In this expanded and updated volume, Samuel Maio is definitive and comprehensive in his discussion of American personal poetry. While broadening the concept of persona to include the first-person speaker, he analyzes representative poets categorized by the aesthetics of voice, demonstrating these poets’ far-reaching influence into the 21st century.
This marvelous study of the various modes of poetic voice in American poetry is truly impressive in its breadth and the conclusions Professor Maio draws from the examination of some of the most important poets of the 20th century—from Robert Lowell to Robert Bly. Maio’s eye and ear never fail him, most particularly in his exegesis of John Berryman and David Ignatow, and his conclusions about who is speaking, and how and why, are at times astonishing, reshaping our perception of poets as diverse as Walt Whitman and Bruce Weigl. Creating Another Self is a kind of creation itself, an eye-opening view of from whence poetry, that sweet bird of youth, springs.
—Lucia Guerra-Cunningham, Professor of Spanish,
University of California, Irvine
This book, brilliant in its original insights, has now been made even more persuasive and immeasurably more valuable by its expansion and Maio’s investigations of the ways that personal poetry, as he describes it, suffuses the work of very recent, contemporary poets, especially Black, Asian-American and Hispanic-American authors, whose work he predicted even before their poems were written.
—Jay Martin, Edward S. Gould Professor of Humanities,
Claremont Graduate University
This expanded second edition includes many recent multicultural poets, but like the original volume, concentrates on technique rather than explication (which comes as a bonus). I appreciate his clarity, his lack of jargon, and his informed discussion, for Maio the critic is an excellent poet as well. I learned from him.
—Peter L. Hays, Professor of English,
University of California, Davis
Samuel Maio makes an excellent case for characterizing autobiographical poetry as yet another literary artifact, governed by the conscious manipulation of the device of persona. In so clearly and concretely explaining and applying his perspective to a wide range of poets and poems, Maio liberates us from seeing personal poems only as some sort of literal, confessional, and thus more authentic truth.
—Brian Bedard, Professor of English,
University of South Dakota