Entering its fifth year, Best New Poets has established itself as a crucial venue for rising poets and a valuable resource for poetry lovers. The only publication of its kind, this annual anthology is made up exclusively of work by writers who have not yet published a full-length book. The poems included in this eclectic sampling represent the best from the many that have been nominated by the country’s top literary magazines and writing programs, as well as some two thousand additional poems submitted through an open online competition. The work of the fifty writers represented here provides the best perspective available on the continuing vitality of poetry as it is being practiced today.
Distributed for the Samovar Press in cooperation with Meridian: The Semi-Annual from the University of Virginia
This collection stands out among the crowd claiming to represent emergent poets. Much of the editing and preliminary reading was done by emerging poets themselves, which results in an anthology that’s fresh and eclectic, and may actually represent a significant portion of the best new poetry being written by the next generation.... [Best New Poets] assures the reader that poetry, even in a generation of text messaging and MP3 players, is still alive and well. The youthfulness of the anthology, combined with the wide scope of its contents, is apparent in the poems, which are edgy and daring."
Unlike novelists and bad-boy memoirists, emerging poets are unlikely to sprawl on Oprah’s couch, date starlets, or rouse bidding wars. With an alert ear for new voices, this anthology offers a different kind of validation: that of being well heard. The result is a vibrant smorgasbord.... [Best New Poets] bears evidence of the insistent inquiries of self and the world that drive poetry."—
Now in its fifth year, this annual volume presents some of the best young poets emerging from the MFA creative writing programs all over the U.S....[These poets] prove that American poetry has the strength and vision to move beyond the MFA environment in order to reshape and reflect past traditions.
Claudia Emerson is Professor of English and Arrington Distinguished Chair in Poetry at the University of Mary Washington. She is a contributing editor of Shenandoah and the author of four books, including Late Wife, for which she won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.