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The sense of place and connection to it as seen through the lens of a poet's conscience

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In Show Me Your Environment, a penetrating yet personable collection of critical essays, David Baker explores how a poem works, how a poet thinks, and how the art of poetry has evolved—and is still evolving as a highly diverse, spacious, and inclusive art form. The opening essays offer contemplations on the “environment” of poetry from thoughts on physical places and regions as well as the inner aesthetic environment. Next, Baker looks at the highly distinctive achievements and styles of poets ranging from George Herbert and Emily Dickinson through poets writing today. Finally, he takes joy in reading individual poems—from the canonical to the contemporary; simply and closely.

David Baker is Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review and Professor of English and Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing at Denison University. He has been awarded fellowships and grants from organizations including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America.