Review of The Best American Poetry 2007

I haven't had a chance to read all of this year's anthology but I've been impressed by what I've seen so far and from poems I heard at the reading.

This year's selection are as varied and eclectic as previous volumes, ranging from prose poems, a country western song, to haikus about West Point military academy, and rhymed works.

I also noticed a higher number than usual of topical political pieces by the likes of Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, Joe Wenderoth, and US soldier/poet (and possibly our generation's Wilfred Owen), Brian Turner. I'm not normally a fan of overtly political/war poems (then again, aren't all poems political?) since they can come across as heavy-handed and polemical but these poets did one heck of a job. Particularly Robert Hass' powerful, "Bush's War", which can be read here. I am constantly amazed by Hass' mental leaps, jumps in time, and seemingly unrelated digressions.

I'm happy to note that two Canadians, Christian Bok and Montreal's Carmine Starnino, made the cut this year. Speaking to McHugh after the reading, I learned she has dual-citizenship and that her parents are Canadian. Go Canucks!

There are way too many poets to mention them all here but some of the other standouts are the pieces by Matthea Harvey, Denise Duhamel, Lois E. Bourgeois, Mike Dockins, Linh Dinh, and Charles Harper Webb, to name a few. While there are some pieces that left me cold, the majority of the poems in BAP 2007 are very strong.

So run to a bookstore, library, bookmobile... whatever! Buy The Best American Poetry 2007 to discover what kind of exciting writing is being produced across America (this includes Canada; we're part of the Americas too, you know!)

Here's a book review of The Best American Poetry 2007 from The Seattle Times.

No comments: