More than 140 poems by 120 of America's best poets that focus on the effects of violence in contemporary America.

From Waco to Columbine, from Oklahoma City to New York City, from domestic abuse and drive-by shootings to religious fanaticism and acts of terrorism, the poems in Like Thunder are for those who have perished and those who have survived. More than 140 poems by 120 poets focus, in the editors' words, on “the violence in the news, the violence in our schools, the violence in our homes, as well as the violence in our own minds.”

The poets gathered here articulate terror and suffering but also present images of hope and redemption; they write of individual menaces and individual victims and the melding of the two that potentially exists in everyone. By transforming horrifying details into larger truths, they create a poetry of witness, of survival, and of remembrance.

“This is a collection brilliantly conceived and executed and profoundly well-timed. Like Thunder is a truly important book for these parlous times.”—Robert Olen Butler
“In time of crisis it's interesting that people don't turn to the novel or say, ‘we should all go out to a movie’ or ‘Ballet would help us.’ It's always poetry. What we want to hear is a human voice speaking directly in our ear.”—Billy Collins, Poet Laureate, from the New York Times, October 1, 2001
“This is a remarkable collection of work—often disturbing, sometimes shocking, always engaging.”— Gustavo Pérez Firmat, author of Next Year in Cuba
“In this anthology, the editors have collected a stunning array of interpretations of violence that is as diverse as the list of its contributors . . . it graces the shelves like a sobering reminder of the other ways violence manifests itself into the everyday lives of Americans, even while the country continues to heal from the wounds inflicted by the terrorist attacks.”—El Paso Times
“The events of September 11 have made this anthology of poetry, which addresses violence in a nation now reeling from it, particulatly resonant. The book combines the work of 120 American poets to create a dark paean to those who have suffered from and/or survived the worst of what American culture offers.”—Naton Leslie, MultiCultural Review

Kim Addonizio
Sherman Alexie
Martha Collins
Stuart Dybek
Martín Espada
Bob Hicok
Rachel Loden
Walt McDonald
Campbell McGrath
Stanley Plumly
Heather Sellers
Judith Vollmer
and many more

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Publication Details

Publication Date
Pages, art, trim size
240 pages, index