I love, love, love anthologies. I love to read their prefaces and introductions and all the surrounding “matter” and to think about how they were put together. I love to have a whole lot of different poets conveniently in one place, just like I love a rapid-fire reading with 30 people in a row, rapid exposure to many styles.
Pretty soon the Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers will be out! Yeah! Anything with Gloria Anzaldua, Margaret Cho, Elizabeth Bishop, Wanda Coleman, and Bikini Kill in it all together is going to be fucking glorious!
A couple of weeks ago I got my copy of Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-po Listserv. A couple of years ago there was hot discussion on the Women Poets mailing list about doing a book. It was feminist collective hullabaloo combined with large-scale mailing-list-drama! And it came out beautifully, affirming my faith in the Magic Internets and in amazing people who do hard work.
Editorial tasks were divvied up – Everyone stuck with it – A policy was set to accept and publish one poem by anyone on the list who sent something in – People who feared the prospect of putting their precious Work into something that would label them as Amateur, or Vanity-Press, or that would Suck because of no hierarchical editorial control, were argued against passionately – Inclusivity and anti-snobbery won the day for many people. The result, a very beautiful, thick, amazing book from Red Hen Press. 259 contributors from 19 countries. It is incredibly beautiful. The poems are good. I’m not at ALL embarrassed to be in this book, and I can’t say the same of some other more “legitimate” journals or books. The poems are good and they’re not all the same-samey workshoppy voice that drives me crazy about so many poetry journals.
Later today I’ll post some excerpts.