The Dialects of the Tribe provides an overview of the various schools of poetry that developed during the second half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first. It provides insights into the methods, concerns, and poems of many of the prominent poets of the period, and a critical assessment of the development of contemporary poetic movements including the most recent, Neoformalism, which brought a return of prosodic concerns from the hinterlands of anti-intellectualism to which formal poetry had been exiled during the `fifties and `sixties, though the egocentric `seventies and into the greedy `eighties. Lewis Putnam Turco, perhaps the most respected poet-critic in the United States, is the author of more than fifty chapbooks, monographs, and books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction over more than a half-century including The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics, which has been called 'The poet's bible' by several generations of American teachers and poets since its first edition in 1968 and through its fourth edition in 2011.The poet and critic James Dickey said in an unsolicited endorsement in 1986 that it 'Belongs in the hands of every poet, student, and teacher, for the greater good of the art.'
Professor Emeritus of English Writing Arts, Lewis Turco took his B. A. from the University of Connecticut in 1959 and his M. A. from the University of Iowa in 1962. In 2000 he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Ashland University in Ohio and a second in 2009 from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Founding director of both the Cleveland State University Poetry Center (1962) and the Creative Writing Department of the State University of New York College at Oswego in 1968, Lewis Turco was chosen to write the major essay on "Poetry" -- as well as a dozen other entries -- for The Encyclopedia of American Literature in 1999 and was himself included in it. Turco's book of history, Satan's Scourge: A Narrative of the Age of Witchcraft in England and New England 1580-1697 won the "Wildcard" Category of the 2010 New England Book Festival. Fearful Pleasures, The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco 1959-2007 contains work that earlier received three chapbook publication prizes: The American Weave Award in 1962, the Silverfish Review Chapbook award in 1989, and the Cooper House Chapbook Prize in 1990. A Book of Fears: Poems, with Italian translations by Joseph Alessia, won the first annual Bordighera Bi-Lingual Poetry Prize in 1998.