poem index

Great Anthologies: Food Poems

Posted

June 27, 2013
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Poetry and food have a long history together. Below you’ll find eight books that map out that history by offering a diverse selection of offerings from historical and contemporary poets that use the culinary realm as inspiration. Any of these collections are sure to be a hit at your next dinner party.

The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink
Edited by Kevin Young
Bloomsbury USA, 2012

“I have put together this anthology to honor food’s unique yet multifaceted pleasures,” writes editor Kevin Young in the introduction to this collection of poems written by poets such as Martín Espada, Louise Glück, Seamus Heaney, Linda Hogan, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Trethewey, and Sharon Olds. Organized in four sections for each season, in chapters with titles such as First Harvest, Meat & Potatoes, Pig Out, and Dinner for Two,  The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink  explore the memories, the company, even the politics that accompany food.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Poems About Food and Drink
Edited by Peter Washington
Everyman's Library, 2003

The Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series, which has included anthologies on love and friendship, offers work by an eclectic group of poets, such as Horace, Sylvia Plath, Rumi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Hafiz, and Osip Mandelstam, all writing about the ritual of eating and drinking. There are poems about dinners, parties, picnics and banquets.

O Taste and See: Food Poems
Edited by David Lee Garrison and Terry Hermsen
Bottom Dog Press, 2003

Divided into sections such as Friends, Family, Gardens, Odes, Market, and Recipes, this collection of poems about food brings together the verse of many contemporary American poets including Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Carolyn Forché, Robert Hass, Charles Simic, and Gerald Stern.

Bite to Eat Place: An Anthology of Contemporary Food Poetry & Poetic Prose
Edited by Andrea Adolph, D.L. Vallis, and Anne F Walker
Redwood Coast Press, 1995

This anthology includes poems as well as poetic prose about food. It features the writing of over eighty authors and translators, many of them Canadian, including Margaret Atwood, Lorna Crozier, Alphonse Daudet, Brenda Hillman, Michael Ondaantje, and Heather Spears.

Saporoso: Poems of Italian Food & Love
By Jennifer Barone, Illustrated by Lam Khong
WordParty Press, 2012

Born in Brooklyn and of Italian descent, poet Jennifer Barone collaborates with visual artist Lam Khong in Soporoso, an anthology full of drawings and poems that take on Italian culture, family, sex and love, all as understood through Italian cuisine.

Appetite: Food as Metaphor: An Anthology of Women Poets
Edited by Phyllis Stowell and Jeanne Foster
BOA Editions Ltd., 2002

With a preface by Chef Charlotte Turgeon, this collection explores the way food emerges as a metaphor in the poems of women poets. Lucille Clifton, Jane Kenyon, and Anne Sexton are among the many contributors. The poems tackle a broad range of subjects from food in the everyday to food as a vehicle for the exotic.

Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes
By Maya Angelou
Random House, 2004

Poet Maya Angelou shares her favorite recipes of dishes ranging from dinner to desert. Angelou also recounts personal stories and anecdotes about her various encounters with food throughout her life and travels.

The New Cookbook for Poor Poets and Others
By Ann Rogers
Scribner, 1979

In The New Cookbook for Poor Poets, originally published in 1969, Ann Rogers, a child of the Depression, elaborates on ideas such as the nickel dinner and gives basic rules to poor poets for how to have a good meal on a low budget.

How to Eat a Poem: A Smorgasbord of Tasty and Delicious Poems for Young Readers
Edited by the American Poetry & Literacy Project and the Academy of American Poets
Dover Publications, 2006

Focusing on popular verse from the nineteenth century through today, How to Eat a Poem is full of accessible poems geared toward young readers who may be getting their first taste of poetry. There are poems by Nikki Giovanni, W. D. Snodgrass, Edgar Allan Poe, William Stafford, Emily Dickinson, and others, seventy in total.

 

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