Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets45

Susan Stewart, Series Editor

Starting in 1975, the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets quickly distinguished itself as one of the most important publishing projects of its kind, winning praise from critics and poets alike and bringing out landmark books by figures such as Robert Pinsky, Ann Lauterbach, Jorie Graham, and Jay Wright. Relaunched in 2010 under the editorship of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon, and edited since 2013 by the poet and MacArthur fellow Susan Stewart, the series continues to publish the best work of today’s emerging and established poets.

  • Before Recollection Before Recollection
    Ann Lauterbach

    Ann Lauterbach

    The outlook such that time is told on waking,
    Without aid of cock or clock's crow.
    In fact all the birds are elsewhere,
    Poised on glossy page or in some fall
    Migration. Sun up over mountain is precision,
    Then mist travels...

  • Sadness and Happiness Sadness and Happiness: Poems by Robert Pinsky
    Robert Pinsky

    Robert Pinsky

    Against weather, and the random
    Harpies--mood, circumstance, the laws
    Of biography, chance, physics--
    The unseasonable soul holds forth,
    Eager for form as a renowned
    Pedant, the emperor's man of worth,
    Hereditary arbiter of...

  • Rain in Plural Rain in Plural: Poems
    Fiona Sze-Lorrain

    Rain in Plural is the much-anticipated fourth collection of poetry by Fiona Sze-Lorrain, who has been praised by The Rumpus as "a master of musicality and enlightening allusions." In the wholly original world of these new poems...

  • Hosts and Guests Hosts and Guests: Poems
    Nate Klug

    Nate Klug has been hailed by the Threepenny Review as a poet who is “an original in Eliot’s sense of the word.” In Hosts and Guests, his exciting second collection, Klug revels in slippery roles and shifting environments. The...

  • Yellow Stars and Ice Yellow Stars and Ice
    Susan Stewart

    From a sequence, "The Countries Surrounding the Garden of Eden":

    Gihon, that compasseth the whole land

    At the first frost we found our sheep with strangled hearts, lying on their backs in the frozen clover, their eyes wide open as if they...

  • An Explanation of America An Explanation of America
    Robert Pinsky

    Robert Pinsky

    Inexhaustible, delicate, as if
    Without source or medium, daylight
    Undoes the mind; the infinite,

    Empty actual is too bright,
    Scattering to where the road
    Whispers, through a mile of woods …

    Later, how quiet the house...

  • Before Our Eyes Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems, 1975–2017
    Eleanor Wilner

    Before Our Eyes gathers more than thirty new poems by Eleanor Wilner, along with representative selections from her seven previous books, to present a major overview of her distinguished body of work. A poet who engages with history in...

  • The River Twice The River Twice: Poems
    Kathleen Graber

    Taking its title from Heraclitus's most famous fragment, The River Twice is an elegiac meditation on impermanence and change. The world presented in these poems is a fluid one in which so much—including space and time, the...

  • Stet Stet: Poems
    Dora Malech

    In Stet, poet Dora Malech takes constraint as her catalyst and subject, exploring what it means to make or break a vow, to create art out of a life in flux, to reckon with the body’s bounds, and to arrive at a place where one might...

  • Flyover Country Flyover Country: Poems
    Austin Smith

    Flyover Country is a powerful collection of poems about violence: the violence we do to the land, to animals, to refugees, to the people of distant countries, and to one another. Drawing on memories of his childhood on a dairy farm in...

  • The Unstill Ones The Unstill Ones: Poems
    Miller Oberman

    An exciting debut collection of original poems and translations from Old English, The Unstill Ones takes readers into a timeless, shadow-filled world where new poems sound ancient, and ancient poems sound new. Award-winning scholar-poet...

  • Radioactive Starlings Radioactive Starlings: Poems
    Myronn Hardy

    In Radioactive Starlings, award-winning poet Myronn Hardy explores the divergences between the natural world and technology, asking what progress means when it destroys the places that sustain us. Primarily set in North Africa and the...

  • Scaffolding Scaffolding: Poems
    Eléna Rivera

    Scaffolding is a sequence of eighty-two sonnets written over the course of a year, dated and arranged in roughly chronological order, and vividly reflecting life in New York City. In this, her third book of poetry, Eléna Rivera uses...

  • First Nights First Nights: Poems
    Niall Campbell

    The Scottish poet Niall Campbell's first book, Moontide, won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize, the largest such prize in the United Kingdom, was named the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for both the Fenton...

  • The Double Witness The Double Witness: Poems: 1970-1976
    Ben Belitt

    Ben Belitt writes, "This volume—my fifth—extends and deepens a preoccupation I have had with the visible and invisible manifestations of people, places, and things. It offers a variety of poems of formal and textural density and, in...

  • Visiting Rites Visiting Rites
    Phyllis Janowitz

    The description for this book, Visiting Rites, will be forthcoming.

    Originally published in 1982.

    The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the...

  • The Way Down The Way Down
    John Burt

    "For the sake of contraption (like Frost) and of character (like Robinson), John Burt will do a great deal, and his scope and scansion require a great deal, for his theme is nothing less than the reinvention of heroism (King Mark, Mary...

  • Reservations Reservations: Poems
    James Richardson

    "The poems are elegies for everything, including myself," writes James Richardson. "Beyond this, I cannot pretend to be certain of much about them. I suppose they reflect a self with only a tenuous grip on its surroundings, threatened...

  • Poems Poems
    Alvin Feinman

    This volume of Alvin Feinman's poems presents a highly praised earlier work, Preambles and Other Poems, combined with more recent poems. Of Preambles Allen Tate wrote, "This is a remarkable first book. . . . There is an acute and subtle...

  • The New World The New World
    Frederick W. Turner

    Set four hundred years in the future, Frederick Turner's epic poem, The New World, celebrates American culture in A.D. 2376.

    Originally published in 1985.

    The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again...

  • The Power to Change Geography The Power to Change Geography
    Diana O'Hehir

    Writing about poetry Diana Ó Hehir says, "I think of poetry as harnessed energy—as a marvelous way of taking the chaotic emotion, the turbulent perception, and recreating them as images that are specific, definite, directed....

  • And And
    Debora Greger

    "Ms. Greger's poems take place at the point of encounter between the mind and the world of matter. . . . And it is the resistance of the real and the increasing urgency the poet feels in trying to extinguish her solitude . . . that make...

  • Movable Islands Movable Islands: Poems by Debora Greger
    Debora Greger

    "If salvaging truth becomes difficult in cultures which keep rebuilding and changing their pasts or accept annually the repetitions of natural renewal, Debora Greger's Movable Islands demonstrates that it can still be done...

  • Wall to Wall Speaks Wall to Wall Speaks
    David Mus

    Most of these poems first appeared in Poetry magazine in the decade from 1967-76 and quickly became underground classics. Brought together here--with more recent work--they reveal their coherence and their urgency.

    From "Blake's...

  • An Apology for Loving the Old Hymns An Apology for Loving the Old Hymns
    Jordan Smith

    This work concerns questions of loss and restitution, decline and recovery--questions best explored through the shifting revelations of narrative that are possible in a longer poem.

    Originally published in 1982.

    The Princeton Legacy...

  • The 1002nd Night The 1002nd Night
    Debora Greger

    While seeming to affirm the Western poetic and cultural tradition, Greger attacks its rational heart. The subjects of her poems--Mozart operas, Botticelli's Three Graces, narcissus flowers--are the vestments of aristocratic Europe, but...

  • A Drink at the Mirage A Drink at the Mirage
    Michael J. Rosen

    "Between the discovery that there is a design which only his poetry enables him to find as he confronts the world and the discovery that such a design is a snare, merely a means of keeping him from further discernment, Michael Rosen is...

  • The Late Wisconsin Spring The Late Wisconsin Spring
    John Koethe

    "[Koethe's] new collection is that rarity, a book of poems with a genuine philosophical dimension and an elegant but conversational poise."--The New York Times Book Review

    "Solemn and playful, John Koethe's poems lock themselves...

  • River Writing River Writing: An Eno Journal
    James Applewhite

    "These poems are the waves emanating from the gravitational fall of my runs by the Eno river," writes James Applewhite, "and other travels, into a self I could not otherwise know. They are my repetitive song of belief in the possibility...

  • Night Talk and Other Poems Night Talk and Other Poems
    Richard Pevear

    "The first thing I recognize as the beginning of a poem," writes Richard Pevear, "is a distinct rhythm, not only of stress but of movement. Once I hear it, I can find words for it. But the essential thing, finally, is simultaneity—the...

  • Pass It On Pass It On
    Rachel Hadas

    The poems in Rachel Hadas's new book are united by a common preoccupation with passage--passage variously construed. In Section I, the four seasons are glimpsed in turn through the lenses of several types of personal associations...

  • Returning Your Call Returning Your Call: Poems
    Leonard Nathan

    "Every poet has one or two compulsive themes," writes Leonard Nathan. "One of mine is how to make things fit together that don't but should; the other is getting down far enough below a surface to see if something is still worth...

  • Walking Four Ways in the Wind Walking Four Ways in the Wind
    John Allman

    Describing this collection of his poems, John Allman writes, "It is a book about the inner and outer worlds, a collection of multiple voices and relationships. In one sense it is about suffering, family, and survival. However, it is...

  • The Tradition The Tradition
    Albert Frank Moritz

    This book has much of the modern sense of the individual being at a loss, but a partial answer comes from the inexhaustible freshness and splendor of the environment, a possession that can come back to us equally from some idea of Petra...

  • The Ruined Elegance The Ruined Elegance: Poems
    Fiona Sze-Lorrain

    In her new collection, Fiona Sze-Lorrain offers a nuanced yet dynamic vision of humanity marked by perils, surprises, and the transcendence of a "ruined elegance." Through an intercultural journey that traces lives, encounters, exiles...

  • Syllabus of Errors Syllabus of Errors: Poems
    Troy Jollimore

    . . . we are fixed to perpetrate the species—

    I meant perpetuate—as if our duty

    were coupled with our terror. As if beauty

    itself were but a syllabus of errors.

    Troy Jollimore's first collection of poems won the National Book...

  • Almanac Almanac: Poems
    Austin Smith

    Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people...

  • A Glossary of Chickens A Glossary of Chickens: Poems
    Gary J. Whitehead

    With skillful rhetoric and tempered lyricism, the poems in A Glossary of Chickens explore, in part, the struggle to understand the world through the symbolism of words. Like the hens of the title poem, Gary J. Whitehead's lyrics root...

  • The Two Yvonnes The Two Yvonnes: Poems
    Jessica Greenbaum

    This is the second collection from a Brooklyn poet whose work many readers will know from the New Yorker. Jessica Greenbaum's narrative poems, in which objects and metaphor share highest honors, attempt revelation through close...

  • Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts
    Jorie Graham

    "How I would like to catch the world / at pure idea," writes Jorie Graham, for whom a bird may be an alphabet, and flight an arc. Whatever the occasion--and her work offers a rich profusion of them--the poems reach to where possession...

  • Carnations Carnations: Poems
    Anthony Carelli

    In Anthony Carelli's remarkable debut, Carnations, the poems attempt to reanimate dead metaphors as blossoms: wild and lovely but also fleeting, mortal, and averse to the touch. Here, the poems are carnations, not only flowers, but also...

  • At Lake Scugog At Lake Scugog: Poems
    Troy Jollimore

    This is an eagerly awaited collection of new poems from the author of Tom Thomson in Purgatory, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was hailed by the New York Times as a "snappy, entertaining book." A triumphant...

  • The Eternal City The Eternal City: Poems
    Kathleen Graber

    Chosen by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon to relaunch the prestigious Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets under his editorship, The Eternal City revives Princeton's tradition of publishing some of today’s best poetry.


  • Erosion Erosion
    Jorie Graham

    Jorie Graham

    . . . . How clean
    the mind is,
    holy grave. It is this girl
    by Piero
    della Francesca, unbuttoning
    her blue dress,
    her mantle of weather,
    to go into
    labor. Come, we can go in.
    It is before
    the birth of god. No-one
    has risen yet
    to the...

  • A Woman Under the Surface A Woman Under the Surface: Poems and Prose Poems
    Alicia Ostriker

    Alicia Ostriker

    Of one substance, of one
    Matter, they have cruelly
    Broken apart. They never will touch

    Each other again. The shining
    Lovelier and younger
    Turns away, a pitiful girl.

    She is completely naked
    And it hurts. The larger