The Best American Poetry 2012

BOOK: The Best American Poetry 2012
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OTHER VOLUMES IN THIS SERIES

John Ashbery, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1988

Donald Hall, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1989

Jorie Graham, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1990

Mark Strand, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1991

Charles Simic, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1992

Louise Glück, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1993

A. R. Ammons, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1994

Richard Howard, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1995

Adrienne Rich, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1996

James Tate, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1997

Harold Bloom, editor,
The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988–1997

John Hollander, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1998

Robert Bly, editor,
The Best American Poetry 1999

Rita Dove, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2000

Robert Hass, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2001

Robert Creeley, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2002

Yusef Komunyakaa, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2003

Lyn Hejinian, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2004

Paul Muldoon, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2005

Billy Collins, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2006

Heather McHugh, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2007

Charles Wright, editor,
The Best American Poetry 2008

David Wagoner,
The Best American Poetry 2009

Amy Gerstler,
The Best American Poetry 2010

Kevin Young,
The Best American Poetry 2011

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CONTENTS

Foreword by David Lehman

Introduction by Mark Doty

Chapter 1: Sherman Alexie,
“Terminal Nostalgia”

Chapter 2: Karen Leona Anderson,
“Receipt: Midway Entertainment Presents”

Chapter 3: Rae Armantrout,
“Accounts”

Chapter 4: Julianna Baggott,
“For Furious Nursing Baby”

Chapter 5: David Baker,
“Outside”

Chapter 6: Rick Barot,
“Child Holding Potato”

Chapter 7: Reginald Dwayne Betts,
“At the End of Life, a Secret”

Chapter 8: Frank Bidart,
“Of His Bones Are Coral Made”

Chapter 9: Bruce Bond,
“Pill”

Chapter 10: Stephanie Brown,
“Notre Dame”

Chapter 11: Anne Carson,
“Sonnet of Exemplary Sentences”

Chapter 12: Jennifer Chang,
“Dorothy Wordsworth”

Chapter 13: Joseph Chapman,
“Sparrow”

Chapter 14: Heather Christle,
“BASIC”

Chapter 15: Henri Cole,
“Broom”

Chapter 16: Billy Collins,
“Delivery”

Chapter 17: Peter Cooley,
“More Than Twice, More Than I Can Count”

Chapter 18: Eduardo C. Corral,
“To the Angelbeast”

Chapter 19: Erica Dawson,
“Back Matter”

Chapter 20: Stephen Dunn,
“The Imagined”

Chapter 21: Elaine Equi,
“A Story Begins”

Chapter 22: Robert Gibb,
“Spirit in the Dark”

Chapter 23: Kathleen Graber,
“Self-Portrait with No Internal Navigation”

Chapter 24: Amy Glynn Greacen,

Chapter : Helianthus annuus
(Sunflower)”

Chapter 25: James Allen Hall,
“One Train's Survival Depends on the Other Derailed”

Chapter 26: Terrance Hayes,
“The Rose Has Teeth”

Chapter 27: Steven Heighton,
“Collision”

Chapter 28: Brenda Hillman,
“Moaning Action at the Gas Pump”

Chapter 29: Jane Hirshfield,
“In a Kitchen Where Mushrooms Were Washed”

Chapter 30: Richard Howard,
“A Proposed Curriculum Change”

Chapter 31: Marie Howe,
“Magdalene—The Seven Devils”

Chapter 32: Amorak Huey,
“Memphis”

Chapter 33: Jenny Johnson,
“Aria”

Chapter 34: Lawrence Joseph,
“So Where Are We?”

Chapter 35: Fady Joudah,
“Tenor”

Chapter 36: Joy Katz,
“Death Is Something Entirely Else”

Chapter 37: James Kimbrell,
“How to Tie a Knot”

Chapter 38: Noelle Kocot,
“Poem”

Chapter 39: Maxine Kumin,
“Either Or”

Chapter 40: Sarah Lindsay,
“Hollow Boom Soft Chime: The Thai Elephant Orchestra”

Chapter 41: Amit Majmudar,
“The Autobiography of Khwaja Mustasim”

Chapter 42: David Mason,
“Mrs. Mason and the Poets”

Chapter 43: Kerrin McCadden,
“Becca”

Chapter 44: Honor Moore,
“Song”

Chapter 45: Michael Morse,
“Void and Compensation (Facebook)”

Chapter 46: Carol Muske-Dukes,
“Hate Mail”

Chapter 47: Angelo Nikolopoulos,
“Daffodil”

Chapter 48: Mary Oliver,
“In Provincetown, and Ohio, and Alabama”

Chapter 49: Steve Orlen,
“Where Do We Go After We Die”

Chapter 50: Alicia Ostriker,
“Song”

Chapter 51: Eric Pankey,
“Sober Then Drunk Again”

Chapter 52: Lucia Perillo,
“Samara”

Chapter 53: Robert Pinsky,
“Improvisation on Yiddish”

Chapter 54: Dean Rader,
“Self-Portrait as Dido to Aeneas”

Chapter 55: Spencer Reece,
“The Road to Emmaus”

Chapter 56: Paisley Rekdal,
“Wax”

Chapter 57: Mary Ruefle,
“Middle School”

Chapter 58: Don Russ,
“Girl with Gerbil”

Chapter 59: Kay Ryan,
“Playacting”

Chapter 60: Mary Jo Salter,
“The Gods”

Chapter 61: Lynne Sharon Schwartz,
“The Afterlife”

Chapter 62: Frederick Seidel,
“Rain”

Chapter 63: Brenda Shaughnessy,
“Artless”

Chapter 64: Peter Jay Shippy,
“Our Posthumous Lives”

Chapter 65: Tracy K. Smith,
“Everything That Ever Was”

Chapter 66: Bruce Snider,
“The Drag Queen Dies in New Castle”

Chapter 67: Mark Strand,
“The Mysterious Arrival of an Unusual Letter”

Chapter 68: Larissa Szporluk,
“Sunflower”

Chapter 69: Daniel Tobin,
“The Turnpike”

Chapter 70: Natasha Trethewey,
“Dr. Samuel Adolphus Cartwright on Dissecting the White Negro, 1851”

Chapter 71: Susan Wheeler,
From “The Split”

Chapter 72: Franz Wright,
“The Lesson”

Chapter 73: David Yezzi,
“Minding Rites”

Chapter 74: Dean Young,
“Restoration Ode”

Chapter 75: Kevin Young,
“Expecting”

Contributors' Notes and Comments

Magazines Where the Poems Were First Published

Acknowledgments

David Lehman was born in New York City in 1948. He was educated at Columbia University, spent two years in England as a Kellett Fellow at Cambridge University, and worked as Lionel Trilling's research assistant upon his return to New York. Lehman initiated
The Best American Poetry
series in 1988. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His books of poetry include
Yeshiva Boys
(2009),
When a Woman Loves a Man
(2005),
The Evening Sun
(2002),
The Daily Mirror
(2000), and
Valentine Place
(1996), all from Scribner, as well as
Operation Memory
(1990) and
An Alternative to Speech
(1986), from Princeton University Press. He has edited
The Oxford Book of American Poetry
(Oxford University Press, 2006).
A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs
(Nextbook/Schocken), the most recent of his six nonfiction books, won the Deems Taylor Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in 2010. Lehman wrote and designed an exhibit based on the book, which visited fifty-five libraries in twenty-seven states on a tour sponsored by the American Library Association. He teaches in the graduate writing program of the New School in New York City.

FOREWORD

BOOK: The Best American Poetry 2012
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