The University of Michigan Press / Poets on Poetry

April 18th, 2017

Magnificently great about poetry is that its action is like other actions. It stands not as an isolated, esoteric activity but as a formal and substantive essentializing of all action. The ice-skater cuts formal figures in which the precision of execution is a high value, or she emerges clownish on the ice and imitates the hilarious sloppy falls we all sometimes commit; the invention of free style is always instantaneous, however many years of practice are in evidence. She engages the tensions we seek that relate our moments to our stories; though she is at any given second only there, she writes in our minds the full disclosure of the action which we afterwardm perhaps even after, contemplate as a source and model of what dynamics might be and what values they might emphasize. 

From "Poetry Is Action" from Set In Motion: Essays, Interviews, and Dialogues by A. R. Ammons (1996) 

The long-running Poets on Poetry series from the University of Michigan Press, founded by distinguished poet and former U-M faculty member Donald Hall, has grown to more than 100 volumes over the past four decades. Current series co-editors Kazim Ali and Marilyn Hacker, both of whom are esteemed poets, translators, and essayists, continue to bring new prose collections into the series from some of our best and most essential contemporary poets.

No single aesthetic defines Poets on Poetry—recent years have seen volumes from poets such as Khaled Mattawa, Joyelle McSweeney, Bruce Bond, David Wojahn, and Cole Swensen. New titles this spring include work from Marianne Boruch and Yusef Komunyakaa, as well as the eagerly awaited collection edited by Kazim Ali, Mad Heart Be Brave: Essays on the Poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, in the sister series Under Discussion. We look forward to publishing Poets on Poetry titles this fall from Garrett Hongo and Rigoberto González, and we hope you’ll look forward to reading them.


Susan Cronin

Editorial Acquisitions, University of Michigan Press