Monday, January 2, 2012

A nod to C. Dale Young's TORN in NPR's Best American Poetry of 2011

Truth and Beauty: 2011's Best American Poetry
by David Orr, NPR

One of the few things almost everyone can agree on about contemporary American poetry is that no one can agree on much. At present, poetry is a jumbled landscape, with no single, dominant style and few living figures whose importance is accepted in more than one or two of the art form's tiny fiefdoms. Although some might find this state of affairs discouraging, I think there's good reason to be optimistic — poetry often needs to undergo periods of confusion to achieve the clarity for which we'll later remember it. Here are five books that suggest that even if American poetry isn't entirely sure where it's going, that doesn't mean it's gotten lost.


And because no critic can refrain from recommending more books than he's supposed to, you might also consider:

Torn by C. Dale Young (Four Way Books) — Young is a doctor as well as a poet, and Torn demonstrates a skilled physician's combination of empathy and formal precision.