NYC From the Inside: NYC Through the Eyes of the Poets Who Live Here
Edited by George Wallace
NYC From the Inside is a gorgeous compendium: 179 poets you have and haven’t heard of, generating over 280 boisterous pages of pure joy and pure pain, comedy and memory, satire and lament, lovers and haters, pizzas and drink and drugs, pavements; a call-and-response of Loisaida flinging its truths to the boroughs and getting those truths back again. Come and get it!- Alicia Ostriker, Poet Laureate, New York State 2018-2021 An unending array of pleasure: a feast, a banquet, a new taste on every page. It’s my desert island pick.- Grace Cavalieri, producer, The Poet and the Poem, US Library of Congress This amazing Anthology, with its captivating rhythms, sounds and beats takes us in an all-encompassing arc around New York – this “selfish city amoeba” with “its shifting forms” under a moon “which looks like an overdose.” The poems are connected to each other, a collective stream of consciousness which causes us to wander through neighborhoods in a kind of Joycean Ulysses’ trip. The poets’ acute eyes for details show us all the different worlds which compose this fast moving place – “with that click-clack speed city rhythm,” but also unearth much of the unexpected and the unremembered like a “thin line between explorers and natives – the culture which keeps everyone captured, to which everyone emulates.” This is a book of people “doing people things in their small frames.” Walking down the subway stairs, we enter the final episode of this trip – the underworld, with its train whistles, its platform buskers, its schizophrenic poets, its blanket-clad people with “beards wet with liquor” – a mélange of absurdities, an immense panorama of futility and anarchy; a metaphor for our contemporary world.- Antje Stehn, curator, Rucksack, A Global Poetry Patchwork Project, Milano, Italy Here are bird’s eye views, up close and personal. Here is high life and low life, high energy and quiet reflection. Here are the multifarious moods and aspects of a great city, found in abundance in this inclusive and exhilarating volume. These poems are wide-awake, as befits poems for the city that never sleeps – we see and experience the great metropolis as if for the first time. To re-phrase Dr. Johnson, if a person is tired of New York, then they are tired of life.- Penelope Shuttle, poet and novelist, UK, Cholmondely Award 2007 The late Anthony Bourdain always talked about getting “the good stuff,” meaning the realest, the most delicious, the slightly dangerous. Opening this book is like that – and more. The poets here are legendary. This is a book you need in your life. Open it and smell the bread, the salt and flour, the water of our lives.- Sheila Fiona Black, co-editor Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability.