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Jack Gilbert, though he has published only six books in his writing long life, is known as one of the twentieth century's preeminent American poets. This collection is a major event.


Linda Gregg grew up in Marin County, CA. She received her BA and MA from San Francisco State University. Her first book of poems, Too Bright to See, was published in 1981. Since then, she has published several collections of poetry, including: All of It Singing (Graywolf Press, 2008), the 2009 recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and winner of the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award; In the Middle Distance(2006); Things and Flesh (1999); Chosen by the Lion (1994); The Sacraments of Desire(1991); Alma (1985); and Eight Poems(1982). About Gregg's work, the poet W. S. Merwin has said, "I have loved Linda Gregg's poems since I first read them. They are original in the way that really matters: they speak clearly of their source. They are inseparable from the surprising, unrolling, eventful, pure current of their language, and they convey at once the pain of individual loss, a steady and utterly personal radiance." Gregg's honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Whiting Writer's Award, as well as multiple Pushcart Prizes. She was the 2003 winner of the Sara Teasdale Award and the 2006 PEN/Voelcker Award winner for Poetry. She has taught at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Princeton.


Gerald Stern was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1925. His recent books of poetry are Early Collected Poems: 1965-1992 (W. W. Norton, 2010), Save the Last Dance: Poems (2008); Everything Is Burning(2005); American Sonnets (2002); Last Blue: Poems (2000); This Time: New and Selected Poems (1998), which won the National Book Award; Odd Mercy (1995); and Bread Without Sugar (1992), winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize. His other books include Leaving Another Kingdom: Selected Poems (1990); Two Long Poems (1990); Lovesick (1987); Paradise Poems (1984); The Red Coal (1981), which received the Melville Caine Award from the Poetry Society of America; Lucky Life, the 1977 Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets, which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award; and Rejoicings (1973). About his work, the poet Toi Derricotte has said, "Gerald Stern has made an immense contribution to American poetry. His poems are not only great poems, memorable ones, but ones that get into your heart and stay there. Their lyrical ecstasies take you up for that moment so that your vision is changed, you are changed. The voice is intimate, someone unafraid to be imperfect. Gerald Stern’s poems sing in praise of the natural world, and in outrage of whatever is antihuman." His honors include the Paris Review's Bernard F. Conners Award, the Bess Hokin Award from Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Prize, four National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from American Poetry Review, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In 2005, Stern was selected to receive theWallace Stevens Award for mastery in the art of poetry. Stern was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006. For many years a teacher at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Stern now lives in Lambertville, New Jersey.


Larry Felson is the author of Salt and Silver and Body Song. One of the five poets featured in the anthology, Five on the Western Edge, his poems have been published in the American Poetry Review and other publications. He taught English and Journalism at Oakland High for many years and recently taught creative writing and literature at the Hellenic International Studies in the Arts (HISA) on the island of Paros, Greece. He is a longtime revolutionary activist. His poetry is feverous and challenging, and remarkable for its incandescent, unparallel construction. He is one of the original members of a poetry workshop begun in 1966 in the Haight-Ashbury in which Jack Gilbert and Linda Gregg were prominent figures. The workshop continues to this day, now situated in Berkeley. He is also one of the founders of Paroikia Press, along with Bill Mayer and Steven Rood, which published poets from the workshop as well as new and emerging writers. His new manuscript, Dawn Out of Order, will be published in the Spring.


Henry Lyman's work has appeared in Poetry, The Nation, New England Watershed, and other journals. He has also published two books of translations from the Estonian poetry of Aleksis Rannit. He edited Robert Francis's posthumously published collection Late Fire, Late Snow and an anthology of New England poetry, After Frost. From 1976 to 1994 he hosted and produced Poems to a Listener, a radio series of readings and conversation with poets.


James Finnegan has published poems in Ploughshares, Poetry East, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review & other literary magazines. With Dennis Barone, he co-edited Visiting Wallace: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Wallace Stevens (U. of Iowa Press, 2010). He is president of the Friends & Enemies of Wallace Stevens (stevenspoetry.org) In 2001 he started an internet discussion list called New-Poetry. He blogs aphoristic ars poetica at ursprache (http://ursprache.blogspot.com).

Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate, is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses (2004) and Of Gods & Strangers (2011). She is also co-editor of the Norton anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. Her poems have been published in journals such as American Poet, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and Ploughshares. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Poets & Writers, among others. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.