On the Nightstand

The TAMSEN editors, if nothing else, are voracious readers of poetry, literary criticism, philosophy and most things relevant to the humanities. We will keep a running list of the books we are consuming with links should you find them enticing.


Troy Casa

  1. Hoagland, Tony. Twenty Poems That Could Save America and other Essays. Greywolf Press. 2014.

Live American poetry is absent from our public schools. The teaching of poetry languishes, and that region of youthful neurological terrain capable of being ignited only by poetry is largely dark, unpopulated, and silent, like a classroom whose shades are drawn. This is more than a shame, for poetry is our common treasure-house, and we need its vitality, its respect for the subconscious, its willingness to entertain ambiguity, its plaintive truth-telling, and its imaginative exhibitions of linguistic freedom, which confront the general culture’s more grotesque manipulations. We need the emotional training sessions poetry conducts us through. We need its previews of coming attractions: heartbreak, survival, failure, endurance, understanding, more heartbreak.

—from “Twenty Poems That Could Save America”

2. Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom. New York: The Free Press, 1998. ISBN-068484453-2. Pp. 290. Review

3. Eco, Umberto. On Literature. Secker & Warburg: London, 2005. ISBN-978-0156032391. Pp. 333. Review

4. Fenton, James. The Strength of Poetry: Oxford Lectures. FSG: NY, 2001.