|The appearance of The Best American Poetry every September is an eagerly awaited event — as evidenced by soaring sales and terrific reviews. The popularity of the series is "ample proof that poetry is thriving" (The Orlando Sentinel), and this year's volume will dazzle and delight poetry readers both old and new.
Under the guiding vision of master poet John Hollander — also one of America's most erudite literary minds — The Best American Poetry 1998 spotlights the imaginative power of our poets at the fin-de-siècle. Hollander, a revered professor and expert anthologist, notes that "true poetry has always striven for, and has come in the last twenty years to perfect, a nobility of expression that is of vital importance for our democratic esthetic, moral and political culture." Diverse in form and method, the poems collected here help answer that perennial question, What is American poetry? while maintaining the uncompromising artistic standards essential to The Best American Poetry tradition as it enters its second decade. Hollander has chosen work both from eminences such as Richard Wilbur, Donald Justice, and Robert Pinsky, and newer talents including Anne Carson, Henri Cole, and Brigit Pegeen Kelly. Together these remarkable poems promise to lead you on an exhilarating and inspiring literary expedition.