Additional Writings by the Author: 

Compilation of Poetry (PDF)
Project Gutenberg Collection of Poetry (text)
On Love and Other Difficulties (PDF)

Eileen Myles: The Importance of Being Iceland 


Poet and post-punk heroine Eileen Myles has always operated in the art, writing, and queer performance scenes as a kind of observant flaneur. Like Baudelaire’s gentleman stroller, Myles travels the city–wandering on garbage-strewn New York streets in the heat of summer, drifting though the antiseptic malls of La Jolla, and riding in the van with Sister Spit–seeing it with a poet’s eye for detail and with the consciousness that writing about art and culture has always been a social gesture. Culled by the poet from twenty years of art writing, the essays in The Importance of Being Iceland make a lush document of her–and our–lives in these contemporary crowds. Framed by Myles’s account of her travels in Iceland, these essays posit inbetweenness as the most vital position from which to perceive culture as a whole, and a fluidity in national identity as the best model for writing and thinking about art and culture. The essays include fresh takes on Thoreau’s Cape Cod walk, working class speech, James Schulyer and Bj rk, queer Russia and Robert Smithson; how-tos on writing an avant-garde poem and driving a battered Japanese car that resembles a menopausal body; and opinions on such widely ranging subjects as filmmaker Sadie Benning, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Ted Berrigan’s Sonnets, and flossing.
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Additional Resources

Author’s Website
Articles and Podcasts via Poetry Foundation
My Ten Favorite Books: Eileen Miles
The Poet Idolized by a New Generation of Feminists (profile)
Lecture: About Boston: Reading & Conversation with Eileen Myles (video)
Engadin Art Talks: Eileen Myles (video)
NYU Florence Talks: Eileen Myles (video)

Louise Gluck: Faithful and Virtuous Night


In Louise Gluck’s new collection, night takes on the dimensions of myth, becomes the setting for a sequence of journeys and explorations through time and memory, as the speaker of the poems moves backwards into childhood and forwards into ‘the kingdom of death’. Gluck draws equally on the worlds of fairy-tale, of dream and of waking life, each poem a door into a narrative both haunting and compellingly beautiful.

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Reviews:
NYT Review
New Yorker Review
NPR Review
Interviews:

For a Dollar: Louise Gluck in Conversation (transcript)

An Interview with Grace Gluck (transcript)
National Book Foundation: Interview with Grace Gluck, 2014 (transcript)