Baskerville Publishers is pleased to announce the release of 8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry of the American Southwest.
Eight poets were selected whose work clearly demonstrates that the contemporary poetry of the southwest moves far beyond the "regional," dealing with the universal themes of all good poetry, while not losing a sense of place. Tom Sleigh writes of the book, "…these poems are wonderfully idiosyncratic voices as cosmopolitan as they are rooted in what Seamus Heaney once called ‘the music of what happens’… The region that unites them is the republic of memorable speech.”
Dan Williams, Director of the TCU Press, who was the editor of 8 Voices, concludes his introduction, “I have gained much becoming acquainted with the poems included in this volume, and I feel privileged to have read and selected them. I believe anyone who picks up this volume will feel the same.”
Baskerville Publishers’ books have won two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. We published the first book in English on the life of Joseph Brodsky, and brought Australian classical poet Stephen Edgar’s poetry to the attention of discriminating American readers. We are proud to add 8 Voices to this distinguished list.
When a volume of poetry that purported to show the wide range and depth of contemporary Southwestern poetry was proposed, I was happy to participate as editor. Though some poets of the region focus on artifacts and history of the southwest, many do not. It was my task to select 15 poems from each poet out of half a hundred which had been submitted. We wanted a selection which would show the broad range referenced above.
When reading their submissions, I experienced some of those powerful moments Dickinson defined as poetry. I felt deeply moved, even shaken as though the top of my head had been taken off. At times so powerfully moved that I was in two places at one time, both in my comfortable chair, and in a strange, striking place where the poet had transported me. To read this poetry is to be constantly shifted from the ordinary into the extraordinary.
This volume of poetry challenges the common expectations of many readers, as it demonstrates definitively that there is more to Southwestern poetry than wild horses, branding irons, arrowheads, and creaking windmills. I feel privileged to have read and lived with these poems during this process. I have gained much. And I believe that anyone who picks up the volume will feel the same.
Though the poets in this book all hail from the southwest, what you’ll hear in these poems are wonderfully idiosyncratic voices as cosmopolitan as they are rooted in what Seamus Heaney once called “the music of what happens.” The poems are cleanly written, replete with what Robert Frost called “a good look, and a good listen.” The region that unites them is the republic of memorable speech.
— Tom Sleigh, Senior Poet and Distinguished Professor, Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY)
These eight distinguished southwestern poets have important things to say, and they say them extraordinarily well. Here are poems about landscapes both familiar and foreign, childhood, young (and old) love, friendship, regret, loss, old age, sickness, and death, as well as about the miracle of poetry itself... poems you will want to read, and reread, savoring them for years to come.
— Michael McGaha, Yale B. and Lucille D. Griffith Professor of Modern Languages (Emeritus), Pomona College
The poets of 8 Voices transform the details encountered in everyday life into playful poetic landscapes that vibrate with a refreshing sense of humor. Playfulness in the juxtaposition of incongruous objects and situations create soundscapes that transfer the familiar into the charm of the unfamiliar and mysterious. These poets recreate the pulse of the earth as they live inside the movements of words.
— Rainer Schulte, Professor of Humanities & Fine Arts, UT Dallas, Director of the Center for Translation Studies, and Editor of Translation Review
6 x 9 hardcover, 146 pages, ISBN: 978-1880909-79-9