20 September 2017

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Letters to Poets: Conversations About Poetics, Politics, and Community


Author Jennifer Firestone

Author Dana Teen Lomax

Soft Cover, 6 1/2 x 9", 200 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9754990-8-5

Letters to Poets honors and commemorates the hundredth anniversary of Rilke’s Letters

Letters to Poets honors and commemorates the hundredth anniversary of Rilke’s Letters to a Younger Poet by partnering a selection of 14 of the country’s leading contemporary poets with 14 emerging poets and documenting their correspondences.

Price $24.00


These poets challenge the hierarchies and pitfalls endemic to the mentoring process, and ask some of the day’s toughest, most vital questions concerning race, class, and gender. Spanning a range of not only generations but cultural, aesthetic, and economic backgrounds, these diverse pairing both challenge and support each other artistically and politically. The result is in turns dramatic, enlightening, and comic. Includes: Anselm Berrigan, John Yau, Truong Tran, Wanda Coleman, Alfred Arteaga, Anne Waldman, Quincy Troupe, Kathleen Fraser, Eileen Myles, Jill Magi, Cecilia Vicuna, Leslie Scalapino, Albert Flynn Desilver, Paul Hoover, & many others!


This courageous and visionary book enacts and embodies a concrete "relational aesthetics" that gives poetic voices an epistolary space—for linguistic intimacy and soul-sharing. Don't miss it!

- Cornel West

In the age of the quick email, it is wonderful to pick up the heft of Letters To Poets, by poets, and for poets. Here are epistles that demonstrate that the pleasures of poetry are clustered around the pleasures of thinking with others.

- Juliana Spahr

These letters continue in the tradition of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. Unlike Rilke's letters, this is a collection of many different established poets communing by letter to younger, emerging poets. These letters bear advice, philosophical discourse, theoretical strategies, dreams, weather reports, questions, answers, and, poetry. What happens here is a kind of call and response by letter. And as in Rilke's letters, these missives are lively, urgent, wise, erudite, witty, political and absolutely necessary to a contemporary discussion of the current state of the making of poetry.

- Joy Harjo