It’s always thrilling when National Poetry Month rolls around, and especially so this year, because we need every single sign of spring we can get! We’re proud to remember that this annual ritual, which is now in its 19th year, began as an idea in the FSG marketing meeting that the Academy of American Poets has transformed into a vivid and enduring reality. Now it’s a deeply ingrained part of the publishing year and a welcome way of focusing on the richness and variety of poetic culture in America.
As always, FSG’s 2014 program features poets from the U.S. and abroad. We began the year with a large compendium, The Poetry of Derek Walcott, to celebrate the achievement of one our greatest living writers. We’re also issuing two volumes of French translations, in poetry and prose, by John Ashbery.
This spring we have new books by FSG veterans Charles Wright (Caribou) and C. K. Williams (All at Once)—in which Charlie ventures alluringly into prose territory—along with Maureen McLane’s third collection, This Blue, and the Australian poet Les Murray’s New Selected Poems.
Spencer Reece joins the list with his long-awaited second collection, The Road to Emmaus, and Eliza Griswold has gathered a collection of landays, pungent contemporary poems on love and war by Afghan women, with photographs by Seamus Murphy, in I Am the Beggar of the World. We’ll add another poet to our roster in July when we publish Joshua Mehigan’s imaginative Accepting the Disaster.
This fall, we’ll be publishing a program of four books celebrating the centenary of the birth of John Berryman, edited by Daniel Swift. We’re also bringing out Pierre Joris’s versions of Paul Celan’s later poems, and we have new books by Louise Glück (Faithful and Virtuous Night) and Christian Wiman (Once in the West) along with the selected poems of the Scottish poet Robin Robertson, Sailing the Forest.
This magnificent work—from the Caribbean and France, Britain and Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia—enriches American poetry in disparate and sometimes unaccountable ways—just as our own poets affect the literatures of elsewhere. Talk about cultural exchange! These are only a few of the countless streams that are flowing incessantly into our poetic pot au feu, but we think they’re significant—not to mention provocative and beautiful.
Jonathan Galassi is the President and Publisher of FSG.