Jer­sey Breaks: Becom­ing an Amer­i­can Poet by Robert Pin­sky

Jer­sey Breaks: Becom­ing an Amer­i­can Poet by Robert Pin­sky

In late-1940s Long Branch, a historic but run-down Jersey Shore resort town, in a neighborhood of Italian, Black, and Jewish families, Robert Pinsky began his unlikely journey to becoming a poet. Descended from a bootlegger grandfather, an athletic father, and a rebellious tomboy mother, Pinsky was an unruly but articulate high school C student, whose obsession with the rhythms and melodies of speech inspired him to write.

Pinsky traces the roots of his poetry, with its wide and fearless range, back to the voices of his neighborhood, to music and a distinctly American tradition of improvisation, with influences including Mark Twain and Ray Charles, Marianne Moore and Mel Brooks, Emily Dickinson and Sid Caesar, Dante Alighieri and the Orthodox Jewish liturgy. He reflects on how writing poetry helped him make sense of life’s challenges, such as his mother’s traumatic brain injury, and on his notable public presence, including an unprecedented three terms as United States poet laureate.

Year first published: 2022

Read a review on Jewish Book Council

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.