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About Twentieth-Century American Poetry


Twentieth-Century American Poetry is an unprecedented collection of poetry which allows readers a unique survey of the movements, schools and distinctive voices of modern and contemporary American poetry. With the collaboration of America's leading poetry publishers, the collection brings together 50,000 poems by over 300 poets. The major works of the modernist period – the brittle imagist lyrics of Ezra Pound, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) and William Carlos Williams, the playful and abstract masterpieces of Wallace Stevens and e.e. cummings, the symbolist cityscapes of Hart Crane – can be read alongside contemporary works such as the Whitmanesque prophetic verse of Robinson Jeffers and the Romantic lyrics of Elinor Wylie and Edna St Vincent Millay.

Major movements of the century are represented, including the Black Mountain school of Charles Olson and Robert Duncan, the Deep Image poetry of Robert Bly and James Wright, underground literature by the Beat poets, the influential feminist works of Adrienne Rich, and the works by the confessional poets. Selected major African American writers such as Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes and Imamu Amiri Baraka are included; however, much more comprehensive coverage is given in the complementary Chadwyck-Healey collection Twentieth-Century African American Poetry.

Many contemporary writers of the 1980s and 1990s are also included, such as Sharon Olds, Louise Glück, Joy Harjo and Thomas Lynch. In addition, Twentieth-Century American Poetry also features two highly distinguished poetry series – the Yale Series of Young Poets and the University of Pittsburgh's Pitt Poetry Series.

Editorial Policy

In selecting poets for inclusion, the aim has been to include a broad representative collection that reflects the diversity of modern American literary traditions, including, subject to the granting of electronic rights by the print publishers, major figures alongside historically important writers and younger emergent poets. The complete text of each poem has been included, and any integral textual images and illustrations have been scanned. Additional information relating directly to the poetry, such as prefaces or introductions, has been keyed. Any prose sections of the volumes that are significant to the works have also been included.

The Editions

Twentieth-Century American Poetry aims to include as full a collection of the published works of each poet as possible. When available, a poet's collected edition has been keyed. Exceptions are for poets whose collected editions are not yet in print or complete. In most cases, the editions have been provided by the publishers. Every poem has been indexed within its edition's table of contents. Where ProQuest has not secured electronic rights to publish the full text of an individual poem or series of poems within its respective edition, we have provided a statement to this effect where the full text of these poems would normally be displayed.

The Texts

The entire text of each poem has been included. Any accompanying text forming an integral part of the poetry, such as dedications, notes, acknowledgments, prefaces, introductions, and epigraphs, is generally included, provided ProQuest has secured electronic rights for the material. Indexes of titles and first lines have been excluded.

Twentieth-Century American Poetry enjoys the active support of the poets involved, their estates, literary agents, and publishers. ProQuest protects the rights and integrity of the poets and their work on the Internet.