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Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems

Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems

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Snodgrass makes poetry out of the daily neuroses and everyday failures of a man – a husband, father, and teacher. This domestic suffering occurs against a backdrop of more universal suffering which Snodgrass believes is inherent in the human experience.

Not for Specialists includes 35 new poems complemented by the superb work he wrote in the Pulitzer Prize winning collection, Heart's Needle, along with poetry from seven other distinguished collections.

"W.D. Snodgrass stays loyal to his unpoetic surname, and the essential claim his poetry makes is that it is necessary to write beautifully."
Clive James

"Poem after jewelled poem... his poems will stay with us, persisting in their loveliness."
Jay Parini, The Guardian

"Acutely self-aware, often painfully frank about his personal life, Snodgrass was a poet who came of age not long after Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. ... Not for Specialists, in over 250 pages of poetry, offers an invaluable overview of Snodgrass's career, and the reader can trace how he rose to the particular challenges that face a personal, lyric poet. ... a ready and welcome gathering of Snodgrass's best work for the British reader. Poetry's first duty must be to help us want to live. If Snodgrass goes on being read, it will be because of what he has in plenty: uncommon tenderness."
Henry Shukman, TLS

"This book… clarifies as never before the range of his accomplishment. Snodgrass's devotees must come away… with deep gratitude."
Brad Leithauser, New York Times

"This is a judicious selection from a significant oeuvre."
Publishers' Weekly

W.D. Snodgrass was born in Pennsylvania in 1926. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His first book of poems, Heart's Needle, received the Pulitzer Prize in 1960, and he received numerous awards and honours for his poetry, translations, and criticism. Snodgrass died in January 2009.