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Release: Immediate

Distinguished editor critiques five poets in new UI Press book

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Noted literary critic and editor Peter Stitt examines the work of five giants of contemporary poetry in a new book from the University of Iowa Press.

In "Uncertainty and Plenitude: Five Contemporary Poets," Stitt explores the poetry of John Ashbery, Stephen Dobyns, Charles Simic, Gerald Stern and Charles Wright, and the relationships between the poets, their work and each other.

Arguing that his interest in the five chosen poets is "intellectual and aesthetic," Stitt demonstrates that the work of Ashbery, Dobyns, Simic, Stern, and Wright (along with a brief look at Stanley Kunitz in relation to Wright) can provide some focus on the "uncertainty and plenitude" of the current poetry scene.

Poet Donald Hall says, "Peter Stitt writes with a warm familiarity of poetry that he admires, and he is also willing to make distinctions in the work of poets he on the whole admires, and by his negatives gives us some chance to determine the justice of his general judgments."

Stitt's previous book of poetry criticism was selected as one of the Outstanding Academic Books of the Year by Choice Magazine.

In addition to editing the Gettysburg Review, Stitt is professor of English at Gettysburg College. In 1993 he was chosen as the first recipient of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for excellence in editing. His writings appear regularly in the Paris Review, New York Times Book Review, Georgia Review, and many other publications.

"Uncertainty and Plenitude: Five Contemporary Poets" is available at bookstores nationwide for $27.95 clothbound. The book can also be ordered from UI Press by calling (319) 384-3808 (for calls within Johnson County) or 1-800-235-2665 (outside Johnson County).

Information is also available at the UI Press website: