20th Century American Poetry
The Liars' Club: A Memoir
The Liars' Club
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 0143035746
#4 on The New York Times' list of The 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years

The New York Times bestselling, hilarious tale of a hardscrabble Texas childhood that Oprah.com calls the best memoir of a generation

"Wickedly funny and always movingly illuminating, thanks to kick-ass storytelling and a poet's ear." --Oprah.com

The Liars' Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr's comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger's--a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at age twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. This unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood is as "funny, lively, and un-put-downable" (USA Today) today as it ever was.
The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong
The Road Not Taken
Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong
Hardcover      ISBN: 1594205833
A cultural "biography" of Robert Frost's beloved poem, arguably the most popular piece of literature written by an American

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . ." One hundred years after its first publication in August 1915, Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" is so ubiquitous that it's easy to forget that it is, in fact, a poem. Yet poetry it is, and Frost's immortal lines remain unbelievably popular. And yet in spite of this devotion, almost everyone gets the poem hopelessly wrong.

David Orr's The Road Not Taken dives directly into the controversy, illuminating the poem's enduring greatness while revealing its mystifying contradictions. Widely admired as the poetry columnist for The New York Times Book Review, Orr is the perfect guide for lay readers and experts alike. Orr offers a lively look at the poem's cultural influence, its artistic complexity, and its historical journey from the margins of the First World War all the way to its canonical place today as a true masterpiece of American literature.

"The Road Not Taken" seems straightforward: a nameless traveler is faced with a choice: two paths forward, with only one to walk. And everyone remembers the traveler taking "the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference." But for a century readers and critics have fought bitterly over what the poem really says. Is it a paean to triumphant self-assertion, where an individual boldly chooses to live outside conformity? Or a biting commentary on human self-deception, where a person chooses between identical roads and yet later romanticizes the decision as life altering?

What Orr artfully reveals is that the poem speaks to both of these impulses, and all the possibilities that lie between them. The poem gives us a portrait of choice without making a decision itself. And in this, "The Road Not Taken" is distinctively American, for the United States is the country of choice in all its ambiguous splendor.

Published for the poem's centennial--along with a new Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of Frost's poems, edited and introduced by Orr himself--The Road Not Taken is a treasure for all readers, a triumph of artistic exploration and cultural investigation that sings with its own unforgettably poetic voice.
The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation
The Beat Book
Writings from the Beat Generation
Paperback      ISBN: 1590304551

The Beat movement exploded into American culture in the early 1950s with the force of prophecy. Not just another literary school, it was an artistic and social revolution. William S. Burroughs proclaimed that the Beat writers were "real architects of change. There is no doubt that we're living in a freer America as a result of the Beat literary movement, which is an important part of the larger picture of cultural and political change in this country during the last forty years, when a four-letter word couldn't appear on the printed page and minority rights were ridiculous."

Anne Waldman, a renowned poet and longtime friend of many of these writers, has gathered in this volume a range of the best and most exemplary writings of the Beat poets and novelists. Selections from the Beat classics appear, as well as more recent prose and poetry demonstrating the continued vitality of the Beat experiment. Included are short biographies of the contributors, an extensive bibliography of Beat literature, and a unique guide to "Beat places" around the world--from Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, where his novel Dr. Sax takes place, to Tangier, where Burroughs wrote parts of Naked Lunch.
Storm for the Living and the Dead: Uncollected and Unpublished Poems
Storm for the Living and the Dead
Uncollected and Unpublished Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 006265652x

A timeless selection of some of Charles Bukowski's best unpublished and uncollected poems

Charles Bukowski was a prolific writer who produced countless short stories, novels, and poems that have reached beyond their time and place to speak to generations of readers all over the world. Many of his poems remain little known since they appeared in small magazines but were never collected, and a large number of them have yet to be published.

In Storm for the Living and the Dead, Abel Debritto has curated a collection of rare and never- before-seen material--poems from obscure, hard-to-find magazines, as well as from libraries and private collections all over the country. In doing so, Debritto has captured the essence of Bukowski's inimitable poetic style--tough and hilarious but ringing with humanity. Storm for the Living and the Dead is a gift for any devotee of the Dirty Old Man of American letters.

Life Studies and for the Union Dead
Life Studies and for the Union Dead
Paperback      ISBN: 0374530963

Robert Lowell, with Elizabeth Bishop, stands apart as the greatest American poet of the latter half of the twentieth century--and Life Studies and For the Union Dead stand as among his most important volumes. In Life Studies, which was first published in 1959, Lowell moved away from the formality of his earlier poems and started writing in a more confessional vein. The title poem of For the Union Dead concerns the death of the Civil War hero (and Lowell ancestor) Robert Gould Shaw, but it also largely centers on the contrast between Boston's idealistic past and its debased present at the time of its writing, in the early 1960's. Throughout, Lowell addresses contemporaneous subjects in a voice and style that themselves push beyond the accepted forms and constraints of the time.

Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems
Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 0807084867
All of the published poetry of James Baldwin, including six significant poems previously only available in a limited edition

During his lifetime (1924-1987), James Baldwin authored seven novels, as well as several plays and essay collections, which were published to wide-spread praise. These books, among them Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time, Giovanni's Room, and Go Tell It on the Mountain, brought him well-deserved acclaim as a public intellectual and admiration as a writer. However, Baldwin's earliest writing was in poetic form, and Baldwin considered himself a poet throughout his lifetime. Nonetheless, his single book of poetry, Jimmy's Blues, never achieved the popularity of his novels and nonfiction, and is the one and only book to fall out of print.

This new collection presents James Baldwin the poet, including all nineteen poems from Jimmy's Blues, as well as all the poems from a limited-edition volume called Gypsy, of which only 325 copies were ever printed and which was in production at the time of his death. Known for his relentless honesty and startlingly prophetic insights on issues of race, gender, class, and poverty, Baldwin is just as enlightening and bold in his poetry as in his famous novels and essays. The poems range from the extended dramatic narratives of "Staggerlee wonders" and "Gypsy" to the lyrical beauty of "Some days," which has been set to music and interpreted by such acclaimed artists as Audra McDonald. Nikky Finney's introductory essay reveals the importance, relevance, and rich rewards of these little-known works. Baldwin's many devotees will find much to celebrate in these pages.
A Light in the Attic
A Light in the Attic
Hardcover      ISBN: 0060256737

From New York Times bestselling author Shel Silverstein, the creator of the beloved poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and Every Thing On It, comes an imaginative book of poems and drawings--a favorite of Shel Silverstein fans young and old.

A Light in the Attic delights with remarkable characters and hilariously profound poems in a collection readers will return to again and again.

Here in the attic you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.

Come on up to the attic of Shel Silverstein and let the light bring you home.

And don't miss The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, also available as ebooks

The Rose That Grew from Concrete
The Rose That Grew from Concrete
Paperback      ISBN: 0671028456

Tupac Shakur's most intimate and honest thoughts were uncovered only after his death with the instant classic The Rose That Grew from Concrete.

His talent was unbounded -- a raw force that commanded attention and respect.
His death was tragic -- a violent homage to the power of his voice.
His legacy is indomitable -- as vibrant and alive today as it has ever been.

For the first time in paperback, this collection of deeply personal poetry is a mirror into the legendary artist's enigmatic world and its many contradictions.

Written in his own hand from the time he was nineteen, these seventy-two poems embrace his spirit, his energy -- and his ultimate message of hope.
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes: A Classic Collection of Poems by a Master of American Verse
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
A Classic Collection of Poems by a Master of American Verse
Paperback      ISBN: 067972818x
From the publication of his first book of poems, The Weary Blues, in 1926, Langston Hughes electrified readers and launched a renaissance in black writing in America.

The poems Hughes wrote celebrated the experience of invisible men and women: of slaves who "rushed the boots of Washington"; of musicians on Lenox Avenue; of the poor and the lovesick; of losers in "the raffle of night." They conveyed that experience in a voice that blended the spoken with the sung, that turned poetic lines into the phrases of jazz and blues, and that ripped through the curtain separating high from popular culture. They spanned the range from the lyric to the polemic, ringing out "wonder and pain and terror--and the marrow of the bone of life."

The poems in this collection were chosen by Hughes himself shortly before his death in 1967 and represent work from his entire career, including "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "The Weary Blues," "Still Here," "Song for a Dark Girl," "Montage of a Dream Deferred," and "Refugee in America." It gives us a poet of extraordinary range, directness, and stylistic virtuosity.

"Langston Hughes is a titanic figure in 20th-century American literature . . . a powerful interpreter of the American experience." --The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Collected Poems: The Corrected Edition
The Collected Poems
The Corrected Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 1101911689

The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens is the definitive collection from the man Harold Bloom has called "the best and most representative American poet."

Originally published in 1954 to honor Stevens's seventy-fifth birthday, the book was rushed into print for the occasion and contained scores of errors. These have now been corrected in one place for the first time by Stevens scholars John N. Serio and Christopher Beyers, based on original editions and manuscripts. The Collected Poems is the one volume that Stevens intended to contain all the poems he wished to preserve, presented in the way he wanted. An essential collection for all readers of poetry, it is an enduring monument to his dazzling achievement.