Lyric Postmodernisms: An Anthology of Contemporary Innovative Poetries
edited by Reginald Shepherd


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Lyric Postmodernisms gathers many well established poets whose work transcends the boundaries between traditional lyric and avant-garde experimentation. Some have been publishing since the 1960s, some have emerged more recently, but all have been influential on newer generations of American poets. Many of these poets are usually not thought of together, being considered as members of different poetic “camps,” but they nonetheless participate in a common project of expanding the boundaries of what can be said and done in poetry. This anthology sheds new light on their work, creating a new constellation of contemporary American poetry.

This collection provides an opportunity for readers to get to know the work of many writers who may not have received the attention their work and its impact on newer writers deserve. Unlike many anthologies that offer only snippets of writers’ work, it contains substantial selections from each poet. Uniquely, it also includes aesthetic statements from each author, which can offer an entryway for readers unfamiliar with the work.


Nathaniel Mackey, Suzanne Paola, Bin Ramke, Donald Revell, Martha Ronk, Aaron Shurin, Carol Snow, Susan Stewart, Cole Swensen, Rosmarie Waldrop, Marjorie Welish, Elizabeth Willis, Bruce Beasley, Martine Bellen, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Gillian Conoley, Kathleen Fraser, Forrest Gander, C. S. Giscombe, Peter Gizzi, Brenda Hillman, Claudia Keelan, Timothy Liu

Reginald Shepherd (1963-2008) published five volumes of poetry, all with the University of Pittsburgh Press: Fata Morgana (2007); Otherhood (2003), a finalist for the 2004 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Wrong (1999); Angel, Interrupted (1996); and Some Are Drowning (1994), winner of the 1993 AWP Award in Poetry. He edited The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (University of Iowa Press, 2004). His collection of literary essays, Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry, was published by the University of Michigan Press Poets on Poetry series in 2008.

from Marjorie Perloff: “Like the best of museum curators, Reginald Shepherd has trusted his own poet’s eye and ear in assembling poems by twenty-three of our best (mostly younger) poets—poets not usually linked, belonging, as they do, to different schools and movements. From Rosmarie Waldrop’s ironic prose poems (‘I gave up stress for distress’) to Cole Swensen’s elegant ekphrastic prose, from C. S. Giscombe’s minimalist geographies to Susan Stewart’s resonant mythic landscapes, the dominant impression—rare today—produced by this lyric assemblage is that of quality—the sure hand of those who have mastered their craft and can therefore Make It New. This is a truly exciting and memorable anthology!”

Lyric Postmodernisms
An Anthology of Contemporary Innovative Poetries, edited by Reginald Shepherd
$30; 304 pages
ISBN 978-1933996-06-6

Purchase print copies here, or write to