"Can an anthology of poetry be called a `breakthrough?' This one is. For over a century, canonical literature in general and poetry in particular have been prisoners of an academic posture which elevates the voices of despair, depression, and alienation to high culture, and relegates those of optimism, joy, and well-being to the superficial and ill-informed. D.J. Moores, in a courageous departure from this convention, has crafted a soaring collection of exuberant, joyful, and ecstatic verse. The general reader must be grateful to him for envisioning nothing less than a `Positive Humanities.'"
--MARTIN SELIGMAN, Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at the University
of Pennsylvania and former President of the American Psychological Association
"D.J. Moores's stunningly capacious, wide-ranging anthology, Wild Poets of Ecstasy, enhanced with his expert, probing critical introduction, illuminates a vitally important strain of poetic imagination, as deep in history as it is current today, as darkly demonic as it is brilliantly divine. With this new exciting collection, Moores convenes men and women, poets we know well, and poets we'll want to know better, all writing poetry not only to report and record the ecstasies of imagination but turning to poetry itself as a vital medium of ecstatic experience--in events of language that are at once unique and resonant within a long and various tradition. One of the arresting paradoxes of ecstatic poetics is awareness that the radical ecstatic experiences are ineffable, beyond language--and that it takes the languages of poetry to evoke this sensation at the very limits. In Moores' seemingly infinite archive we feel this limit is far from a defeat. It is a vital inspiration, perhaps even the inspiration for ecstatic poetry, born `standing outside' and vibrating with the relays of its ordinary and extraordinary demarcations."
--SUSAN J. WOLFSON, Professor of English at Princeton University, President
of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers, and author of Romantic Interactions
"While teaching Dante's Paradiso I kidded the class that I was done with `critique.' I wanted to take up "Paradise Studies." This anthology is a lot closer than I thought scholarship and good taste were likely to come to such studies. Its rendering of the varieties of ecstatic experience is as thrilling as it is informative."
--CHARLES ALTIERI, Professor of English at the University of California-
Berkeley and author of The Particulars of Rapture
"In a dark time, it is salutary to be reminded of the many varieties of light still available to us in the work of poets from Homer to the present. D.J. Moores has given us that gift in this new anthology."
--DON FREDERICKSON, Professor of Film at Cornell University, Chairman of the International Association for Jungian Studies, and author of The Aesthetic of Isolation in Film Theory
"Sometimes both ordinary language and the language of science fail to capture what we experience, what we want to say, to speak of or about. So it is with ecstatic experience. D.J. Moores has given us a treasure trove, a book meant for grazing, for feeling one's way into the poetic language in which, near as we can, commonplace experiences of unusual positive states of mind can be met, evoked, recalled, and valued in the ways they deserve in a rich, meaningful human life."
--OWEN FLANAGAN, James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and Neurobiology at Duke University, former President of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and author of The Nature of Consciousness
"D.J. Moores's anthology serves up intoxicating fare in a festival for the soul. A healthy dose of madness, it begs us to let go and experience self-transcendence through the imagination on the soaring wings of poetry."
--BETH DARLINGTON, Professor of English at Vassar College and practicing Jungian analyst
"A poetry anthology devoted to poems that make a person feel better about life . . . ? What a genuinely good idea, one that may create a whole new generation of folks who read and write poems."
--CHRISTOPHER PETERSON, Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and founding figure in the Positive Psychology movement
"Wild Poets of Ecstasy is a rich and fascinating anthology. Moores's introduction provides an illuminating history of the theory and experience of ecstasy and of its expression in the poetic imagination."
--EUGENE GOODHEART, Professor of English at Brandeis University and author of The Reign of Ideology
"The various voices of the poets Moores brings together in this inspiring anthology remind us that ecstasy is a common human experience and invite us to reconnect with our own ecstatic moments. The critical introduction, an insightful and remarkably wide-ranging analysis of this aspect of human experience, demonstrates that ecstasy can be as complex as tragedy--and at least as important--and advances the cause of a much-needed positive turn in literary theory and the humanities in general."
--JAMES PAWELSKI, Director of Education and Senior Scholar in Positive
Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Executive Director of the
International Positive Psychology Association, and author of The Dynamic
Individualism of William James.
"Moores's excellent new anthology is a vital gathering of much needed inspiration. In a culture cringing with conformity, Wild Poets of Ecstasy helps us dream impossible futures and expand the human creature itself. I salute such a brave and splendid undertaking."
--SUSAN ROWLAND, Professor of English and Jungian Studies at the University of Greenwich, former Chair of the International Association for Jungian Studies and author of The Ecocritical Psyche
"This book provides an eclectic selection of ecstatic poetry from the classical period to the present. General readers and specialists alike will find rich and varied manifestations of various mystical traditions from all over the world. A fine achievement."
--ROBERT STANTON, Professor of English at Boston College and author of The Culture of Translation in Anglo-Saxon England
This extraordinary volume performs two essential services for poetry lovers: it provides a rich, wide-ranging collection of ecstatic verse, and it initiates the reader into the world of ecstasy via an insightful introduction. I am delighted to have found it!"
--RICHARD GRIGG, Professor of Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University and author of Gods after God and Beyond the God Delusion
"Is `ekstasis' (being on the outside of oneself) possible? These poems do not provide an answer, but reveal how the experience of being `outside one's self' may arise from having never been completely `inside' one-self to begin with. The wide ranging poems in this volume chart something of the perforated membrane between the inside and outside of being where and who we are (becoming). Ekstasis, as it appears in poetry, presences more than a sensation (the so-called `ecstatic'): it offers a communal conception of being."
--JONATHAN STALLING, Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma and author of Poetics of Emptiness.
"By mining the ecstatic tradition of poetry, Moores transcends the usual anthologizing by geography, period, or politics. Familiar poems sparkle anew in this setting, framed by solid scholarly discussion and annotation. Here are mystics we know, mystics we have not yet met--and a few, like Louisa May Alcott or Ezra Pound, we may never have considered in a mystical light. Lyric by lyric, readers of Wild Poets of Ecstasy will deepen their understanding of the varieties of ecstatic experience.
--JENNIE-REBECCA FALCETTA, Professor of English at Sacred Heart University and author of Poet Descending a Staircase: Literary Modernism's Aesthetic Engagement with Avant-Garde Visual Art.
"In his fascinating anthology . . . Moores reminds us that in the throes of rapture the self one stands beside calls out to one and says: Look at the poetry exploding around you; there are the true and the beautiful: may you walk in their footsteps."
--ALAN BOTSFORD, poet and author of Walt Whitman of Cosmic Folklore