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There is a deep tradition of eroticism in American poetry. Thoughtful, provocative, moving, and sometimes mirthful, the poems collected in "The Best American Erotic Poems" celebrate this exuberant sensuality.

These poems range across the varied landscapes of love and sex and desire -- from the intimate parts of the body to the end of an affair, from passion to solitary self-pleasure. With candor and imagination, they capture the delights and torments of sex and sexuality, nudity, love, lust, and the secret life of fantasy.

David Lehman, the distinguished editor of the celebrated "Best American Poetry" series, has culled a witty, titillating, and alluring collection that starts with Francis Scott Key, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Hart Crane, encompasses Frank O'Hara, Anne Sexton, John Updike, Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Kevin Young, and Sharon Olds, and concludes with the rising stars of a whole new generation of versifiers, including Sarah Manguso, Ravi Shankar, and Brenda Shaughnessy.

In a section of the book that is sure to prompt discussion and further reading, the living poets write about their favorite works of erotic writing.

This book will delight, surprise, and inspire.

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