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Anthologies are an affordable way to discover new poets, new styles of writing, and sample the work of writers you might not ordinarily encounter.

Click to Read Review of Nov. & Oct.'s Pick of the Month:
Poems for the Millennium (Volume I and Volume II)
      "Jerome Rothenberg is a distinguished poet and translator who has created a number of fascinating, innovative anthologies: Technicians of the Sacred, Shaking the Pumpkin, A Big Jewish Book, Symposium of the Whole, among others. The latest of these, and in some ways the best, is Poems for the Millennium, which Rothenberg produced in collaboration with poet/translator Pierre Joris. Volume one, "From Fin-de-Siècle to Negritude," appeared in 1995 and won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award. Volume two, "From Postwar to Millennium," has just appeared. Together, they make an amazing book -- a genuine offering to the twenty-first century. Poems for the Millennium is not reportage from the sidelines..." [Continued]

The Beat Book
Click to Order The Beat Book: Poems and Fiction of the Beat Generation (ed. Anne Waldman - hard $$)
      This book brings together the work of some of the most influential Beats: Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Diane DiPrima, William S. Burroughs, Amiri Baraka, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, and Gary Snyder.

American Tree
Click to Order In the American Tree (ed. Ron Silliman - soft $$)
  If even only remotely interested in L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=R=Y, In the American Tree: Language, Realism, Poetry is an asset! First published in 1986, along with Messerli's Language Poetries, this anthology of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=S showcases many outstanding works and authors. It surprised me to discover it remains in print, with considerable thanks to the National Poetry Foundation. In addition, keep an eye out for Silliman's out-of-print book published in 1987, titled New Sentence. This nonfiction work (though not nonfiction in the way most are familiar with) serves as a manifesto not just for L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=S, but for writers of all types who consider themselves innovative at best, and open-minded at least.

Click to Order A Celebration of Sun and Moon Classics, No. 50 (ed. Douglas Messerli - soft $)
  Edited by Douglas Messerli, who brought the classic L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=R=Y anthology Language Poetries to light in 1986 (unfortunately now out of print), this anthology of works by experimental writers (some who are or were considered L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=S) shows a commitment to innovative writing. I highly recommend this books and ask you to keep an eye out for all books by the Sun and Moon press, as they publish many exceptional experimental authors.

Click to Order L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book (soft $).
  The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book - an anthology edited by Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews: a definitive look into L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=R=Y and includes essays by many key poets of this movement. This book is the best collection of nonfiction dealing with the easily confusing subject of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=R=Y that I've encountered. I highly recommend it if you're interested in exploring the aesthetics and roots of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=R=Y.

Content's Dream

Click to Order Bernstein's Content's Dream: Essays (soft $).
   Content's Dream: Essays, 1975-1984 (Sun and Moon Classics, No. 49). Essays by Charles Bernstein that help readers understand not only the aesthetic of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry but also the importance of language itself.

Click to Order The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (ed. Robert Hass - soft $)
      This book includes more than 300 haikus from three masters: Matsuo Basho (the seeker), Yosa Buson (the artist), and Kobayashi Issa (the humanist). Although the poets' lives span from 1644 to 1827, this work shows a continuity in attention paid to philisophy, spirituality, and nature - all qualities inherent to well crafted haikus.

Haiku Anthology
Click to Order The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology (soft $).
      This Dover Thrift Edition is cheap (under $2) and well worth it.

Birch Tree
Click to Order Seeds from a Birch Tree: Writing Haiku and the Spiritual Journey (hard $)
      This book by Clark Strand, an English teacher who lived at one time as a Zen Buddhist monk, brings together his growth as a haiku poet and its association with his Zen beliefs. Thoughtful and insightful, this book highlights the timelessness of the haiku and its place in the world as both a form of literature and a personal, spiritual exercise.

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