“Here is a vital collection of poems about the quintessential American experience: dislocation. How do we connect to the places we inhabit, in both the short and long term? The answers contained in this anthology will surprise, provoke, and perhaps console you. 'America is a nation in self-exile,' the editors write. These poems probe the loss and yearning at the heart of our national experiment.” — Christopher Merrill, author of Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars
“American Diaspora … succeeds in saying it all: the many poems capture the essence of our yearnings for location and community and our real, though temporary, sense of being at home here in America.”—Foreword Magazine
“This book needed to happen, both for its subject matter and for its delivery (and -ance) … I'm most pleasantly surprised by the array of talents, many of whom are young and relatively unknown.”—PopMatters
Diaspora constitutes a powerful descriptor for the modern condition of the contemporary poet, the spokesperson for the psyche of America. The poems in American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement focus on the struggles and pleasures of creating a home-physical and mental-out of displacement, exile, migration, and alienation.
To fully explore the concept of diaspora, the editors have broadened the scope of their definition to include not only the physical act of moving and immigration but also the spiritual and emotional dislocations that can occur-as for Emily Dickinson and other poets-even in a life spent entirely in one location.
More than one hundred and thirty contemporary poets reflect and meditate, rage and bless.