Reference Book of the Week: Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The Twentieth Century
submit their poems for our Poetry Contest. Find the details on our website here. Now back to the Reference Book of the Week. This is a reference book for those seeking information on American poets and their poetry in the 20th century. According to the editor, the book aims to explicate a broad selection of poetry. It also covers various authors and topics. It contains 400 entries, which are organized alphabetically. The book features a title index and a general index. The book provides the following types of entries:
- "Entries on individual poets feature a critical treatment of the poet's achievements" (ix). In these entries, you get a brief biography of the poet, a list of his/her published works, and a list of criticism under the heading of "further reading." If you want an overview on a poet, this is a good place to get it. You can use the list of works to check if we have a poet's books in the library by using the library catalog. You can also check to see if we have the items suggested for further reading in the library.
- "Entries on landmark poems offer close readings of the work thus distinguished and situate it within a historical and biographical context" (ix). For example, the entry for Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken," will provide a small entry that gives some background on how the poem was written and where it fits in the context of Frost's work. Entries for poems also feature a list for further reading. If you are writing a paper on a poem, this book can provide a good place to start.
- "Entries on major topics offer in-depth analysis of formal developmens in 20th-century American poetry" (ix). Some sample topics include: free verse, Beat Poetry, Harlem Renaissance, Canadian Poetry, and Literary Theory and Poetry. If you need information on poetry concepts, movements, and related concepts, this is a good start.