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Radiant Lyre

Essays on Lyric Poetry
Author 1
Edited by David Baker and Ann Townsend
Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry is a significant new book on poetry from its earliest, traditional roots to its most recent and fractured forms. The essays gathered here, by an array of brilliant contemporary poets, explore the history of the lyric poem, its rhetorical modes and strategies. How does the lyric operate in an elegy, a love poem, or ode? How is meaning conveyed by a pastoral poem, the sublime, the narrative? How does the lyric investigate nature, beauty, and time? How are these lyric forms and strategies received? Radiant Lyre gives the contemporary reader a sense of the origin, evolution, and present status of the modes and means of lyric poetry.

David Baker and Ann Townsend, themselves esteemed lyric poets, have introduced and edited an important anthology, vital to any serious reader of poetry. Contributors include: David Baker, Linda Gregerson, Richard Jackson, Eric Pankey, Carl Phillips, Stanley Plumly, and Ann Townsend.

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An essential collection of essays by important contemporary poets about the forms and rhetorical strategies of lyric poetry

About the Author

David Baker is Professor of English and holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing. He is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Never-Ending Birds (2009, W. W. Norton), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. His four prose books are Talk Poetry: Poems and Interviews with Nine American Poets (2012), Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry (2007, with Ann Townsend), Heresy and the Ideal: On Contemporary Poetry (2000) and Meter in English: A Critical Engagement (1996). Dr. Baker's poems and essays have appeared widely in such magazines as American Poetry Review, the Atlantic Monthly, the Nation, the New Republic, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Poetry, Slate, the Yale Review, and more than a hundred others. For his work he has received fellowships and awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Society of Midland Authors.
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Ann  Townsend
Ann Townsend is the author of two collections of poetry: The Coronary Garden (2005) and Dime Store Erotics(1998), and Editor (with David Baker) of Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry (2008). Her poems have appeared in such magazines as Poetry, the Paris Review, the Nation, Witness, the Georgia Review, and many others. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, an Individual Artist's grant from the Ohio Arts Council, and a Discovery Prize from the Nation. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies, including The Pushcart Prize XX, The New Young American Poets, American Poetry: The Next Generation, and The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology. She is a founding member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and serves on the Executive Committee of its Board of Directors. Dominic Consolo Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Denison University, she lives on a small farm in Granville, Ohio.

Photo credit: David Baker
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  • “Writerly know-how that brings poems back to their lyrical roots in music and genre so that readers even of familiar poems will hear a voice that calls them to something beyond and yet still intimate to themselves.”—The Bloomsbury Review
  • “Excellent anthology of essays on the lyric.”—Dimitrios Kalantzis, American Book Review
  • Radiant Lyre refreshes and deepens our reading of lyric poetry. It illuminates poetic thinking. It is a rare critical book—at once artful, pragmatic, and radiant.”—Edward Hirsch
  • “[Radiant Lyre] is a book of happy immediacy—as if these seven poets decided to put on a pot of coffee and stay up talking, with much knowledge and enthusiasm, about poems all night.”—Susan Stewart
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