This book features a collection of essays on some of the key poets of post-war America, written by leading scholars in the field. All the essays have been newly commissioned to take account of the diverse movements in American poetry since 1945, and also to reflect, retrospectively, on some of the major talents that have shaped its development. In the aftermath of the Second World War, American poets took stock of their own tumultuous past but faced the future with radically new artistic ideals and commitments. More than ever before, American poetry spoke with its own distinctive accents and declared its own dreams and desires. This is the era of confessionalism, beat poetry, protest poetry, and avant-garde postmodernism. This book explores the work of John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, and Sylvia Plath, as well as contemporary African American poets and new poetic voices emerging in the 21st century. This New Casebook introduces the major American poets of the post-war generation, evaluates their achievements in the light of changing critical opinion, and offers lively, incisive readings of some of the most challenging and enthralling poetry of the modern era.