David Yezzi ’s books of poetry are Azores, Sad Is Eros, and The Hidden Model. His libretto for a chamber opera by David Conte, Firebird Motel, received its world premiere in 2003 and was released on CD by Arsis in 2007. His poems and criticism have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, The Best American Poetry 2006, and elsewhere. He is executive editor of the New Criterion.
Groundbreaking anthologies of this kind come along once in a generation and, in time, define that generation. The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets identifies a group of poets who have recently begun to make an important mark on contemporary poetry, and their accomplishment and influence will only grow with time. The poets gathered here do not constitute a school or movement; rather they are a group of unique artists working at the top of their craft.
Like a voyage to the Portuguese islands of the title, the poems in Azores arrive at their striking and hard-won destinations over the often-treacherous waters of experience—a man mourns the fact that he cannot not mourn, a father warns his daughter about harsh contingency, an unnamed visitor violently disrupts a quiet domestic scene. The ever-present and uncomfortable realities of envy, lust, and mortality haunt the book from poem to poem.