The Unfortunates

The subjects of this astonishing portrait gallery of poems are profoundly unnerving, alarming, haunting, touching and distressing. This is one of the most deeply unsettling books of poetry I have read in a very long time. The dramas of these portraits are all the more powerful and disturbing by virtue of the quiet, understated terms in which they are composed.

— Anthony Hecht


"Borges" & Other Sonnets

“Borges” and Other Sonnets will come to be identified as one of the spearhead books of the new literary movement being fostered by the American sonnet. 

— Felix Stefanile


Luís de Camões:Selected Sonnets

William Baer’s brilliant translation of Luís de Camões’s Selected Sonnets is a literary achievement and one that will bring renewed interest to these classic texts. Students and all lovers of poetry will find it extremely valuable. 

— Virgil Suárez


The Ballad Rode into Town

I don’t know any other poet but William Baer better equipped to restore the ballad to popularity. The Ballad Rode into Town will captivate people who ordinarily don’t like poetry. Like his great medieval forerunners, Baer gives us passion, sudden death, and melodrama in infectious rhymed stanzas, surprising us with plot twists and horrific outrage. It’s a wonderful book, one for both gobbling down and cherishing. 

— X. J. Kennedy



These remarkable well-turned sonnets by William Baer are both faithful and fresh. They re-tell the old stories with an easy and lucid eloquence, often from surprising points of view, and always with a keen understanding. 

— Richard Wilbur


Love Sonnets

In his delightful Love Sonnets, William Baer has gathered what we know about “the tender passion” and conveyed it in all its guises. Like Lucretius in the fourth chapter of his masterpiece, On the Nature of Things,Baer moves from vivid description to humor (often dark), to despairing honesty, and finally to praise of this most universal human experience. 

— Rhina P. Espaillat


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WILLIAM BAER, a recent Guggenheim fellow, is the author of twenty-three books, including six collections of poetry, most recently Love Sonnets. His various books include “Bocage” and Other Sonnets (recipient of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize), Luís de Camões: Selected Sonnets; Classic American Films: Conversations with the Screenwriters; Writing Metrical Poetry; and The Unfortunates (recipient of the T.S. Eliot Award). A graduate of Rutgers and N.Y.U., he received his doctorate at the University of South Carolina under the direction of James Dickey. He also has graduate degrees from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. A former Fulbright (Portugal) and the recipient of a NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, he was the founding editor of The Formalist and currently serves as the contributing editor at Measure. He is also the author of two novels (Companion and New Jersey Noir) and two collections of short fiction (Times Square and Other Stories and One-and-Twenty Tales), and his various plays have been performed at over thirty American theaters.