April 18, 2007
New UI Press Poetry Anthology Reflects Experiences Of Retirement
"On Retirement: 75 Poems," a new University of Iowa Press anthology that collects poetry about what lies beyond the end of working life, is now available directly from the UI Press or from bookstores and online retailers.
The book is available from the UI Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at http://www.uiowapress.org. In the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, contact Eurospan, 3 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8LU, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 1767 604972, or online at http://www.eurospanonline.com/eurospan/index.asp.
In the decade ahead, more than 80 million Americans will reach the age of retirement and face what editors Robin Chapman and Judith Strasser call "the unnerving question, What next?"
"On Retirement" includes poems by men and women ranging in age from their 50s to their 80s and hailing from many cities, regions and countries.
Dave Ekerdt, director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas, believes "This collection is a magnificent entrée to a season of life when time is at once bountiful and limited, is taken and surrendered, has been invested and withdrawn. Some of these voices say that time is leaden and some say it flies, and all are resolute in facing the arc of life's course."
Each poet -- whether retired or just contemplating retirement -- greets the prospect of this new chapter of life differently. George Bilgere purchases the complete works of Verdi and extravagant silk shirts, while Denise Levertov contemplates life alone. Alicia Ostriker implores readers to "keep on fighting, keep up the good work," and Alberto Ríos recalls a lost love.
Chapman is professor emerita of communicative disorders at the University of Wisconsin. She is the author of three books and five chapbooks of poetry, including "The Way In" and "Images of a Complex World: The Art and Poetry of Chaos," both winners of the Posner Poetry Award.
Strasser retired in 1999 from her position as senior producer and interviewer for "To the Best of Our Knowledge," the nationally syndicated NPR program. Since her retirement she has published a memoir, "Black Eye: Escaping a Marriage, Writing a Life"; a poetry collection, "The Reason/Unreason Project," which won the Lewis-Clark Press Expedition Award; and a chapbook.
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