The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 30, 2009

Jonathan Galassi On The End Of Poetry Month

This year for National Poetry Month, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publisher Jonathan Galassi wrote a post for the blog every Tuesday and Thursday. This is his final column for 2009. I hope you've enjoyed this poetry month, and I look forward to seeing you back here next year!

It’s been a horrendously busy week, and I’ve been remiss in my posting. And now I see the Poetry Month 2009 is ending and I haven’t talked about many of the great books we’re publishing this year.

I haven’t talked about Frank Bidart’s heartbreaking WATCHING THE SPRING FESTIVAL, which just won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry.

I haven’t mentioned Carl Phillips’ magical and mysterious SPEAK LOW, his 9th book, which is just coming out.

I haven’t signaled our reissue of Seamus Heaney’s great book, FIELD WORK, as an FSG classic, or congratulated Seamus on his 70th birthday, which was a cause for national celebration in Ireland. Nor have I mentioned Dennis O’Driscoll’s incredible STEPPING STONES, his book-length interviews with Seamus, which make for one of the most revealing books ever by a poet on his own work.

We also just reissued T. S. Eliot’s magisterial ON POETRY AND POETS, which has been out of print for years and years.

Then there’s the brilliant English poet Michael Hofmann’s SELECTED POEMS, just out, and THE  BALLAD OF DOROTHY WORDSWORTH by Frances Wilson, a definitive reconsideration of this strange genius’ troubled life.

There’s Anne Carson’s AN ORESTEIA, her inventive and startling  translation of  Aeschylus’ AGAMEMNON, Sophocles’ ELEKTRA, and Euripides‘ ORESTES, a compendum of Greek drama in miniature that is endlessly revealing.

And coming this fall we have Edward Snow’s THE POETRY OF RILKE, in which he has gathered and reworked his maginificent versions of the great German, with an introduction by Adam Zagajewski (whose  ETERNAL ENEMIES is out in paperback). And Louise Gluck’s stunning new book, A VILLAGE LIFE, and Fady Joudah’s moving translation of the Palestinian poet Mohmamed Darwish’s last book, IF I WERE ANOTHER.  And the paperback edition of Marilyn Hacker’s translation of KING OF A HUNDRED HOURSEMAN by Marie Etienne, which just own the PEN Poetry Translation Prize. And last but not least, the first edition of Robert Lowell’s NOTEBOOK, one of his most beautiful and searching books, which is not included in his COLLECTED POEMS.

And more, too. I know I’ve left a lot out, but I have to file this blog or I’ll be killed (don’t tell anyone, but I hate blogs). We’re busy here—happily busy trying to bring you the best in contemporary poetry. Thanks for reading, and please enjoy the fruits of our labors! 


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Percy Bisque Silley

I don't believe that you have yet discovered the best in contemporary Poesy.

Sir Percy Bisque Silley


My parents just picked up a copy of Heaney's Field Work at a library sale. It's sitting on my desk right now...guess I better read it soon.

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