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Reviews

"An entirely captivating selection of letters by one of the great poets of our time. Jonathan Post's flawless choices and his elegant introductions to distinct chapters of Anthony Hecht's life help to reveal this poet, literary critic, and man in all of his modes and moods—hilarious, despondent, self-doubting, proud, exacting, hugely generous, and unfailingly brilliant."

"Anthony Hecht was a magisterial formal poet, an heir of W. H. Auden and John Crowe Ransom, a peer of James Merrill and Richard Wilbur, and these letters, artfully edited by Jonathan Post, illuminate both his life and his work. They are witty and learned, jaunty and revealing, filled with the news of poetry, and they remind us how fortunate we were to have had him among us."

"We knew that Anthony Hecht was a great poet. What his letters reveal is that he was a great man—sensitive to all the turns of language, caring for those he dealt with (even strangers), and continually funny."

"Aside from the literary light it sheds, Hecht's correspondence is just plain fun to read—witty and learned, warm and humane... Hecht's work depicts both light and shadow, fashioning from their chiaroscuro poems that figure among the finest of the last century."

"We can only be grateful that Anthony Hecht was a pack-rat, so that nothing was lost—all those anecdotes, all those loves lost and found, all the ups and downs that made for a life in poetry and for a poetry now collected and preserved, so that his voice remains crystal-clear in death as it was in life."

"On the spectrum of letter-writing readability, Anthony Hecht combines elements of Keats and Moore. He is never less than charmingly fluent... Hecht as a letter writer is often at his best with confident, off-the-cuff assessments of writers, their lives and works."

"Aside from the literary light it sheds on his work and the work of others, Hecht’s correspondence is engaging and fun to read.... This extensive collection of letters offers satisfying insights into the life and times of one of the major literary figures of the last century"

"A resounding success."

"Anyone with a serious interest in US poetry from the mid-20th centruy on will be grateful to Post for his scrupulous selection and editing of Hecht's letters... Whether whimsical or erudite, the letters reveal Hecht's lively imagination and intelligence and the literary scene of the era."

"A model edition. The letters themselves are vastly interesting for what Hecht says about himself and his poems."

"A handsome, tactfully edited and satisfying volume."

"In Hecht’s letters we find ourselves in the presence of a man who takes poetry seriously, demands respect for it, and honors it with his powerful and scrupulous mind."

"Hecht’s Letters provide a lavish feast – intellectual, poetic, and aesthetic – and reveal his rich imagination, profound ideas, and moral vision."

"These letters record a lively and graceful intelligence fully and sympathetically engaged with the arts of music, painting, and poetry, and with the lives of his many correspondents."