Over the past twenty-five years, the Johns Hopkins Poetry and Fiction series has published thirty-one volumes of poetry, beginning in 1979 with John Hollander's Blue Wine and Other Poems. The series was launched with two guiding principles: to publish works of poetry exhibiting formal excellence and strong emotional appeal and to publish writers at all stages of their careers. Words Brushed by Music gathers the best poems of the past twenty-five years, works that exhibit extraordinary wit, elegance, wisdom born of experience, and mastery of language. Sometimes comic, always moving, these poems reflect the talent of twenty distinctive voices: John Bricuth, John Burt, Thomas Carper, Philip Dacey, Tom Disch, Emily Grosholz, Vicki Hearne, John Hollander, Josephine Jacobsen, X. J. Kennedy, Charles Martin, Robert Pack, Robert Phillips, Wyatt Prunty, Gibbons Ruark, William Jay Smith, Barry Spacks, Timothy Steele, David St. John, and Adrien Stoutenburg. In this anniversary volume, award-winning poet and critic Anthony Hecht reflects on the state of American poetry today.
John T. Irwin is the Decker Professor in the Humanities at the Johns Hopkins University and former chair of the Writing Seminars. His books include American Hieroglyphics, The Mystery to a Solution, and Doubling and Incest / Repetition and Revenge, all available from Johns Hopkins.