Friday, April 11, 2008

American Religious Poetry Anthology

From The Religion & Ethics newsletter published by PBS:

It makes sense that the Library of America, a nonprofit publisher dedicated to printing authoritative editions of America's most significant writings, would bring out an anthology of American religious poetry. After all, it has already done excellent two-volume collections of both 19th- and 20th-century poetry, as well as acclaimed volumes by Whitman, Stevens, Frost, and Pound, and in 1999 it published a worthy and well-received collection of American sermons.

For the most part, AMERICAN RELIGIOUS POEMS follows in that esteemed tradition. The anthology contains works by more than 200 poets, from the Colonial-era Bay Psalm Book (represented by Psalm 19) and the Puritan Thomas Dudley (1576-1653) to Korean-American Suji Kwock Kim (b. 1968) and Wheaton College English professor Brett Foster (b. 1973). In addition, editors Harold Bloom and Jesse Zuba, reflecting the ambiguous place of American Indians and African Americans in the nation's cultural history, include two separate sections -- one of American Indian songs and chants and the other a brief collection of spirituals and anonymous hymns. (More here.)