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Rendezvous with Death

American Poems of the Great War

"Instead of privileging the figure of the front-line and largely British soldier-poet, Van Wienen supplements the well-known canon of Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, and Siegfried Sassoon with lesser-known but nevertheless widely read American combatants, civilians, and women who wrote passionately on the events of World War I." - Walter Kalaidjian, author of American Culture between the Wars: Revisionary Modernism and Postmodern Critique

This masterfully assembled volume, arranged chronologically, reveals American poets' shifting, conflicting reactions to the war and highlights their efforts to shape U.S. policies and define American attitudes. In his introduction, Mark W. Van Wienen describes the rapid, politically charged responses possible in a culture attuned to poetry. His historical and biographical notes provide a sturdy framework for the study of poetry's role in social activism and change during the "war to end war."

The most complete resource of its kind, Rendezvous with Death brings together poetry originally published in little magazines, labor journals, newspapers. and wartime anthologies. Alight with sorrow, grace, silliness, satire, pride, and anger, works by IWW members, sock poets, pacifists, and protestors take their places next to those by Edith Wharton, Alan Seeger, Wallace Stevens, James Weldon Johnson, Amy Lowell, and Claude McKay.


"The thoroughgoing historicism of the anthology's organization is refreshing in a genre that largely discourages such specificity." -Modernism/modernity

"...a relief and pleasure for anybody who's struggled to find this information from the confusing and incomplete references in many anthologies." -Modernism/modernity

"Highly recommended." CHOICE

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