Friday, April 6, 2012
Poets Picking Poets
First up: the eclectic, contemporary collection put out by McSweeney's, Poets Picking Poets. And it's rather exactly what the title implies:
The editor of the anthology, Dominic Luxford, picked "ten poets, one poem by each. Next, each poet chose a poem of their own and a favorite work by another poet. Those ten new poets then picked ten more, and those ten picked ten more, and so on, until we had fifty poets, one hundred poems, an almighty treasure."
Among those gathered here you'll find well known writers such as Mark Doty, Mary Karr, Charles Simic, Jane Hirschfield, Michael Ondaatje, and C.D. Wright. Lesser known to me but intriguing all the same were the prose poems of James Tate and Michael Burkard or the celebrants of modern life, Harryette Mullen and Mary Ruefle.
If you're looking for a whirlwind tour of some of the best and the brightest poets today, this inexpensive yet rich volume would be an excellent place to start. You can get a look inside at Amazon.com or purchase it at the McSweeney's online store.
Stop by next weekend to read my favorite Jane Hirshfield poem. It's not in the Poets Picking Poets collection, although two fine works by the Bay Area poet are anthologized therein.
Thanks to my brother who knows me well and gave me my copy of Poets Picking Poets for Christmas this year.
And hop back tomorrow for a short but characteristically fascinating Elizabeth Bishop poem that I encountered in Howard Norman's novel What Is Left The Daughter...