The Book of Irish American Poetry: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present

From Booklist

This massive, undisciplined, and yet welcome anthology feels like the project of an enthusiast who has managed to infect his publisher with his overriding passion without much fussing about editorial rigor. There’s an indiscriminate feel to poet and professor Tobin’s selection process, which, despite the book’s implicit promise of a broad survey of Irish American poetry over three centuries, is heavily weighted toward the last several decades. And Tobin thrashes about in his rambling introduction in search of the book’s rationale–Does Irish American poetry have a shared sensibility or even common themes?–without coherent results. (Is Marianne Moore an Irish American poet? A. R. Ammons?) But if the purpose of a good poetry anthology is to introduce readers to unfamiliar writers and reacquaint them with neglected masters, this one must be judged a raging success. Tobin does provide a meaningfully convivial context in which to engage, in close proximity, the work of Galway Kinnell, Billy Collins, and Paul Muldoon. They’re good company, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Kevin Nance. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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  • Hardcover: 976 pages
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press; 1st Edition edition (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268042306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268042301
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds

The Book of Irish American Poetry recovers many poets who have been forgotten and places already notable figures in American poetry within the context of a distinctively Irish American tradition. This important work of literary scholarship will dominate the field for years to come.

“. . . A prodigious and remarkable work of literary scholarship. This anthology is far more than an original work of scholarship: it is a major act of recovery, which rescues from oblivion the work of important writers who have been the creators of the Irish American literary consciousness. Professor Tobin has achieved the invention of a whole new field. With publication of this anthology, we will finally understand both the scale and importance of Irish American poetry.” —Eammon Wall, Jefferson Smurfit Professor of Irish Studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis

“More than two hundred poets from the eighteenth century to now are represented in The Book of Irish American Poetry, some resurrected and restored, others seen anew from the perspective of Irish American studies, still others deservedly anthologized for the first time. Poet and editor Daniel Tobin demonstrates beyond question the length, depth, strength and variety of Irish American poetry. His anthology—complete with historical chronology, biographical and explanatory notes, and extensive bibliographies—is the first accurate map of a new territory.” —Brendan Galvin, author of Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2005

“An informed and informing intelligence, Dan Tobin casts a wide net across the centuries of poetic engagement with Irish and American interaction. The result of his prodigious labor is an indispensable collection—often surprising in its discoveries and juxtapositions, always illuminating of crucial themes.” —Charles Fanning, Professor of English and History and Distinguished Scholar, Southern Illinois University Carbondale


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