"This courageous and visionary book enacts and embodies a concrete "relational aesthetics" that gives poetic voices an epistolary space—for linguistic intimacy and soul-sharing. Don't miss it!" — Cornel West


Making private conversations public, this highly anticipated anthology offers surprising revelations from America's leading poets.

The Letters to Poets project is the culmination of one year's correspondence between 14 of America's foremost contemporary poets and the emerging poets they wrote to. From the beginning of the project, there were no strict formal or thematic guidelines; these poets simply wrote about their most urgent personal and political concerns. The result is an exceptionally bold and diverse anthology that dares to take on America's toughest issues regarding race, class, and gender.

Taking place approximately 100 years after the writing of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, Letters To Poets does well to both credit and challenge that earlier work. In the Letters project, the nation's foremost writers address the inequities and problems in various models of apprenticeship and enact how important the mentoring process can be and what precisely it offers in contemporary society.

By exploring their own key concerns, these 28 poets impart surprising and vital advice for today's writers, artists, and thinkers. The ideas in this volume offer real world advice, sound and smart. The topics in these intimate letters range from race issues to gender codes, and from U.S. politics to poetics. This anthology is a must read for anyone attentive to the pulse of current day American literature and politics.