Old and Young Anthology Talk

The Google search for "Anthology of Contemporary Poetry" will give you around 220,000 results. Of these, The new young American poets: an anthology interested me the most.

Once, I found a small anthology titled Over the Mountain: Writers After 50, or something close to that, and liked the idea of the book because it was interesting to read poets--some I knew, some not so much-- who were all over-the-hill and presumably with all of those lessons behind them the youngsters still had to write through. I had found it tucked away at a used bookstore in Muncie, IN and bought it with change, leaving the store with a smirk like I'd won in a game where I didn't have to try.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember anything from that anthology; the poems just didn't connect for me, and instead of rereading it, the book is packed away in a southern Indiana storage locker where it may or may not become a party house for centipedes. So the question for that anthology: was I too young to grasp everything?

I don't think so, but with each year we become better readers (if we read) and more mature (presumably). Maybe in 25 more years that anthology will rock my world.

Seeing "new young American poets" in a title caught my attention for a few reasons: one, I thought, hey, that is me kind of, and two, what are these poets doing and working through that will one day, if they stick with poetry, put them in an Over the Mountain-ish anthology?

A third reason with a different focus was the anthology's editor Kevin Prufer, who has a pretty cool book called National Anthem (especially the first half). A sample poem of his can be found if you click here. He is witty in a visceral way, as opposed to the slight-of-hand, light-bulb moment form, so people get shot, buildings fall, and empires die, and what can't you like about that?

I've just started reading some of the sample content online that can be found here. I'm not sure if I will buy it, but if you have it and give it a thumbs up, let me know. Till then, I will see what can be found inside it and brought into a future post, which will be without so much delay next time.

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