On March 15, 1950, a consortium of book publishing groups sponsored the first annual National Book Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Their goal was to enhance the public's awareness of exceptional books written by fellow Americans, and to increase the popularity of reading in general.
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
Winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry
A National Book Award Finalist
A vital, searching new collection from one of finest American poets at work today
In "Those Nights," Frank Bidart writes: "We who could get / somewhere through / words through / sex could not." Words and sex, art and flesh: In Metaphysical Dog, Bidart explores their nexus. The result stands among this deeply adventurous poet's most powerful and achieved work, an emotionally naked, fearlessly candid journey through many of the central axes, the central conflicts, of his life, and ours.
Near the end of the book, Bidart writes:
In adolescence, you thought your work
ancient work: to decipher at last
human beings' relation to God. Decipher
love. To make what was once whole
whole again: or to see
why it never should have been thought whole.
This "ancient work" reflects what the poet sees as fundamental in human feeling, what psychologists and mystics have called the "hunger for the Absolute"a hunger as fundamental as any physical hunger. This hunger must confront the elusiveness of the Absolute, our self-deluding, failed glimpses of it. The third section of the book is titled "History is a series of failed revelations."
The result is one of the most fascinating and ambitious books of poetry in many years.
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Poetry Books of 2013
A New York Times Notable Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013
Named one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times.
Winner of the National Book Award for Poetry
Named by O as one of the "20 Books of Poetry Everyone Should Own"
The poems in Migration speak a life-long belief in the power of words to awaken our drowsy souls and see the world with compassionate interconnection.National Book Award judges statement
The publication of W. S. Merwins selected and new poems is one of those landmark events in the literary world.Los Angeles Times
W. S. Merwin is the most influential American poet of the last half-centuryan artist who has transfigured and reinvigorated the vision of poetry for our time. Migration: New and Selected Poems is that case. This 540-page distillationselected by Merwin from fifteen diverse volumesis a gathering of the best poems from a profound body of work, accented by a selection of distinctive new poems.
As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Merwin was advised by John Berryman to get down on your knees and pray to the muse every day. Migration represents the bounty of those prayers. Over the last fifty years, Merwins muse has led him beyond the formal verse of his early years to revolutionary open forms that engage a vast array of influences and possibilities. As Adrienne Rich wrote of Merwins work: I would be shamelessly jealous of this poetry, if I didnt take so much from it into my own life.
W. S. Merwin is the author of over fifty books of poetry, prose, and translation. He lives in Hawaii, where he raises endangered palm trees.
Although not autobiographical in any usual sense, Valery's novel is profoundly personal. Monsieur Teste reflects Valery's preoccupation with the phenomenon of a mind detached from sensibility, yet he is also an ordinary fictional character. This volume includes "Snapshots of Monsieur Teste," excerpts from Valery's Cahiers.
Dad believed people were like money. You could be a thousand-dollar person or a hundred-dollar person -- even a ten-, five-, or one-dollar person. Below that, everybody was just nickels and dimes. To my dad, we were pennies.
Fourteen-year-old Manny Hernandez wants to be more than just a penny. He wants to be a vato firme, the kind of guy people respect. But thats not easy when your father is abusive, your brother cant hold a job, and your mother scrubs the house as if she can wash her troubles away.
In Mannys neighborhood, the way to get respect is to be in a gang. But Mannys not sure that joining a gang is the solution. Because, after all, its his life -- and he wants to be the one to decide what happens to it.
In Passage to Ararat, which received the National Book Award in 1976, Michael J. Arlen goes beyond the portrait of his father, the famous Anglo-Armenian novelist of the 1920s, that he created in Exiles to try to discover what his father had tried to forget: Armenia and what it meant to be an Armenian, a descendant of a proud people whom conquerors had for centuries tried to exterminate. But perhaps most affectingly, Arlen tells a story as large as a whole people yet as personal as the uneasy bond between a father and a son, offering a masterful account of the affirmation and pain of kinship.