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Heart of the Order

Heart of the Order Gabriel Fried, editor; Foreword by Daniel Okrent

Baseball, the most literary of sports, has inspired countless American poets in their art. This anthology gathers together some of the finest poems written on baseball from the past seventy-five years.

They represent the entire spectrum of verse-writing about the National Pastime, from stickball and sandlot games to Little League and the Majors, from spectators to scrubs to superstars.  In a myriad of voices--earnest to zany-- they capture baseball's poetic sensibility, its rhythms, culture, and timelessness.  They evoke memories of youth and promise, of growing up and growing older. They bring us back to our personal and collective pasts.

Whether about Babe Ruth or Satchel Paige, father and son, or a shy girl with a killer slide ball, each poems evokes the thrill of a game that requires consummate skill and yet is often decided by a stroke of luck or misfortune--so much like life, but all in nine innings on a summer afternoon and in the company of family and friends, and perhaps the entire nation.

Included in the roster are Hall-of-Famers and contemporary All-Stars: Richard Hugo, Marianne Moore, William Matthews, May Swenson, B. H. Fairchild, Linda Gregerson, Donald Hall, Yusef Komunyakaa, Edward Hirsch, Thomas Lux, Gail Mazur, Robert Pinsky, Quincy Troupe, and more than sixty others.

In Heart of the Order, every poem hits home.

Praise for the Book: 
"A welcome addition to growing corpus of baseball poetry. Fried. . .has a keen ear for the sound of good baseball poetry and a good eye for a good baseball tale."—Kenneth Sammond, Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature

"Baseball has a long history and season. While instant replay is the newest (though not terribly reliable) way to capture it, the carefully chosen words in Heart of the Order, conveying enthusiasm or disappointment and every emotion in between, remain one of the truest ways to experience it."—Patricia Contino, New Pages

About the Author:

Gabriel Fried is the author of the widely praised collection, Making the New Lamb Take: Poems and the poetry editor of Persea Books.

Daniel Okrent is an acclaimed author of many books including Nine Innings, The Ultimate Baseball Book, and Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibiition.  He is the inventor of Rotisserie League Baseball, also known as Fantasy Baseball.

 Original trade paperback with flaps / $17.95 (Can. $19.00) / available as an e-book / ISBN 978-0-89255-435-5 / 184 pages / 5" x 7" / Foreword, Introduction, Notes on the Poets / Sports / Poetry / Anthology

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