With more than 100,000 copies sold, The New American Poetry has become one of the most influential anthologies published in the United States since World War II. As one of the first counter-cultural collections of American verse, this volume fits in Robert Lowell's famous definition of the raw in American poetry. Many of the contributors once derided in the mainstream press of the period are now part of the postmodern canon: Olson, Duncan, Creeley, Guest, Ashbery, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Levertov, O'Hara, Snyder, Schuyler, and others. Donald Allen's The New American Poetry delivered the first taste of these remarkable poets, and the book has since become an invaluable historical and cultural record, now available again for a new generation of readers.
Donald Allen (1912-2004) was the editor of The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara (California, 1995) and coeditor of The Collected Prose of Charles Olson (California, 1997).
"Donald Allen's prophetic anthology had an electrifying effect on two generations, at least, of American poets and readers. More than the repetition of familiar names and ideas that most anthologies seem to be about, here was the declaration of a collective, intelligent, and thoroughly visionary work-in-progress: the primary example for its time of the anthology-as-manifesto. Its republication today—complete with poems, statements on poetics, and autobiographical projections—provides us, again, with a model of how a contemporary anthology can and should be shaped. In these essentials it remains as fresh and useful a guide as it was in 1960."—Jerome Rothenberg, editor of Poems for the Millennium
"The New American Poetry is a crucial cultural document, central to defining the poetics and the broader cultural dynamics of a particular historical moment."—Alan Golding, author of From Outlaw to Classic: Canons in American Poetry