Robert Atler, Editor: The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai
When Yehuda Amichai died in 2000, the international literary community mourned the passing of Israel’s greatest post-war poet. For those of us reading him for the first time, The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai encompasses an exceptional career. Spanning five decades, Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s retrospective gathers twelve previous books and represents the efforts of thirteen Hebrew translators.
Greta Stoddart: Alive Alive O
Greta Stoddart’s third poetry collection, Alive Alive O, takes its epigraph from the final verse of the famous Irish folk song “Molly Malone.” Regarded by many to be the quintessential anthem of Dublin—replete with its own statue on Grafton Street, no less—“Molly Malone” tells the sad tale of a maiden fishmonger (and part-time prostitute, depending on which version you sing at the pub) who dies of fever.
Daneen Wardrop: Cyclorama & Reginald Dwayne Betts: Bastards of the Reagan Era
It is a strange irony that despite all of our war documentaries, battle reenactments, and tourist traps, the American Civil War remains a half-told tale. The valiant sacrifices of everyday Americans—particularly those made by women, Native Americans, and African Americans both enslaved and free—are usually overlooked among the strategizing of generals. In a series of compelling persona poems, Daneen Wardrop’s recent collection Cyclorama strives to remedy this failure of conscience.