Edited by Marie-Elizabeth Mali and Annie Finch. Publication date March 6, 2012. I am one of the nearly one hundred contemporary contributing poets.
The book is one of those beautiful little Everyman’s Library poetry editions that fit in a coat pocket so they really can “go by thy side.”
You may pre-order from Powell’s Bookstore.
The editors say:
With its intricate rhyme scheme and dance-like pattern of repeating lines, its marriage of recurrence and surprise, the villanelle is a form that has fascinated poets since its introduction almost two centuries ago. Many well-known poets in the past have tried their hands at the villanelle, and the form is enjoying a revival among poets writing today. The poems collected here range from the classic villanelles of the nineteenth century to such famous and memorable examples as Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night,” Elizabeth Bishops’s “One Art,” and Sylvia Plaths’s “Mad Girls’s Love Song.” Here too are the cutting-edge works of contemporary poets, including Sherman Alexie, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, and many others whose poems demonstrate the dazzling variety that can be found within the parameters of a single, strict form.
For poets and engineers unfamiliar with the form: 19 lines on two rhymes: the first three-line stanza (rhymed aba); the next four three-line stanzas (aba) repeat the first and third lines of the first stanza alternately as their third line; and both lines reappear as the last lines of a final four-line stanza (abab). It is difficult, but by no means as arbitrary or ornery as it sounds.