When Garrison Keillor published Good Poems, he touched a chord in readers across America. The anthology of poems he selected for their “wit, their simplicity, their passion, and their utter clarity in the face of everything else a person has to deal with” inspired thousands to buy what was for many their first book of poetry. Now, in Good Poems for Hard Times, Keillor has pondered over the archives of his beloved Writer’s Almanac radio show to select a batch of consoling, rousing, and truthful poems guaranteed to raise flagging spirits or to inspire those in need of a dose of wisdom or honesty. But these poems are not about suffering. They’re intended to reach us and stricken friends by holding out a picture of the grace of ordinary life. Above all, this eclectic anthology, including works from Raymond Carver, Emily Dickinson, Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Kenneth Rexroth, and many more, fit Keillor’s definition of “good”: memorable, beautifully worded, and accessible. They’re not highbrow. They’re not stuffy. But when hard times send us skidding into the meridian, the poems collected here are what we need them to be: just plain good.