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The Best American Poetry 1997 (Best American Poetry)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, The Best American Poetry is the one indispensable volume for readers eager to follow what's new in poetry today. Sales continue to grow and plaudits keep coming in for this "high-voltage testament to the vitality of American poetry" (Booklist). Selected by prizewinning guest editor James Tate, the seventy-five best poems of the year w ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 4th 1997 by Scribner (first published September 1st 1997)
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May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This was the best Best American Poetry volume I have read. While I did not enjoy every poem, there was no poem in this collection that I truly disliked, only ones that didn't quite do it for me. This made the reading experience unusually good, as I did not have to slog through bad poems to reach the really good ones. There were some poems I had already read--"No Sorry" by Catherine Bowman and "Return to Harmony 3" by Agha Shahid Ali were both featured in Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to t ...more
Ben Pieper
Overall, I would give this collection a B average (technically an 86.9% avg.) as far as the quality of the poems contained. I know that attempting to quantify poetic effect/value is a ridiculous gesture, but I am simply a ridiculous person. Of course, this is purely based off of my own tastes and will not necessarily reflect your average satisfaction rate.

I started a mission last month to read the last few entries in the Best American Poetry series so that I can begin to get a better sense of A)
Feb 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Solid 3.5 stars. As with most poetry anthologies, a handful of the poems had great impact and reminded me why I love poetry (about 10%), a handful of the poems didn't connect with me whatsoever (15%), and the rest are pretty decent poems that are not life-changing but that's okay (75%).

The Best American Poetry series is a good springboard; If you see an author you like, go look up one of their books. If you get a sense you'll enjoy one of the publications that publish the poems you like, go look
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
A sturdy, dense collection of serious but ultimately satisfying poems. Much more substantive than some of the other volumes in this series, and a pitch-perfect portrayal of the mood of the year it memorializes.

As always, this edition is valuable not just for the poems themselves, but for the fascinating notes from the poets about their works. I was especially interested in how the contributors' notes in this one corrected some misconceptions I'd had about the lives of my favorite authors (Jane K
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
i've read all of the best american poetry volumes, but this is the best.
Jackson Holbert
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Jul 09, 2013
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James Vincent Tate was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He taught creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University, and at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he worked since 1971. He was a member of the poetry faculty at the MFA Program for Poets & Writers, along with Dara Wier and Peter Gizzi.

Dudley Fitts selected Tate's first book of poems, The Lo
More about James Tate...

Other Books in the Series

Best American Poetry (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • The Best American Poetry 1988 (Best American Poetry)
  • The Best American Poetry 1989
  • The Best American Poetry 1990
  • The Best American Poetry 1991
  • The Best American Poetry 1992 (Best American Poetry)
  • Best American Poetry 1993 (Best American Poetry)
  • The Best American Poetry 1994 (Best American Poetry)
  • The Best American Poetry 1995
  • The Best American Poetry 1996
  • The Best American Poetry 1998