Stealing Glimpses: Of Poetry, Poets, and Things in Between : Essays

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Sarabande Books, 1999 - 213 pages
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In her first collection of essays, Molly McQuade performs the role of the ideal reader-passionately interested in ideas and irrepressibly ambivalent. She considers poetry from its composition or translation to its publication, critical reception, and consumption. Her close readings of poems by Emily Dickinson and John Ashbery, among others, offer new insights for those readers blinded by familiarity. She reflects on the consequences of literary friendships, such as Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop's, and contends with hostile influences and their benefits-in her own case, confronting and absorbing the work of E.B. White.

But McQuade refuses to stay within the lines that describe poetry per se. Her thoughts on the genre are also enriched by discussions of distinctly nonverbal poetic expression in painting and film, theater and dance. McQuade invigorates prosody's perennial questions-form and function, fashion and faction-and addresses the importance of humor as an elixir for thinking. She dares to define the subject of poetry itself as pleasure. Poetry, she ventures, doesn't need to be literary.

In every instance, these essays feature a fine mind's play on the page as well as McQuade's characteristic expertise: an awareness that is at once historically informed and hip. If metaphor itself expands the mind's capacity for contrary ideas, then McQuade is a metaphor made manifest. Among writers on writing, here is a writer who is utterly and remarkably unlike any other.

Molly McQuade's essays and criticism have appeared in The Village Voice, Hungry Mind Review, New England Review, Boston Review, Newsday, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. She has served as editor of the monthly Poetry Calendar magazine and previously founded and edited the poetry review column of Publishers Weekly. Her writing has received fellowships and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Illinois Arts Council. Her first book, An Unsentimental Education, a collection of biographical portraits of writers, was published in 1995 by the University of Chicago Press. Her poetry, nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, ha

 

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STEALING GLIMPSES: Of Poetry, Poets, and Things in Between

User Review  - Kirkus

paper 1-889330-26-4 A former contributing editor here at Kirkus and a poet in her own right, McQuade (An Unsentimental Education, not reviewed) adds to Poetry Month her unique blend of familiar essay ... Read full review

Stealing glimpses: of poetry, poets, and things in between: essays

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Poet and critic McQuade presents a set of 27 lively essays on poetry, poets and things in between. Each essay is short enough to read in a single sittingthus the glimpses of the titleand each glimpse ... Read full review

Contents

A Word Predator
3
The Poetry of Goats
9
The Wit of William Matthews
15
Stealing Glimpses
23
Poets and Their Friends
27
True Confession
37
When a Dance Is a Poem
41
Ashberys StandUp Comedy
45
The Poetry of Paucity
95
Oopalie Operajita
99
Charles Simic
103
The Cost of Poetry
111
Margaret Amanuensis
125
Lorrie Metaphor Moore
131
The Small Press Muse and Its Difficulties
143
Galway Kinnell
159

Barbara Guests Drama
57
Short Survey of Scruples
65
Against the Gate
71
Adrienne Rich
75
Waste Lands
89
Mortal Immortal
167
Bookless
173
Address Book
179
Partiality and a Poet
201
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