June 6, 2009

Two Summer Poetry Picks

Alan Cheuse's Summer Book Picks from NPR includes these 2 books of poetry (Hurrah for critics who include poetry on their summer reading lists!)

Sonata Mulattica by Rita Dove

...And brava, too, for former Poet Laureate Rita Dove's Sonata Mulattica, a book-length group of poems about the life of George Polgreen Bridgetower, an African-European who played violin with Beethoven and then had a falling out with the great man over a woman. Dove tries to get under the skin of this unique and compelling character in a series of smart — sometimes even smart-aleck — musical verses.
Read an excerpt from Sonata Mulattica

Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Campbell McGrath

Excerpt from 'Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition'

Campbell McGrath's book-length poem Shannon recounts the story of young George Shannon, the Pennsylvania-born teenager who was the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. McGrath's dramatizes George's 16 days of wandering across the Great American Desert alone after getting separated from the main group of explorers. The boy studies the land, he studies his past, he studies his heart and, as poet McGrath would have it, fills entire days (and pages) with sightings of "buffalo … buffalo … buffalo …."

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