Excerpts from A LONG HIGH WHISTLE: SELECTED COLUMNS ON POETRY by David Biespiel

 

EXCERPTS from

 

A LONG HIGH WHISTLE

Selected Columns on Poetry

BY DAVID BIESPIEL

Antilever Press, Forthcoming March 2015

 

 

 

 

 

David Biespiel is the president of the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters and the author of nine books, most recently Charming Gardeners (poems) and the Everyman's Library anthology, Poems of the American South. Recipient of a Lannan Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, he is a member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, a contributor to Politico, and he currently writes the Poetry Wire blog for The Rumpus.

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A selection of quotations from A Long High Whistle

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Preface

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If You Have To Ask

To Witness and To Sing

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Over the course of ten years from 2003-2013, poet and critic David Biespiel published a brief, dazzling essay on poetry every month in the book review of The Oregonian in what became the longest-running newspaper column on poetry in the United States.

Collected here for the first time, these enormously popular essays, some of which have been revised and expanded, offer a fresh and refreshing approach to reading and writing poetry. With passion, wit, insight, and good common sense, they articulate a profound statement about the mysteries of poetry, as well as poetry's essential role in our civic and cultural lives.

In a manner unlike any other book about poetry, this book provides anyone, from the beginning poet to the mature writer to the lover of literature, with a mini-course on how poets become inspired, how poems are first written and then experienced by readers, and how poetry situates itself in American life.

A Long High Whistle includes discussion of the work of nearly a hundred poets from ancient times to the present, in English and in translation — among them Catullus, Ovid, John Keats, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, W. B. Yeats, Osip Mandelstam, Robert Hayden, Muriel Rukeyser, Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney, Tomas Transtromer, Inger Christensen, Natasha Trethewey, and many other poets.

Delightfully structured, friendly and inspiring, A Long High Whistle will empower, enlighten, and entertain anyone who reads it. 

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