From its inception in California in 1974 to its highly acclaimed critical success at Joseph Papp's Public Theater and on Broadway, the Obie Award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf has excited, inspired, and transformed audiences all over the country. Passionate and fearless, Shange's words reveal what it is to be of color and female in the 20th century.
Frank O'Hara was a pioneering modern American poet and playwright - an art critic, a musician, and a curator at the Museum of Modern Art - who defined New York City in its post-WWII heyday. For many these poems defined the city's midcentury zeitgeist.
Poetry. Even all by themselves, the titles of Patricia Lockwood's poems reveal the sort of surreal, enigmatic, rhetorically- longated world her sensibility inhabits effortlessly.
By any measure, Gary Snyder is one of the greatest poets in America in the last century. From his first book of poems to his latest collection of essays, his work and his example, standing between Tu Fu and Thoreau, has been influential all over the world. Riprap, his first book of poems, was published in Japan in 1959 by Origin Press, and it is the 50th anniversary of that groundbreaking book that is celebrated with this new edition.
Doing Time: For the prison writers whose work is included in this anthology, it means more than "serving a sentence"; it means staying alive and sane, preserving dignity, reinventing oneself, and somehow retaining one's humanity. For the last quarter century the prestigious writers' organization PEN has sponsored a contest for writers behind bars to help prisoners face these challenges. The contest honors the best short stories, plays, essays, and poems among hundreds submitted annually by men and women nationwide.
Why Shakespeare? What explains our continued fascination with his poems and plays? In Living with Shakespeare, Susannah Carson invites 40 actors, directors, scholars, and writers to reflect on why his work is still such a vital part of our culture.
"A treasure-trove of goodies for lovers of Shakespe"
This is a selection from Dr. Sitwell's private notebooks. It includes essays on prosody, the role of the poet, the nature of poetry, and includes her full length work A Notebook on William Shakespeare, as well as discussion of Chaucer, Herrick, Wordsworth, Pope and Byron amongst others. The section on Shakespeare consists of essays on the general aspect of the plays - those great hymns to the principle and the glory of life.
We are proud to continue our project of publishing Deluxe Audio Editions of the poems of Gary Snyder, read by him. When first published in 2004, it was the poet's first new collection of poems in 20 years. Perhaps his most personal, autobiographical collection, it begins with the young poet ascending Mt. St. Helens in 1945, a climb accidentally timed with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was 15 years old.
Following the success of several recent inspirational and practical books for would-be writers, Poemcrazy is a perfect guide for everyone who ever wanted to write a poem but was afraid to try. Writing workshop leader Susan Wooldridge shows how to think, use one's senses, and practice exercises that will make poems more likely to happen.
Commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, Beowulf is an epic poem that traces the exploits of the titular hero. After coming to the aid of the king of the Danes, whose mead hall is under constant attack by the monster Grendel, Beowulf slays Grendel's mother and goes on to become the king of the Geats.
The prolific writings of Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet, continue to inspire a devoted international following and have transformed modern Arabic literature. In this volume of early writings, Gibran's simple yet lyrical style crosses from prose to poetry and yields insight into his dedication and inner vision of beauty, including the tale of a strange hermit in "The Tempest", the discovery of love lost to war in "The Mermaids", and the long voyage of sea and soul in the prose poem "Between Night and Morn".
Kahlil Gibran wrote prolifically and passionately in Arabic as well as English. First published in 1965 with nine works of poetry translated by Joseph Sheban, Mirrors of the Soul includes writings by Gibran that are as poignant today as when first written, such as "The New Frontier" and "The Sea." These poems illuminate the dual nature of Gibran, who lived in the shadows both of New York skyscrapers and the cedars of his childhood Lebanon.
A rich and varied collection of contemporary short stories, extracts from novels, and poetry that will go a long way toward informing the English-speaking world of the latest developments in Iranian literature. This sampling - or to use the Farsi term golchine, a bouquet - provides a window onto an important but sorely neglected segment of world culture. We hope it will also serve to awaken further interest in the work and in translations of Iranian novelists and poets.
The Tirukkural (honoured Kural) is one of the world's greatest literary and philosophical masterpieces. Composed in Tamil by Tiruvalluvar sometime between 2 BCE and 5 CE, its succinct couplets seek to explain and guide the listener through life's various situations: political, spiritual, domestic and social.
These poems pause for the spectacle - cloning technologies, super-slo-mo photography, narcotic cab rides - to describe a system of tripwires, pitfalls, and decoys that the notion of daily viewership entails. These poems are paeans to our facility for duplicity and self-deception, in which the act of living is like a movie we're not in.
Need Machine clamors through the brain like an unruly marching band. Both caustic and thoughtful, these poems offer a topography of modern life writ large in twitchy, neon splendor, in a voice as sure as a surgeon and as trustworthy as a rumor. Honest, irreverent, and sharply indifferent, this audiobook will "hogtie you with awe."
Here's a rhyming story of a mouse and a monster. Little mouse goes for a walk in a dangerous forest. To scare off his enemies, he invents tales of a fantastical creature called the Gruffalo. So imagine his surprise when he meets the real Gruffalo.
A wildly original poetry collection written and read by one of the UK's most exciting young comics. A poet who favours dark suits, lager and long hot baths, he works on BBC Four in Charlie Brooker's Newswipe and on Radio 4, doing his late night poetry show. In 2009 he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for his poetical recital The Slutcracker and has filmed some of his verse in black and white to overwhelming critical approval.
"Audiobook version is a must"
The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude.
Kate Tempest is one of the most exciting and innovative performers to have emerged in spoken-word poetry in many years; her dramatic poem "Brand New Ancients" won the prestigious Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry. Tempest's wholly unique blend of street poetry, rap, and storytelling - combined with the spellbinding delivery of an open-air revivalist - has won her legions of followers all over the UK. Her remarkable stage presence is wholly audible in this poem, a spoken story written to be told with live music.
The landmark selection of poems from the greatest poet of our age, read on audio by Seamus Heaney himself. 'His is "close-up" poetry - close up to thought, to the world, to the emotions. Few writers at work today, in verse or fiction, can give the sense of rich, fecund, lived life that Heaney does.(John Banville )More than any other poet since Wordsworth he can make us understand that the outside world is not outside, but what we are made of. (John Carey)
"back in the world"
From his remarkable debut The Hawk in the Rain (1957) to his death in 1998, Ted Hughes was a colossal presence in the English literary landscape. He was also admired as a performer of his own work. Crow is one of his most significant collections, focusing on the central figure of the crow - predatory, mocking and indestructible. Crow is read here by the author in its entirety and with narrative links not included in the published text.
"Masterpiece to Listen to and Read"
In summer 2010 Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, the other side of the Scottish border. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards the Yorkshire village where he was born.
"A relaxing and enjoyable read"
The beloved and best-selling author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings reads aloud from her third book of verse. She not only gives life to many of her most cherished poems, but she also presents personal introductions to several favorites, including "One More Round", "Woman Work", and "Life Doesn't Frighten Me".
Alan Bennett's selection of English verse by his favourite poets: Thomas Hardy, A.E. Housman, W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, and Philip Larkin is accompanied by his own enlivening commentary and was recorded before a live audience. In this personal anthology, Alan Bennett has chosen more than seventy poems by six well-loved poets, discussing the writers and their verse in his customary conversational style through anecdote, shrewd appraisal and spare but telling biographical detail.
Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf is a work that is both true to the original poem and an expression of something fundamental to Heaney's own creative gift.One of the great classics of English literature, it tells the story of a hero who wins glory and learns wisdom and is then called upon to face a final test against the monstrous. There are obvious parallels to be found in the history of the twentieth century, and Heaney's Beowulf cannot fail to be read partly in the light of his Northern Irish upbringing. But it also transcends such considerations, revealing psychological and spiritual truths that are both permanent and liberating.
Here are some of the finest poems by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a unique voice in American poetry. She is known for her short poems, full of acute observations, and deft use of language. This careful but imaginative selection shows the remarkable variety she produced, despite the miniature nature of her medium.
"Nicely performed, terribly edited"
Gothic master Edgar Allan Poe's complete works are collected in this multivolume set by Blackstone Audio. Here are his short stories, detective fiction, and poems in all their mysterious and macabre glory. Also included are Poe's literary reviews and editorial musings, comprising an often caustic analysis of the poetry, drama, and fiction of the period.
A collection of Larkin's best-known poems, read by the poet. The Sunday Sessions consists of 26 poems, the contents of two tapes recorded by Philip Larkin in Hull in February 1980 - reportedly, each on a Sunday, after lunch with John Weeks, a sound engineer and colleague of the poet. The tapes contain work from Larkin's first major collection, The North Ship as well as poems from his best-known collections, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows.
The definitive collection from a writer whose transgressive legacy and raw, funny, acutely observant writing has left an enduring mark. Here is Bukowski eating walnuts and scratching his back, rolling a cigarette while listening to Brahms, showering with Linda in the midafternoon. Here is Bukowski knowing that the secret is beyond him, that people who never go crazy live truly horrible lives, that there's a bluebird in his heart that wants to get out.
English literature is a treasure trove of wonderful poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton, Keats to Shelley and Tennyson to Yeats, this accessible history (especially written for Naxos Audiobooks) introduces the listener to countless small masterpieces, including all the old favorites and some lesser-known gems. Whitfield explores this most expressive of art forms and traces the historical development of a rich and diverse canon of poetical works.
"An Excellent introduction"
This selection of Seamus Heaney's poems is drawn from nine collections, including The Spirit Level, and provides a perfect introduction to the full breadth of Heaney's poetic concerns.
Kate Tempest's first full-length collection for Picador is an ambitious, multi-voiced work based around the mythical figure of Tiresias. This four-part work follows him through his transformations from child, man and woman to blind prophet; through this structure, Tempest holds up a mirror to contemporary life in a direct and provocative way rarely associated with poetry.
The 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), one of the most popular of poets, was celebrated in 2009. A pioneer of the Romantic movement, works such as "A Red, Red Rose", "A Man's a Man for a' That", and the ubiquitous "Auld Lang Syne", have made him an international figure. Naxos AudioBooks' popular Great Poets series marked the anniversary with this audio, bringing together all the key works.
"Engaging and Enlightening"
The sixth book of Virgil's Aeneid, in which Aeneas travels into the underworld to meet the spirit of his father, is a story that captivated Seamus Heaney from his schooldays. But the work took on a special significance for him after the death of his own father, becoming a touchstone to which he would return as an adult. His noble and moving translation of book VI bears the fruit of a lifetime's concentration upon it: he began translating passages in the 1980s and was finalising the work right up to the summer of his death.
In a nationwide poll conducted by BBC Television's Bookworm to find the nation's favourite poem, Rudyard Kipling's "If" was voted number one. This compilation brings together over 40 poems from the poll, including the top 10, all stirringly read by John Nettles, Siobhàn Redmond, Greg Wise, and Emma Fielding.
"The Nation's Favourite Poems"