An Anthology of New York Poets edited by Ron Padgett and David Shapiro ; Drawings by Joe Brainard
New York : Random House, 1970. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. 588 pages ; 22 cm. $12.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
"The editors of An Anthology of New York Poets are, praise be, among the poets whose work is included in this anthology. As editors they are quite needlessly concerned lest the term "New York School of Poets" be accepted as a label that will serve no constructive purpose. Such a label would not only be inaccurate, they imply, but It might tend to reduce the vision and the poems of each contributor from the particular to the general in the reader's mind. Such fears are groundless, I would like to say quickly, for if the work of Kenneth Koch, or John Ashbery, or Frank O'Hara, or Ron Padgett, or David Shapiro, and of the twenty-two other poets in this collection, is in danger of being diminished by association with New York, then New York has increased its spheres of influence since I was last there.
"This anthology is both exciting and important. It accomplishes the unique feat of presenting twenty-seven little books of new and good poetry in one stunning volume. And the label, ' New York Poets,' does no more than provide a framework—as does the label of "The Twenties in Paris" —a framework that in this instance stakes out a legitimate .claim I see in that claim a very valuable statement, which is that the poetry written by these poets who were once in New York, or who met in New York, or who are now in New York, is far better poetry than any being written elsewhere at this moment in the United States.
"New York needs all kinds of help at the present time, and if the work of these twenty-seven poets can help the city of New York to survive a" little longer, then let that city and all its inhabitants rejoice that it has sheltered poets of such strength and diversity, and let the population lift up its voice in gratitude and praise." —KAY BOYLE
RON PADGETT was born in 1942 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and thereby qualifies as a member of the "soi-disant" Tulsa School of Poetry. A graduate of Columbia, where he won the Boar's Head and Woodberry Poetry Prizes and co-edited the Columbia Review (and, after university officials banned that, the Censored Review), Mr. Padgett earned a Fulbright scholarship to Paris in 1965, and two grants from the Poets* Foundation, in 1964 and 1968. Most noted of his published works are Bean Spasms, which he wrote in collaboration with Ted Berrigan, and Great Balls of Fire, a recently published collection of poems which critics have called "stunningly beautiful,' "a true concert of intelligence and vision," and "a book that has it all: comedy, tenderness, joy, wit and the sheer loveliness of language."
Mr. Padgett lives in New York City on "the uptown fringe of the Lower East Side" with his wife Pat and his son, Wayne.
DAVID SHAPIRO, born in Newark in 1947, has already achieved wide recognition as a poet (New York Poets' Foundation Award, Robert Frost Fellowship, Gotham Book Mart Award, Book-of-the-Month Club Fellowship, etc.) and in the field of student politics (readers will recall a picture of him seated at Grayson Kirk's desk, cigar clenched firmly in teeth, during the 1968 spring disturbances at Columbia). Two collections' of Mr. Shapiro's poetry have been published, January (1965) and Poems from Deal (1969). With Kenneth Koch, Mr. Shapiro co-edited Learn Something, America, a collection of children's stories and poems published by The Brooklyn Museum in 1968.
A professional violinist as well as a poet-revolutionary, Mr. Shapiro has played under Leopold Stokowski, and has soloed on the Voice of America and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. A graduate of Columbia, he is now a Kellet Fellow at Cambridge University.
"The New York School of Poets—whose best-known members are John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch and the late Frank O'Hara—has emerged as the creative vanguard of poetry...
"...These artists exert a very wide influence over a younger generation of poets—near ubiquitous influence over it, in fact. Almost every smudged page of every loosely stapled little photo-offset magazine currently emanates the New York School 'sound,' and it is not too much to say that... they have influenced an entire generation of young American poets... —STEPHEN KOCH The New York Times Book Review
"Some of the most interesting writing of our time is in this volume." —F. W. DUPEE
The work of the New York poets, while regional in name, is without question the most admired, influential, envied, and copied throughout the country. An admirable volume." —GEORGE PLIMPTON
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