New Directions 23
Since 1936, the New Directions Annuals have served as vehicles for the presentation of new and variant trends in world literature. The international character of this year’s anthology, the twenty-third in the series, is underscored by translations of substantial works by three major foreign poets––Enrique Lihn (Chile), Fernando Pessoa (Portugal) and Yannis Ritso (Greece).
Of the American poets, some have long-standing reputations, such as Robert Bly, William Bronk, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Denise Levertov and Carl Rakosi; others, like Besmilr Brigham, Walter S. Hamady and Richard Meyers, have contributed to recent Annuals: while a number are newcomers of promise––David Giannini, Yuki Hartman and Lawson Fusao Inada. The prose sections exhibit an especially rich diversity of technique, form and subject matter, ranging from Gary Snyder’s essay on ecology, The Wilderness, and Russell Edson’s satirical short play, Ketchup, to an ingenious free-form piece by Don Wulffson, You Too Can Be a Floorwax That Even Your Husband Could Apply. There are, in addition, short stories by Walter Abish, Marvin Cohen and James Purdy, and excerpts from works in progress by Charles Henri Ford and Dennis Silk.