Saturday, September 18, 2010
I've been reading the new Best American Poetry, edited by Amy Gerstler. I actually pre-ordered it this year as a Kindle download, which made sense to me, because I usually don't keep these anthologies very long, and they don't usually resell for much. And so I decided to go with the e-version, and it arrived on my iPad the day it was released. Not bad.
It took a little bit of adjusting to read on the iPad, though, and I think some of the formatting was messed up, but there were several advantages to the e-BAP, in that some people had hyperlinks in their bios to their blogs, or websites, and you could go there with one click (see Dennis Cooper, for instance). I just wish the poems each had a hyperlink to the poet's bio/statement (I always love reading those, and it would be great to be able to toggle back and forth between them.)
I skipped Lehman's intro, and went straight to Gerstler's. She has some good insights, and admits that BAP isn't so much about "best" as it is about the particular editor's "taste." But I wish she would have kept it a little shorter. (I kept hearing Tim Gunn screaming, "Edit! Edit!").
My favorite poems so far are Catherine Wing's lovely "er" poem, "The Darker Sooner," and David Trindad's "The Black Telephone." But why no Rebecca Loudon? After Gerstler had so admiringly blurbed Rebecca's last book, I thought for sure she would be in this year's BAP. Ah well. . . .