Dana Gioia, the author of two widely praised books of poems, is one of the more stimulating and provocative figures on our literary horizon. This collection of essays addresses such subjects as the poet as a businessman and New Formalism as the real avant-garde, while also including pieces on the life and work of such diverse figures as Robinson Jeffers, Weldon Kees, Elizabeth Bishop, and Wallace Stevens.
“Gioia’s challenging and valuable essays forcefully anatomize the situation of poetry today . . . . No one since Randall Jarrell has talked more good sense on this subject” - William H. Pritchard
“I think Gioia is one of the few serious voices left on the front lines of poetry criticism. It has a ring of truth and deserves to be heard by anybody who still professes to care about poetry.” - Tom Clark
“Dana Gioia is, perhaps, the most acute practical critic in America.” - Johnathan Holden