New Poetry Collections

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Joni: The Anthology
320 pages; Picador
"My wonder is still intact," Joni Mitchell confided to a reporter in 1982 upon the release of her 11th album, Wild Things Run Fast. Famously reluctant to speak to the press, on this occasion Mitchell opened up about the role of melancholy in her song writing. Depression, she said, is "sort of like winter and is necessary for further blooming." That playful pathos permeates the gemlike Joni: The Anthology (Picador), a compendium of the singer's album reviews, commentary, and wending conversations. The handful of unfiltered, charming interviews she's given to a few lucky music writers are the true gold in this retrospective of the icon's many-splendored career.