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More Truly and More Strange

100 Contemporary American Self-Portrait Poems

Lisa Russ Spaar (Editor)


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Acclaimed anthologist Lisa Russ Spaar compiles poems for the Instagram age, assembling 100 of America’s greatest poets exquisitely depicted in their own eyes and words.

Our rampant selfie-taking moment (via Snapchat, Tinder, and YouTube, e.g.) showcases what American poetry has expressed for centuries: a national impulse for self-portraiture. This stylish anthology collects astonishing self-portrait poems—brilliantly divided into smart, revealing sections—from the mid-twentieth century through today.

By experiencing the various ways that our greatest poets re-render and distort themselves, we see America’s glorious struggle with defining itself. John Ashbery, Stephanie Burt, Lucie Brock-Broido, Natalie Diaz, Rita Dove, Jorie Graham, Terrance Hayes, Donika Kelly, Gregory Pardlo, Sylvia Plath, Carl Phillips, Mark Strand, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Tretheway, Charles Wright, and many others.

Persea, 9780892555062, 256pp.

Publication Date: September 8, 2020

About the Author

Lisa Russ Spaar is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently Orexia (Persea, 2017), and a collections of essays, The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations of Contemporary Poetry. She is the editor of Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poems on Jefferson; Acquainted with the Night: Insomnia Poems; and All that Mighty Heart: London Poems. She is a poetry columnist for Los Angeles Review of Books and Professor of English at the University of Virginia.