The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: A Century of Poetry in the New Yorker: 1925-2025, New Yorker Magazine Inc

A Century of Poetry in the New Yorker: 1925-2025

New Yorker Magazine Inc

Edited by the magazine's poetry editor, Kevin Young, a celebratory selection from 100 years of influential, entertaining, and taste-making verse in The New Yorker

Seamus Heaney, Dorothy Parker, Louise Bogan, Louise Glück, Randall Jarrell, Langston Hughes, Derek Walcott, Sylvia Plath, W. S. Merwin, Czeslaw Milosz, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Strand, E. E. Cummings, Sharon Olds, Franz Wright, John Ashbery, Sandra Cisneros, Amanda Gorman, Maggie Smith, Kaveh Akbar: these stellar names make up just a fraction of the wonderfulness that is present in this essential anthology.

The book is organized into sections honoring times of day ("Morning Bell," "After-Work Drinks," "Night Shift," etc), allowing poets from different eras to talk back to one another in the same space, intertwined with chronological groupings from the decades as they march by: the frothy 1920s and 1930s ("despite the depression," Young notes), the more serious 40s and 50s (introducing us to the early greats of our contemporary poetry, like Elizabeth Bishop, W. S. Merwin, and Adrienne Rich), the political 60s and 70s, the lyrical 80s and 90s, and then the 2000s with their explosion of greater diversity, greater depth and breadth. Inevitably, we see the high points when poems spoke directly into, about, or against the wars and conflicts of their times--the war poetry of W. H. Auden and Karl Shapiro; the remarkable outpouring of verse after 9/11 (who can forget Adam Zagajewski's "Try to Praise the Mutilated World"?); and more recently, stunning poems in response to the cataclysmic events of Covid and the murder of George Floyd.

The magazine's poetic influence resides not just in this historical and cultural relevance but in sheer human connection, exemplified by the passing verses that became what Kevin calls "refrigerator poems" the ones you tear out and magnetize to the fridge to read again and again over months and years. Our love for that singular Billy Collins or Ada Limon poem--or poem by a new writer you've never heard of but will hear much more from in the future--is what has made the The New Yorker a great organ for poetry, a mouthpiece for our changing times and our way of life, even a mirror of our collective soul.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: Feb 4th, 2025
  • Pages: 720
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.25in - 6.13in - 1.38in - 2.32lb
  • EAN: 9780593801932
  • Categories: Anthologies (multiple authors)General

About the Author

KEVIN YOUNG is the author of fifteen books of poetry and prose. He is the poetry editor of The New Yorker, where he hosts the Poetry Podcast, and is the editor of nine other anthology volumes, including African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song.