Collected Poems

Donald Justice

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Donald Justice died on August 12, six days before this new book, Collected Poems, was published. He left behind a legacy of influence, both as one of the most renowned teachers of poets in recent memory and as a poet of great gifts in his own right. Dana Gioia, current head of the National Endowment for the Arts, has described Justice as a “poet’s poet,” and reading his collected works is a reminder why: Justice’s incredible range and deliberate use of language. His body of work, collected here in its entirety, is a romp through a variety of forms and styles, but always with a very careful eye to using the precise word to meet the needs of the poem. Although he’s not among the most famous of American poets, this collection leaves no doubt he was one of the best.