Modern Poetry: Poems (Hardcover)

Modern Poetry: Poems By Diane Seuss Cover Image
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Diane Seuss’s signature voice—audacious in its honesty, virtuosic in its artistry, outsider in its attitude—has become one of the most original in contemporary poetry. Her latest collection takes its title, Modern Poetry, from the first textbook Seuss encountered as a child and the first poetry course she took in college, as an enrapt but ill-equipped student, one who felt poetry was beyond her reach. Many of the poems make use of the forms and terms of musical and poetic craft—ballad, fugue, aria, refrain, coda—and contend with the works of writers overrepresented in textbooks and anthologies and those too often underrepresented. Seuss provides a moving account of her picaresque years and their uncertainties, and in the process, she enters the realm between Modernism and Romanticism, between romance and objectivity, with Keats as ghost, lover, and interlocutor.

In poems of rangy curiosity, sharp humor, and illuminating self-scrutiny, Modern Poetry investigates our time’s deep isolation and divisiveness and asks: What can poetry be now? Do poems still have the capacity to mean? “It seems wrong / to curl now within the confines / of a poem,” Seuss writes. “You can’t hide / from what you made / inside what you made.” What she finds there, finally, is a surprising but unmistakable love.

About the Author

Diane Seuss is the author of five previous poetry collections, including frank: sonnets, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. She lives in rural Michigan.

Praise For…

"If the capacious version of the sonnet that Seuss used in her previous collection, the award-winning frank, proved a gorgeous way to rein in—structure, organize, make into art—the enthrallingly candid rovings of her mind, her new book takes the canon itself as inspiration, or perhaps a copy of an old poetry anthology left in a puddle, adapting its forms to her special subject matter, the poet who somehow sprang from the mud of a non-literary or even anti-literary background."—David Woo, Literary Hub

"If only I’d had Diane Seuss’s Modern Poetry when I first encountered the bulky textbook by the same title! If only we all had Diane Suess back then—we might have been a little less scared of verse and how to engage with it. Luckily we have her now!"— Denise Duhamel, Best American Poetry Blog

"These irreverent, pulsing, and defiant poems are full of dangerous good sense."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Seuss engages the imagination with straight talk about modern life as a working-class woman and relates both her lived experience and her complex relationship with her art. . . ." —Aiden Hunt,

“Seuss, in turning outsider consciousness into high art, posits poetry as a living thing, inextricable from the roots of existence and an authentic life.”—Virginia Konchan, Harriet Books

“Modern Poetry does not disappoint in its embodiment of punk spirit; even as Seuss embarks on the essentially academic task of uncovering the fate of modern poetry, she summons the great lyric poets of the past.”— Juliette Jeffers, Interview Magazine

Modern Poetry is filled with such agility, as Seuss’s finely tuned lyricism counterpoints in stunning ways her almost bathetic directness. At no point does this collection about poetry feel insular or solipsistic; rather, it leaps from the page with great urgency, in no small part because of the charm and affability of Seuss’s speaker. . . . She is someone to who one wants to listen.” —Preposition Magazine

“I fear that, like Seuss’s first poetry teachers, I may have made Modern Poetry sound too austere. The fight with form is also on behalf of a wildness and richness of life as well as motif. Constraint (poetic or economic) is countered with the pure hedonism of neglected communities and micro-scenes.”—Brian Dillon, 4Columns

Product Details
ISBN: 9781644452752
ISBN-10: 1644452758
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 112
Language: English