Carolyn Kizer

Chosen as the inaugural volume of the Copper Canyon Press “Writing Re: Writing” Series—each annual volume to be a major collection of prose on poetry by a leading poet—Proses collects essays and reviews by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and feminist, Carolyn Kizer.
Kizer assays the work of many contemporary poets, including Denise Levertov, James Merrill, Louise Bogan, Robert Creeley, Marge Piercy, Hayden Carruth, and John Berryman. She covers the first major American assessment of the English poet John Clare and discusses the influence of Alexander Pope on her own poetry. She also contributes a major autobiographical essay.

ISBN: 9781556590450

Format: Paperback

from the essay “The Other Side of the Story: Sylvia Plath”

Frankly, I’m fed up with the endless probings of the lives of lady poets who have suicided themselves. I’d prefer to read about survivors, like Adrienne Rich or Denise Levertov, poets now in their sixties who are even better than they were at thirty, the age at which Sylvia Plath stuck her head in the oven.

About the Author

Carolyn Kizer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and was a fellow of the Chinese Government in Comparative Literature at Columbia University. In 1959, she co-founded Poetry Northwest and was its editor until 1965. She served as the first director of the Literature Program at the National Endowment for the Arts (1966–1970), was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and served as poet-in-residence at Columbia, Stanford, and Princeton. She died in …

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“We have no finer poet writing today, and very few her equal.” —San Francisco Review of Books

“One of the best poets around… a national treasure.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“… a disarmingly frank and delightful selection of [Kizer’s] writings and poets who touch her and instances that have shaped her… Kizer reveals a sensibility that sings the need for poetry in our lives.” —San Francisco Focus

“In evaluating poetry, Kizer’s own criteria include ‘pleasure and enlightenment.’ Proses provides these both in equal measure… in succinct, captivating prose.” —Library Journal

“Copper Canyon Press… has published, in extraordinarily beautiful editions, Kizer’s last three volumes of verse, as well as [Proses]. It is, I think, one of the more heavenly arrangements in publishing, for Copper Canyon’s impeccable craftsmanship is a fine match with Kizer’s… Proses is a lovely book, of course—typical of Copper Canyon all the way… Nearly every page sparkles with Kizer’s intelligence… Proses is a tantalizing and worthy read. It is sweet and tastes like more.” —Robert Wrigley, Writers Northwest

“The essays and reviews of Proses are bright chips and sparks… [Kizer’s] sentences sing and her thoughts come on stage, alive and dancing.” —George Garrett

“Read Kizer for warmth, personal anecdote, generative caring. She discusses craft while cherishing the person.” —Indianapolis News

“[Kizer’s] unique literary voice [is] always a plucky blend of the burlesque and the profound… Her writing at its best balances between jocosity and profundity, between abstruse truth and everyday observation. It makes exciting reading.” —Poetry Flash

“Appreciation, enthusiasm and joy—these are hardly the watchwords of most poetry criticism today. But Carolyn Kizer reveals just these qualities in this collection of essays and reviews.” —Washington Post