The Strangest of Theatres explores how poets who are willing to venture beyond our borders can serve as envoys to the wider world and revitalize American poetry in the process. What are they looking for when they leave? What do they find? How does their experience shape them, and what is revealed when they sit down at their desks and take up the pen?
Original and reprinted essays by contemporary poets who have spent time abroad address questions of estrangement, identity, and home. These reflections represent a diverse atlas of experience from authors such as Kazim Ali, Elizabeth Bishop, Naomi Shihab Nye, Nick Flynn, Yusef Komunyakaa, Claudia Rankine, Alissa Valles, and many others.
Following these literary reflections is a roundtable conversation among fourteen poets as well as a section that provides practical re-sources for finding work abroad, applying for fellowships and residencies, funding a trip, obtaining proper travel documents, and attending to other cultural considerations. This inspiring, useful book addresses concerns relevant to any American writer preparing to go abroad, already traveling, just returning, or simply dreaming of the faraway.